Sleep Series

The sleep series of paintings began roughly ten years ago, inspired by a bout of insomnia near the end of my first trip abroad. The sleeping context gave me an avenue to revisit the dramatic poses of Baroque figuration in a recognizable contemporary context. Sheets became a field to explore color and mark, and the male figure was a passive vehicle, expressing dream states beyond his control. The figures appeared to be flying, but are understood to be simply reclining.

Over the years, I have revisited the basic theme of the single figure, isolated in his environment, and have progressed towards a heightened sense of mood and narrative. Minimal clothing still dates the scenes, perhaps the only sure reference away from the Classical. Figures still find themselves in states oscillating from restful to restless, actors playing out roles of the subconscious.

My newest sleeping subjects, are born purely of invention. I refer to them as “dreams” not because they reference actual experiences, but rather as they are projections and fictions born of process. Passages of paint transform into sleepers and animals, and the narrative develops with the image. From my urban perspective, birds and the woods represent the Other. A snowy field or night is the unknown. Perhaps these scenes reflect my view that painters and paintings are creatures quite separate from the natural world.


See artworks from the Sleep Series