The complex relationship we have with animals is sometimes funny—but mostly disturbing. We cherish our animal companions but do our best to ignore the invisible animals used in food, entertainment, clothing and science. We've been deluded into thinking there are degrees of sentience. I create painted worlds to bring into focus the completely unequal experiences that animals have.
The placement of the animals in these paintings into unusual settings may at first appear funny or odd, but soon may have an ominous sense of foreboding or danger. Strangers in a strange land.
I see animals as spiritual beings. In these paintings the animals are otherworldly- far away from their miseries on earth. Some have come back to deliver a message. Animals that were loved on earth come back to comfort. Sainthood is bestowed upon those that have been sacrificed to the false gods of ignorance, greed and gluttony.
This series includes paintings that celebrate the beauty, humor and individuality that animals possess; lives unimpeded.
I embarked on the State of the Union Series with my painting Florida, State of the Union, which I then used for a proposal for the RAREAir residency at Adams State University in Colorado. I recently completed that residency with an exhibition of the now 5 states completed at their Hatfield Gallery.
The project will eventually have paintings of all of the states with the positive images we associate with that state—state flag, state animal, slogan, images or events associated, and in bubbles, some of the shameful things that go on with the animals of that state.