July 2017

When I started making paintings I had a lot to paint about. My life had led me to drug addiction, dereliction, and homelessness. Those experiences  shaped the man I became and somewhere along the line I started my journey as a full time artist. Eventually, I would make many good paintings. The context of my paintings is usually positive, but they come from a place of extreme negative. I have been through darkness. Coming out of that is what inspired me to paint. I made it out. I truly had something to say!

 

Fast forward six years, I am having success as a painter. I have climbed a few rungs of the “art world ladder”. My resume is growing. I am on my way. Okay so…. what do I paint now? A lot has happened in my life in 6 and a half years. I have had plenty of new experiences. I got to visit many countries and do many new things but they were all fun things. My life is good now. Where do I find my darkness? When I close my eyes and remember that day I laid in an alley way, drunk, looking up at the sky asking God “how did I get here?" I open my eyes to my new house, with my beautiful wife, surrounded by my cool stuff… homeless junkie is just not reality. My life is not torture anymore. To be honest, that feels like another lifetime. I don’t feel like the same person who was sleeping in that alley way. It is a part of my story and helped shape the man I became, but who I am today...is a painter and I'm sitting here asking what’s next?!

On July 10th I will fly to Athens, Greece. I will live in Athens for a month working with Circusaid - a nonprofit organization doing occupational therapy with refugees in refugee camps. My mission is to build rapport with people who are in a dark time in their lives. I aim to help them find joy in moments, and also to document my own personal experience with joy and moments. My goal is to be present, ultimately to feel. If i can try to understand these people i can help them find joy, even if only for a moment. When i help i feel. When i feel i make good work. The body of work i make will be shown in NYC in October. The goal is to bring these feelings back to the states - to document what we do with art. I am very excited!