Recently, I had the honor of being featured in Burrow Press, an excellent independent non-profit publisher that specializes in literary works and the arts in Florida. I was interview by their incredibly kind Art Editor, Delila Smalley. Our conversation covered a wide range of topics including finding inspiration in the mundane and grotesque and how absurd my thinking can get in regards to portals influencing my work - WHAT? Yes.
In lieu of the lengthy communications we had building up to the final version, her interview allowed me to look back at some significant pieces that my existential crisis has churned out over the years. Often while creating, I have to experience an immense struggle and cannot see the forest through the trees. However, once the piece finds itself and is caressed into completion, hindsight allows me to understand what my unconscious mind was telling me at the time.
For more insight to my frame of mind now, I offered Delila some thoughts on some of my favorite pieces looking back. While these quotes didn't make it into the interview, I present them to you here to gain a little perspective. Please enjoy my ramblings...
This piece features an ancient warrior beast brought to stir mischief during a time of great conflict; A merry prankster, if you will. The ongoing war between the roving eyes and *somewhat* more natural beings carries out in the background while our hero remains unscathed - the jolly face on his belly suggests a super sweet tribal tattoo of which we ALLLLL hope to drunkenly apply to our body forever. The caterpillar between his horns is a reference to the brass-knuckle wound I acquired on my skull at age 20. The initial drawing is ink on paper so there is only commitment during the creation. There is no second chance. No plan, no intentions - just molding of oneself and the platform.
Screen-printed for mass replication at your favorite Art Dealer's!
"Barf Hand" 2008
This is among the first few where painting started to make sense and feel natural. Not too much to say about this guy. I like the colors and simplicity. The focus is there. He has human qualities. He now exists and is rather Simpsonsish. That makes me happy. I can now paint.
"A Chatty Republic" 2016
This is a fun one. I found two large paintings that had been thrown away next to an industrial dumpster being used to clear a private art school off of New York Ave. in Winter Park (I love when people throw away art!). There were two gentlemen doing yard-work across the street who offered, of their own accord, to throw it in the back of their truck and help me bring them home. Always a good sign!
No real mystery of underlying meaning here - haha. I've heard of people giving dissertation as to how it represents the "duality of Orlando" or some nonsense but I just like the imagery. Some of the highlights to me are that it features Jude's cartoon-y pool-float that was next to me on the front porch and pieces of ripped up Steak 'N' Shake coupons for the mixed media. Other than that, it gives nod to Haring and Basquiat but also acknowledges the fact with two words: BAD and RIPOFF. Cheeky is good.
That's all for now. Boring, self-aggrandizing read? Well, sure. Creating art is rather self-indulgent so did you expect anything less? For those interested, I will share some more of these puppies at a later date.