Grids, cabinets, cubes, and boxes are such an integral part of your work. Tell us a little bit about this compositional approach, and why it is important to you.
I love extremes, including both minimalism and extreme ornamentation. I try to mix these two approaches together - in the same space - to show how two seemingly contradictory languages can accurately describe the same thing. The geometry of the cube is a reference to modernism's attempt to create a universal language, whereas the shells and papercutting are deeply rooted in specific cultural histories. The grids create a regular system, kind of like a metronome, that is broken up by the more chaotic ornamentation. Somewhere between the contrast of the two is my messy truth.
How is black -or the absence of color- important to your aesthetic?
Black is a mystical color. It has the power to be both full and empty. It is the color of both reverence and fear. Transforming familiar items into an achromatic black palette allows those items to shift from their physical to symbolic value. A shell painted black becomes the idea of a shell. This transformation allows the particular object in front of us to stand in with the greater resonance of a universal symbol.
The monochromatic palette unifies many disparate parts to create a whole. Rendered in the same color, all details become equal. We see the structure of things, not just the skin of their appearance. Things slip into other things. Shadows become as present as solids.