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Tierra del Encanto
I don't really remember my earliest artistic endeavors but my parents will never let me forget the time I drew a huge picture on the front of my babysitter's house. So I guess making art has always been there. I think it was 1988 when I first got a sketchbook and began to copy all of my heavy metal album covers thinking that I would be an artist. My art has always been all over the place since then—cartoons, drawing, painting, sculpture. No certain style, no definite themes. I just made (and continue to make) a lot of art and studied and worked in all areas of the arts.
I started working with mandalas in 2010. A friend and I got a grant from the Puffin Foundation for our mandala project. The project had two aspects: one was doing mandala workshops in the community. and the other was creating mandalas and displaying them as random acts of public art. In 2011, I went to a very inspiring summer intensive residency at VCU, and the following year one in New York City at the School of Visual Arts. During these programs I experimented greatly, producing a maddening amount of art. Yet it was still all over the place.
In 2012, two friends and I founded the Rear Gallery, which also served as our studios. There is where this current body of work started. The paintings I began doing were just painted over old canvases that I had found laying around dumpsters near VCU's fine arts building. The more I painted the simpler the pieces became. By the time I had to start buying canvas, my painting had evolved into a style with a kind of graphic design quality. I try to make the work feel spiritual like sacred icons using universal ancient imagery, shapes and symbols that speaks to the senses on an unconscious level.
I see art as a refuge from the standard complicated contemporary culture. I make art to find a different way of living life. I live in magic and awe with the constant striving for inner peace and growth of awareness. You won't find that in society as it is. You have to create a world around you to show that other ways of living are possible. I live a great life for one as poor as I am. I am lucky to happen upon wonderful adventures and be around fascinating people.
Hmmm...imaginary, nostolgic, otherworldly...Well, most of my paintings combine imagery and symbolism from many ancient cultures but there is especially a 'native' influence. By that I mean the White Man took much knowledge from the Native Americans over the years, and all that's left is their stories and art. I am very nostalgic for a time before the land was conquered and destroyed by modern advancement. A time when people practiced sustainability, spirituality and art as a real lifestyle. The work comes from an otherworldly place, a place of enchantment and wonder.
My December 2013 move to New Mexico from Virginia has affected my life in many ways. Richmond was non-stop gogogo. Here in Taos, there is nothing to do. There has been one metal show since I've been here for two months. Richmond was all like, “Which metal show do I go to tonight?” So, yeah, a change of pace. I don't drink as much, go out as much, eat out all the time. So, basically, I have more time to create. I have been very busy here making art. The beautiful sunny landscape of the Southwest is affecting me very positively. The sacred Taos mountain soothes my soul and my work seems to be getting more vivid and a little more feel-good, a bit more weird.
#Painting #FineArts #NewMexico #CreativeProcess