My goal is to make paintings which have elements that are both recognizable and mysterious. My work is informed by a variety of sources that interest me, including photojournalism, Jewish mysticism, African textiles, neuroanatomy and neuroradiology, analytical psychology, and the history of art. My aim is to take aspects of seemingly disparate subjects and create paintings which visually make sense.
As a painter/psychiatrist, I am interested in the concept of enantiodromia-the notion that everything in the psyche also contains its opposite, such that a sense of balance and equilibrium can eventually occur. When I begin a new painting, I never know exactly how things will turn out, no matter how many preliminary drawings and sketches. There are usually some twists and turns, both conscious and unconscious, and I have to be open to serendipity in my seriousness.
My paintings embrace the world of abstraction, but they are not nonrepresentational. Over the years I have done a number of series of paintings–from personal photographs taken on a trip to Cuba, my responses to the AIDS epidemic and the loss of many friends and colleagues , and the events of 9/11 (“Falling Man”).
As a painter, I like the rich tradition we have. It’s important to know history, but eventually you have to “sing your own song” and “be who you is,” what Jung called individuation. I’m interested in the communicative and evocative potential of putting pigments on a flat surface. I want my paintings to reflect my individual psyche, my view of the world, and my human hand.
Updated: July 13, 2011