When I was a kid, I compared a drawing I was working on with the kids’ next to me and deemed his better, so I put art on a shelf and didn’t pick it back up until I was 25 and started painting. It quickly took hold and two years later I left the Midwest for Southern California to pursue it full time. I was teaching myself to paint, so instinct and experimentation were key. I started using materials like hardboard, instead of canvas, spray paint, house paint, graphite and markers and was able to support myself by selling my work in furniture stores, coffee shops and doing commissions. After a few years in California, I moved to Brooklyn and got into a gallery in Chelsea, which led to Scope Miami Beach and finally working with Ombretta Agro’ Andruff, a curator and art consultant, originally from Italy. Our collaboration included my first international exhibition in Austria, a solo show in Milan, Italy and art fairs in NY and Miami.
Until recently, my paintings were primarily figurative and abstract design-based work but recently I’ve been working on what I call “Joy” paintings as well and they’re all about projecting empowerment and liberation by using life-affirming words and phrases. I use art as a way to be of service to others and connect to the human experience. So seeking out new ways to make art more accessible is important to me. Galleries are one avenue but taking art on tour, the internet and street art are other ways to get art to the people. I believe we’re all here for a supreme reason and the only way to tap into that brilliance is to strip away all the inessential layers and get down to the core of yourself. Art, like life to me, is like a baton race. We pick up where others left off and take it as far as we can.