Description: Rooster Statement
Until a year ago, I worked solely with the human figure, and throughout that time, found myself becoming more interested in the paint and what I could do with the color, application, and process, rather than the subject itself. The subject of my works became impressions, the mundane imprint of the human shape, rather than real expressions of humanity. I knew that I had something to say, but I did not know how to say it. I leaned too heavily on what I had been drawing and painting my whole career, the figure, and knew it was time to find something else to work on.
Initially, my first feeling was that I wanted to have more of a relationship with my own work. I wanted something more of myself to be in my work, that had relevance to where I came from and who I am. I thought about Kentucky, and what kind of visual imagery I could pick up from there that would convey a piece of my own personal history, as well as attempt to contribute something to the history of art, and current issues.
As I searched for a new subject matter, I found myself increasingly and inexplicably painting roosters. In them, I discovered a relationship between painting abstractly and figuratively, not only that but also a symbol of something that has the capability to convey a lot of the traits that humans portray. In the body, particularly through the feathers, I began to free myself of the rules that held me down my previous works. I remembered the paintings of roosters in my grandmother’s kitchen, and then thought about how many people had some sort of rooster imagery in their home. From stamps, t-shirts, stationery, calendars, tea kettles, mailboxes, coffee mugs, cookie cutters, paper-towel dispensers, quilts, specialty plates, welcome mats, and just about anything else you can think of, the roosters lends its likeness. We associate the rooster’s image with just about anything but the beast itself, and there lies an issue of what I am working with.