My work is greatly influenced by advertising and the media. In magazines and on television we are confronted by unrealistically attractive men and women who we aspire to look like. In reality, even these actors and models do not look this good without hours of make-up, flattering lighting and digital enhancement. The same model can appear several times in one magazine in a variety of advertising campaigns and look completely different in each one. I am fascinated by the way something as simple as a hairstyle can change a person's appearance so much that it makes a viewer believe it is a different person. Everyone instinctively forms a first opinion about a person on their appearance, yet their appearance is easily changed. My paintings are developed from photographs that are influenced by these artificial ideals and transformations.
I use myself as a model but I do not think of these as self-portraits as I rarely mean for the finished image to resemble myself. In most of my paintings I create characters using disguises such as wigs, clothing and make-up, and my objective is to portray a range of atmospheres by manipulating the character, lighting and settings. I create glamorous looking women who appear to be posing for the camera as if the image were taken from a glossy magazine or film still and I lead the viewer to associate the image with someone they have seen before or some stereotype.
I turn these photographs into paintings as it gives me the freedom to manipulate the image and atmosphere further to make it appear more theatrical. I edit the image as the media do and create an unrealistically smooth, controlled final image, which adds to the idea of an artificial character.