Targets addresses the personal and public impact of gun violence.
The Stockton school shooting in 1989 haunted me for decades. Sandy Hook compelled me to symbolically depict the intimate personal loss of these ‘small targets’. Initial research offered Google documents displaying shooting incidents as drop pins scattered across the United States map. I realized, these numerous overlapping pins blocking prior events were a parallel to our overloaded consciousness. We collectively forget the impact of each personal loss. Targeted violence has definitively become an undesirable societal constant for our country.
The Target seemed an obvious symbol to represent the random acts of violence, suggesting a predator setting aim on a focused subject. At the onset, the intended topic was school shootings, but quickly evolved to include relevant examples of social violence such as: Black Lives Matter, the Pulse nightclub massacre, Dallas Police shootings, and violence rooted in religious persecution.
Layering content is an integral part of my process. Expressing the effects of light and color on forms is a constant in my work. I purpose physically textural surfaces in this series to create a tumultuous subtext. I aim for these images to be aesthetically pleasing, then surreptitiously confront the viewer with their sober message and provoke memories of all the needless loss. In the school specific works somber palettes naturally emerged in the creative process, due to my emotional involvement with the subject.
I strive for my work to be visually interesting while inspiring individual introspection. I remain as shocked at the thought of children as targets as I was by that first incident so long ago. My ultimate desire is that these paintings would stir emotions, spur dialogue and provoke impactful change of this complicated dilemma. If ignored, we are all possible ‘Targets.’