My art is essentially an emotional visual response to life and the world we live in. I work hard to make my images intense and interesting. But if I can engage myself and others on an emotional level as well, I think that's the greater accomplishment. The human figure will probably always be my primary subject matter. I like manipulating lines, shapes, colors and textures to make designs; but to me the human figure itself is the most compelling design. Not only does the figure form foundations for a wide range of interesting compositions, but it provides a powerful way to connect with the viewer. Most of my figures are drawn from my imagination.
I primarily paint my pieces, but they always start as drawings. I like the freedom of painting. I paint until I feel satisfied with the image. It is almost an improvisational process. I have a basic structure in place, but as I flesh it out I never know the exact outcome until it's finished. Alternately, I also use my drawings to create small editions of screen prints, which I print by hand in my studio. Producing print editions makes my work more accessible, and it provides a whole new challenge in terms of conceptualizing a piece. I have to carefully plan out every step, and patience is always rewarded in the resulting image.
I'm an optimist, but for whatever reason my work always feels somber. Maybe it's because beauty found in spite of sadness is the most precious kind. Viewers can interpret my work in many ways. I do tackle some specific issues, such as poverty, religion, and the breakdown of community in our culture. But the design of the piece usually comes first, and I find myself discovering what it means to me later. More than anything, I want my work to stand for an underlying hope which transcends our struggles.
I was born in Germany in 1980. When I was 8 years old, my family moved to the Philippines and I spent the rest of my childhood years in Southeast Asia, including Cambodia and Malaysia. My love for art began at an early age, I have been drawing literally for as long as I can remember. Nearly everything that excited me became an inspiration for a drawing. In high school I began exploring the more expressive and abstract qualities of painting. I graduated in 1999 and moved to Oklahoma in 2000 to study fine art and education. I was married to my wife Laura in 2002 and graduated with my Bachelor in Fine Art Education in 2005. I taught high school art for twelve years in Oklahoma City. I now live in Albany, New York with Laura and our three kids, Ava, Elijah, and Vera. I held my first solo exhibit at IAO gallery in downtown Oklahoma City in 2006, and continue to regularly show my work.