My work questions how we develop identity in relation to social demands and how we define ourselves by what merchandise we consume. I am interested in what truly makes us who we are as individuals in a society of disposable materialism and silent opinions. Is it possible that our uniquely defined selves are truly expressed on the surface? Or are we driven to identify with commercial culture in order to normalize our darker, more chaotic individuality? Perhaps it is both. I explore this ambiguity by interweaving human and cartoon features on figures rendered in a traditional realistic style in oil paint. This paradox of old-master technique and antic, comic imagery is another important tension in my work. Both accessible and threatening, familiar and irrational, these uncanny figures represent our desire for self-expression frustrated by all the forces that demand a packaged identity. Are they social mascots taking on a life of their own - fed by our need - or more direct projections of ourselves, distorted and frantic to find what makes us unique? Playing on the viewers conflicted reaction of these creatures, I hope to unsettle our expectations of what is natural, desirable and valued.