What is it that makes us “human”? Alexander Pope, the English poet, once said in his famous quote, “To err is human…” But while our errors can certainly shape us, “to err” does not define us. We as humans are so much more than the sum of our errors. So what is it that really defines our humanity?
To be human is to feel, to love passionately, to regret, to mourn, to celebrate, to partake in life, to fight with everything in our being to simply be able to breathe the air of freedom. For so many of us to be human presents itself through the constant fight every day to simply exist. It is the perennial struggle to matter… to be heard… the lone voice in the cacophony of life. Each of us has our own unique story to tell. And through my art is how I tell mine.
Regardless of anyone’s socio-economic and political background, stances, challenges and successes, refuges, personal sacrifices or beliefs, gender, race, or class, we are tied together by the common thread of our emotions and the constant flux of life. Some lives intertwine at different phases and some run parallel and never intersect in this lifetime. But by the very notion that we are all as one, does it really matter if we never actually meet? We have all known the cry from our soul from a loss that is so unbearable you can’t put words to it. We have all known the times when we are unable to see the light, the darkness creeping up behind us, tapping us on the shoulder, and with this we are reminded we have the choice to live or to die. We have all lived in those moments of pure joy and peace which have touched the very essence of our being and spirit. Even though we may never have met, these shared experiences unite us.
The underlying foundation of my work deals with these transitory, fragmented moments in life. These impressions that forever last and coexist in one’s collective memory, universally connecting us and with that the certainty of “intersections of humanity” that bind us together. This series articulates this exploration of mutual connections conveying a level of emotional perception by way of opting for the pure abstract point of view through the application of mixed media materials. The process in which the colors are blurred and manipulated (mainly with no control by me), signifies the truth that the only constant in life is “change”. Through these intersections, pathways, decisions, doors, we all have the commonality of feelings as simple as the breath we take each moment. This is achieved by focusing on the visual sensory evoked by usage of forms, lines, and the colors of which articulate the reactions. Like our collective memory that is filled with minute details of bigger experiences, these transitory sentiments are just the surface of an experience and memory, which exists in all of us. These emotions, discarded, retraced, lived and let go of, define us, and make up much of our identity… our human identity. It is these emotions, lodged in our collective subconscious, which has become a major source of inspiration for my work.
Though this latest series of work reflects an eclectic style in search of this communal connection, there is a consistent uniform structure employed in the process of these paintings. In all of its chaos, the “grid” employed, whether seen or not in the final outcome, signifies a level of pattern consistent with this universal connection of emotion. The white blanket acts as the universal web that covers and connects the constant motion of this life from one point to another, as people fade in and fade out along the way. The overlapping of these moments/emotions is depicted through the myriad of shapes, forms, color and symbolic images and the juxtaposition of the similar in which they interact. The subtraction and addition of these elements is merely cognitive reaction to the ebb and flow of life. The titles become those reflections of my experiences, the constant movement and change, the ever-changing patterns of life! This series of paintings acts as an interpretive visual diary of these shared experiences. Upon further investigation of these moments, dissecting and understanding the parts enables me to better understand and reinvent who I am, and what it means to be human.