I started creating art in the late 1980’s. I always had an affinity for art which was nurtured by my visits to the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum in Hartford, CT while I was in High School and numerous visits to museums and galleries in NYC while in college. I was sketching and experimenting with art long before I started painting on canvas. I recall poking a wire clothes hanger on my wall when I was in High School and tracing the shadows created when the sun hit it at various times of the day creating these very awesome abstract pieces on the wall. My early paintings were recreations of dreams I was having, painting the dreams on canvas along with jazz icons such as John Coltrane. The urge and need to create art was always a part of me, but creating Jazz inspired art became a staple in my work in 2010. I felt it was important to create an example of ideas that reflect the desire for social action and consciousness while telling the story of jazz, its pioneers and contemporaries.
Keith Haring is among my favorite artists because of the social activism in his work. Among the most influential artists I have found inspiring are Jean Michel Basquiat, Karel Appel, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Graffiti artists Rammellzee and Dondi White. I think I gravitate to work that has a sense of honesty, freedom, and improvisation. I also find the music of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Lester Young, Bud Powell, Jackie McLean, Dizzy Gillespie, and countless others equally as important and influential in my art.
As an artist it is important for me to continue to grow spiritually, emotionally, & intellectually, and reflect that growth in my artwork in a very honest way. I think my technique was one I developed through this process of creating and evolving as a person and artist. This journey never really ends so my artwork continues to evolve. When I am asked about my approach or technique I must say my connection with jazz has fostered the sense of improvisation and freedom you see in my work. I sometimes feel that I relate more to a jazz musician’s process of composing or performing then I do with an artist creating a piece of art.
I draw upon music, and the idea of universal love to create work that challenges the viewer to accept the unfortunate divide and divisiveness that exist in our society.
Jazz music, social consciousness, equality, and justice these are the things I find inspiration in. Since I work without premeditation it is important for me to trust in my instincts and follow the path each painting sets forth for me. It makes more sense for me to reflect my ideas in this way. If you look at my work you’ll find the use of mix media, collage, found items, burlap, paints, and pencil. My work reflects struggle, inequality, and even racial divide, but leaves the door open for hope and a better tomorrow.
MS17 Art Project is an innovative contemporary gallery which I felt was a good fit. I think their focus on representing artists whose work have a strong social and environmental commentary and their presence in the artworld were the attributes that led me to sign on with MS17. The gallery also determined that my artwork was a good match for them and the art market they serve. I felt very comfortable and confident committing with the gallery and we have a wonderful working relationship that I am proud of.