These works began as an attempt to bring my practice in line with my life as a person living in 21st century America - wholly mediated, isolated, digital and decentralized and devoid of manual labor or craft. I have no direct input into the development or manufacture of any product I consume. I think this is wonderful. So I finally abandoned my studio practice and began to spend my art making time collecting digital snapshots anonymously from peer-to-peer file sharing networks. I can access the snapshots of thousands of people at a time all across the globe. These are images of people I know nothing about and cannot ever know personally - only look at. The network serves as both a barrier and a bridge – I can see photographic depictions of their lives but never actually know them, and the people depicted have no way of knowing me.
Out of tens of thousands of snapshots I look at, I select just a few and email them to professional painters living in China. They reproduce the image in oils and send the painting back to me. This process leaves me free to stay above the fray and focus strictly on editing the world as I see it. And by participating in the global economy in this manner, I feel that I am making art in a way that is in alignment with my time and place. I become a part of something much larger than myself. This process also removes me from the burden of craft, as the craft of the painters is consistently and reliably excellent. By only dealing with images of strangers, I am able to further remove myself from the standard autobiographical tropes of contemporary art, at least superficially.
The images are selected for their emotional import and formal beauty. The titles are from The Bible or pop music.