A purpose driven life is supremely difficult and it calls for endless sacrifices. Is it not the case then, that by living a purposeful life we become heroic by overcoming the circumstances of our existence (Becker).
My machine paintings are fundamentally a study in human nature: they reflect my belief that Machine represents man’s need for heroism. This is not Joseph Campbell's heroism though. There's no reward at the end of the journey: there's only an unrelenting instinct towards the heroic, a blind drive, a natural urge to stand out, to be a hero and to make one's unique contribution to the world.
It doesn't matter that in this day and age we find admitting the need for heroism awkward. Whether we want to admit it or not, we live in a cultural hero-system, either religious or secular, where man serves this purpose to earn a sense of self-esteem. Ernest Becker made this point in his magnum opus The Denial of Death: The orientation of men has to be always beyond their bodies (...) and towards explicit immortality-ideologies, myths of heroic transcendence”. This need for heroism is a consequence of man’s anxiety in the face of his mortality: by being a part of something greater than his body, man’s conceptual self will live on granting him eternity.
Throughout history, art has strived to eternalize human existence in the form of portraiture. I too was trained as a portrait painter. In this day and age though, as technology takes the center stage, the artist’s role must be to reflect humanity’s new ultimate immortality project: The Machine.
Machine, unlike man, is immortal. As an artist whose basic sense of self worth is hopelessly attached to legacy and to the business of living forever, what better to tackle than the Eternal Heroic Machine then?