|dc.description.abstract||My paintings target contemporary social issues, especially the relationship between fetishization and fanaticism in global capitalistic societies like the United States. In the Oxford English Dictionary, fetishism is defined as a form of sexual behavior in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, activity, or part of the body. Sub-definitions point to excessive and irrational devotion or commitment to a particular thing and/or the worship of an inanimate object for its supposed magical or spiritual powers. Fanaticism, then, is the quality of being filled with an excessive and single-minded zeal for something or being obsessively concerned with something. Either behaviors or tendencies give the individual a somewhat “unnatural” gratification that fuels continued dedication to the activity or idea.
My paintings are made to reflect the concepts of both fetishization and fanaticism and their power over us. They present somewhat explicit sexualized actions without digressing into pornography; they show my models in a state of intense pleasure and even ecstasy, as if possessed by magical or spiritual powers stemming from their experiences. At the same time, however, my works aim to encourage self-critique among my viewers. Even while observing my models in pleasure, the viewer is kept out of the “secret” held within the depicted experience. He or she is not entirely included in the action, but is drawn in and simultaneously held back, allowing that level of distance that allows self-reflection. Should I want that pleasure or is it bad for me? This exact question is what we must ask ourselves all the time in a society that runs on immediate gratification and continuous desire to sell products and maintain a thriving economy.||