Artist’s Statement

My concept of the seams of a society, as on a garment, refers to being placed at the edge, marginalized, or disenfranchised, but this can also indicate conditions that hold a people together, that bind.

Each of my “Seams” works takes the viewer on a cultural journey. I want you to meet a few of my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances in places I have had the great fortune to visit or to work. I am excited to show how culture and economics shape people’s lives. I hope you can imagine the lives of the people I try to portray.

I want to challenge stereotypes in the figurative and cultural depiction of people. My previous series, entitled “Black Lives Matter” (2020), is comprised of paintings about American social and political strife. In my current series of paintings, I explore the lives of Africans in Karatu, Tanzania, a rural town where I have lived and worked over several summers as a physician. People who work in or are served by the hospital live with the lingering effects of colonialism. They grapple with political, educational, and economic conditions that make it difficult to advance.

I have been painting with oil on paper that I mount on canvas. I utilize my own handmade stamps developed from traditional Tanzanian kitenge cloth to print the backgrounds. The size of my works varies from 22 x 30 inches to 46 x 30 inches. I sometimes use mono print and mixed media techniques.

Paint has a way of telling its own story and not always the story intended by the subject or by the artist. My goal is not to be photorealistic or documentarian but rather to offer you a moment to slow your mind as you imagine the lives of others and explore with me the “Seams of Societies”.
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