Artist Statement ~Lena Viddo Artist Statement ~ I am insatiable, and painting is where I revel in my decadence without shame or inhibition. I paint, because I feel caught between two worlds. I experience consciousness and the ability to choose right from wrong in the daylight hours, and then slip in my work to satisfy urges and instincts as I encounter my shadow animal self in dreams at the darkest hours of night and in the deepest recesses of my psyche. It is through my work that I am able to recreate myself over and over again. There is an infinity and limitlessness to the process of making art that feels like immortality. Feeling like an introvert in an extrovert’s body, I oscillate between dual and opposing forces; the pervasive need to retreat into silence and reclusiveness, contrasted by the overwhelming urge to impulsively express and contend with the passion and confusion I experience in relation to the human condition and the madness of our world as we know it. My studio is the arena where many of these duels are fought. It is a laboratory for working through these dichotomies. My paintings are story driven and blend themes of popular culture and the natural world into allegorical commentaries. I attempt to represent the ambivalence I feel in relation to mainstream popular culture and its focus on narcissism, self interest, body image and the tyranny of beauty. My concerns span huge territory and include things such as technology’s impact on love, mental health, and relationships in this virtual age where children no longer run and play, but sit passively entertained by screens. Difficult and nearly impossible I try to swim against the current of mainstream pop culture and its decadence. My work is informed by the natural world and from a range of cultural sources including literature, history, fashion magazines, news headlines, and advertising campaigns. I interweave this with the inspiration I draw from my interest in Taoism, Jungian psychology, philosophy and my work with psychedelics and the Sufi Ennegram system. I try to make paintings that are open ended and provide a pathway to the child inside of every viewer. I hope to inspire people to draw their own conclusions as to their meaning. Making up their own story is part and parcel of the accessibility of each work. I prefer not to over explain and map out the meaning of each piece, it’s symbolism, objects, vixens, shades of myself and the other icons found there. I think it is important for the viewer to draw their own conclusions and inferences when interfacing with the work from the clues I have left them. Sometimes I want it to be serious, but I also think humor and whimsy are essential since in the end what do any of us really know about this crazy menagerie we find ourselves in.