When we cut away all the excess, block out all the distractions, sort the clutter, turn off all the noise…when we boil it down to a single fundamental unit, what are we left with? What matters? LOVE.

Who do we love? Why do we love them? What do we do if they don’t love us back? What if we love someone, but we are too scared to show it? What if someone hates us or hurts us? Should we still love them or should we forget about love?

What do we love? Why do we love it? Do we truly love it or do we just want it? What do we do if we can’t have it? What if someone else has it? Should we take it away from them because we deserve it more than they do or should we just forget it and convince ourselves we never loved it anyway?

Do we love ourselves? Do we know how to love ourselves? Do we even know ourselves well enough to love ourselves? Maybe we know ourselves well enough to hate ourselves. Can we forgive ourselves so that we can love ourselves? Can we have love without hate?

Why is love so complex? Why does it confuse us? Why are we scared to show our love for one another? Why would we hold back love? What if we all took off our armor and forgot about our vulnerabilities and our insecurities? What if we all just tried to understand one another and accept one another and forgive one another? What if we truly understood ourselves and accepted all of our flaws and moved on to a place where we could love ourselves?

Can you imagine that? I’m trying to imagine it every time I make a new painting, but I’m not sure why it’s such a foreign idea to me. All these paintings are about love, but they also represent the monsters that we are. The bags of flesh and bone that lumber through this world looking for a hug or a pat on the back.