When I started my “beings” series of paintings, I wanted to represent not what a body looks like but rather what it feels like to be inside one. My figures are unsexed, ungendered, unclothed, hairless, and of indeterminate age. They have no ears and invariably have their eyes closed, indicating an inward rather than outward focus. The body, after all, is not just an external form, not this thing the world sees. It’s all the feelings and sensations that we wouldn’t have without it. The figures in my paintings are very expressive, but less in terms of facial expressions than in how their bodies occupy space – posture and gesture and implied movement.
These beings have no individual stories. Each one exists only in the moment, its full potency expressed in a single existential situation. For these beings, “dream” and “reality” are not differentiated, so of course they can fly and levitate. And of course their bodily form and movement are not constrained by ordinary human physiology and kinesiology. Their experience is our experience but on a more holistically reflexive plane.
These works are done on handmade Nepali lokta paper, which I favor because it refuses to be a passive participant in the creation of a painting. It is kind of like the ground conditions of life that we must work with whether we like it or not.