My intent with this body of work is a conceptual inquiry into what we refer to demographically as the “Millennial Generation” — young adults in their early-to-late twenties. The young man represented throughout the series is a “symbol” of this inquiry. My concern stems from what I perceive as a pervasive melancholia that many in this generation seem to confront: equally dark and hopeful, drifting aimlessly without a sense of grounding or purpose, unable to anticipate a future direction or purpose. A kind of existential crisis that they confront, consciously or not. Simultaneously, I am aware of being part of a culture that can fall prey to prejudice, cling to a personal mindset, and assume self-imposed ideologies. My concerns increase in urgency, given recent global violence and divisiveness.
Speaking for a moment to some formal issues: the series’ coloration varies from achromatic, to an achromatic figure with minimal color surrounds, to color that permeates both the model and his environment. In other pieces, color seems to exist abstractly, independent of the figure. My exploration of this wide range of approaches is intended conceptually, but changes intuitively while I work. The purely achromatic pieces reference the “darkness” I allude to above. When color permeates both the model and his surrounding, it is as a kind of kaleidoscopic chaos, suggestive of a more festive, celebratory cadence (the “hope” I mention above). In some of the work color is used purely as an abstract field of “separation” between the model and the background space. This, again, returns to the idea of the “millennial” as existing amidst yet somehow apart from the world. Intense color is supposed to advance to the forefront of a composition, but in these works, curiously, it projects the achromatic figure more forcefully to the foreground. I enjoy the theatrical play with perception in viewing this particular work; as well as its moving the figure almost into the viewer’s personal space.