What interests me most about the history of oil painting in the West is how it was used as a didactic tool to communicate thoughts and ideas that written or spoken word cannot. For that reason, I find myself most influenced by the European Renaissance and Baroque period, where art was used as a pedagogical and persuasive tool. I am especially enamored with the idea that art can create a visual vocabulary that can be manipulated by the artist to control the experience of the viewer (to some extent). But instead of drawing on the Christian Renaissance vocabulary, I am interested in creating my own, where colors, gestures, movement, shapes and symbols have a meaning that I dictate. In a sense, I strive to put enough of my own language into the painting so as to push the viewer to absorb a little bit of my psyche when they look at my work.
In doing this, I seek to engage with modern aesthetics and play with cultural references that are so engrained in the 21st century viewer’s worldly assumptions that they almost don’t consciously realize what they are taking away from the painting. I aim to understand and manipulate the viewer's preconceptions so well that looking at one of my paintings rivals reading a text in the clarity of the message I am trying to express, while at the same time leaving plenty of room for the viewer to have their own psychological and emotional experience with the work.