Most often, I think about my work in relation to time. Objects, through their age alone, can acquire a kind of cache. They have a presence. They seem both to prove and to deny history. The respect and appreciation we have for these objects is related to, but distinct from, what we might feel for a work of art.
I'm sympathetic to certain mid-century abstraction: I'm interested in “painterly” painting and, also, in both objecthood and process. But, ultimately, I'd prefer to align myself with painting's pre-history. (A possible bridge between that sympathy and that preference: I have recently been reading Guy Davenport ideas of modernism as the invention of the archaic.) I also can't help thinking about painting's prospective post-history.
Generally, I begin by stumbling backwards, testing materials and methods or taking old work apart. The new works become records of these stumblings. Or, to put it another way, the new works become as much artifact as art. Everything has the texture of archaeology, which to me is both sad and exhilarating. Archaeology suggests a sense of history that, like a painting, is layered: not one creation but many.
To regard something as an artifact, which is to project it into the past, is, as a consequence, to project one's self into the future. And so my work is also anticipatory. I’m temperamentally inclined to discount the dramatic; still, it seems difficult to imagine a future that is not, in some significant way, retrograde. That, too, informs my art.