you have two kinds of boys born in 1970: lego boys and lincoln log boys. i’m a lego boy. i was eight years old when i saw star wars for the first time, and when i got home i went straight to the lego box to build the things i had just seen on the big screen. it’s not hard to imagine the scene: a boy on the shag carpet of his bedroom in rural tennessee, hunched over a bin of legos in a concentrated effort to connect with the story he’d seen hours before. and after building his own version of star wars ships, becoming part of the story himself.
legos were a way for me to create whatever i could imagine, and i am still doing that now only with paint instead. i am trying to understand why these experiences of real life or moments in stories or movies move me. the first shot of lux lisbon in the virgin suicides … the way elwood p. dowd says, “and the evening wore on” in harvey … the recording of a my father’s voice telling the story of the rose … all of these moments contain the powerful impact of something pure and raw. so i use painting to focus on an experience and to wrap myself in the moment. by building the experience with paint i begin to understand what about the moment moved me to paint in the first place.