Mirovia is the ever ocean, the great sea which covered the Earth some 750 million years ago. For me it represents the furthest conceivable border of our world's history, a time before gods and beasts played across the land, when life had garnered only the most microscopic of footholds. The idea of Mirovia offers a kinship with our earliest ancestors. 750 million years is, after all, unimaginable. But if we can recast this impossible timeframe so that we might imagine only ten years had past since the waves of Mirovia broke upon the rocky shores of Rodinia, then it was only yesterday that man crept from his cave, looked upon the heavens, and called to his gods.
People often tell me that my work depicts the imaginary. I guess what they mean is that I don’t paint the real world – you know, still-lifes, landscapes, portraits. But I don't see it that way. The world is insane. Insane and horrific. And undeniably beautiful.
All of my work deals with this truth. I don’t replicate the mundane because for me, the mundane is the fiction. The fruit in that bowl – it was born in the decaying flesh of a thousand creatures that once clung desperately to life. And even now, the fruit plays host to a horde of maggots, writhing just beneath the surface. To paint it any other way is to tell a lie.
That landscape – it was forged of the cast off detritus of a billion dying stars, forged through mind numbingly complex geological processes that spanned eons. That rock in the foreground, the one casting the pleasing shadow upon the grass, it was once part of a great ridge bisecting the continent of Pangaea, a ridge in whose shadow behemoths prowled some two hundred million years before man took his first clumsy step.
And that portrait – just thirty layers of dead skin encasing an organism created through an imperfect reproductive process resulting in no fewer than sixty unexpected mutations, any of which might result in horrific disfigurement, or abilities that far surpass anything that could be called human. Does the portrait capture the being's fathomless ability for kindness? Or cruelty?
This is what I paint. This is why I paint.
I use a combination of the most modern and the most traditional techniques. Computer, pen and ink, watercolor. Sometimes I start an image electronically and then print it to finish with pen or paints. Often I start on paper and transfer it to the computer for subtle tweaking. I sometimes wonder if it's ironic that the role modern technology plays in my work is to make it seem antique. It's too early to know if the digital will win out over the analog or vice versa or if maybe they will merge into some unholy concoction of antiquity and high tech.
I am most comfortable with pen and ink. It was only recently that I picked up the artist's mantle, having neglected it for nearly two decades while I lived in the land of research & development, algorithms, and high-tech start-ups. The pen was my medium of necessity during these years of self-imposed exile. During marathon meetings, seemingly designed to snuff out the creative spirit, my scribbles filled first the margins of my legal pad, then the body, devouring the hapless action items, or status notes that might have scuttled onto the page.