Riis Griffen, “Zoe,” mixed media collage on 5×5″ paper.

Art is an outlet for my defiant, irreverent inner self, the essential self from before I was taught how to act, how to be. With art, anything is possible. I explore strong emotion through primitive, abstract faces or strange creatures. I’m drawn to all kinds of visceral expression, from cave paintings to outsider art to tribal masks to graffiti. My work is born of the same primal need for expression, with themes ranging from humor to vulnerability, spirituality, and otherness. I hope that viewers will recognize something familiar, something common to all of us.