The Loving Series
Replete with references to a variety of historical formats and methods, my paintings capture a timeless moment through a contemporary eye. Since 1998, I have created a series of figurative works painted in oil or gouache on paper and board. Inspired by Indian and Persian miniatures; ancient frescoes and mosaics; the vanishing art of hand-painted signage and the sacred and folk arts, I make paintings of diverse individuals in isolation or partnership. Following in the tradition of genre painters, I place figures, often women, in domestic settings. The figures are quiet and inactive, which contributes to the solemn and mysterious atmosphere of the scene.
At times my images are accentuated with incongruous photographic detail, collaged elements gleaned from old catalogs, field guides, and vintage books. Through meticulous cutting and pasting, I develop intricate designs and motifs which become a subtle aspect of the surface of the work. I use color and pattern to evoke emotion and draw the viewer into an intimate world. My work is clearly inspired by the traditional, but the impact of personal history is evident in the quiet presentation of issues of gender and race.
Exploring this issue in particular is The Loving Series (2019 – 2021). The series is comprised of 18 x 18 inch paintings on paper, of mixed race couples from diverse backgrounds. The title references the American married couple Mildred and Richard Loving, who were plaintiffs in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Loving vs. Virginia in 1967. They were criminally charged under a state statute, which banned interracial marriage. With the help of attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union, they filed suit to overturn the law. The Supreme Court ruled in their favor. The case was cited as a precedent, which helped win the right for same-sex marriage in the United