The Bodies of Water series depicts the interior landscape of the mind through gestural poses of the figure. Humans can instinctively intuit another’s mood through the observation of posture and position — the slump of the shoulders, the ease or lack thereof in one’s gait, the look in one’s eyes, or the way someone is listening. Despite all of these cues, we often ignore them and allow language and communication to supersede this visual understanding.
This has become truer than ever nowadays as much of our communication is via the internet, where body language and tone of voice have been replaced by oversimplified digital attempts of equivalency. In this age of discord, these works explore how common feelings of isolation have become, despite the veneer of connectedness through social media.
All of these paintings depict a lone figure. I use this device to point out that we can only experience the world through the venue of our own bodies. While we may be in the same room together, our bodies have entirely different senses of reality – one sees blue, the other green, one is cold, the other hot, one in pain, and the other comfortable.
One cannot step into the same river twice. Although it is the same body of water, it is in constant flux. I feel the same is true of ourselves: we might appear to be the same person, but we are constantly changing as a result of time, our experiences, our moods, and even our chemistry. The title of the series plays on the fact that we are mostly made of water ourselves.
I create each of the Bodies of Water paintings by laying down a few strokes on paper. I let the focus of my eyes go soft and I begin to see a loose silhouette, sometimes they change position before my very eyes. I employ additive and subtractive methods to carve a figure from the pools of water, helping the figure I saw to emerge from the chaos of the wash. I consider the negative space around the figure as an important resting area for the eye before delving into the figure and making sense of it.
Bodies of Water gallery