Western painting history for centuries canonized a particular perspective from which otherness was defined, and by extension how the world of art was categorized. My work utilizes the white male as an exotic subject, condensing tropes used to buttress a narrative of whiteness from painting history and media culture to expose the inherent strangeness of desire and the canonical drive. The work employs the tropes and tools of academic painting to reflect a vision of identity less certain of itself and of history. In making the paintings, I explore the complicated and often problematic ways in which art and media have shaped my perception of self.
Through various projects, the work turns the default fulcrum of art discourse (the white male) into a specimen for critique in its own right. I am interested in whiteness as an arbiter of the canonical drive, which always in some form employ notions of power, class, and desire. I find it interesting that one's choice in human subject as an artist of color is inescapably a politicized action, and that it has lasting effects on how a work of art is perceived once the creator is considered. But it is that shift in meaning, in connotations, and in the fact that there is a shift at all, that is the central drive of my body of work.