My current series, Private Places, is about the common human impulse to dream-up a “better place” and aspire to live in comfort, ease and harmony among like-minded people. A vacation I took with my family to a resort on the Big Island of Hawaii was where this project began. My experience in this luxurious, private place in “paradise” inspired me to dig deeper into the different kinds of gated communities out there and what it’s like to live in or spend time in them. Framing questions around “the darker sides of utopia” I look at a range of places and social trends like neo-communal entities, self-segregation, lifestyle communities, gated communities, golf/leisure communities, home-owners’ associations, and gated new towns/communities. These are all locations from which I find interviewees and subject matter for the work. Through the visual concepts of the paintings, I share our relationships with these private places and ask, “who or what may be excluded as we put up gates and fortify boundaries, and at what cost to ourselves and society?”.