The commonplace is miraculous if rightly seen. (Charles Simic)
The artistic muse I keep coming back to is the modern environment, cut with roads, electrified, often covered with makeup or hidden away. It's my immediate surroundings rather than a fantasyland or highly sought-after real estate. I'm trying to keep it personal, real, and raw. I suppose I'm a warts-and-all kind of guy.
This isn't to say I want to beat you over the head with realism or anything the camera can convey better than paint. I look not so much for the facts and a straightforward description of everydayness but the poetry behind it, and my unique, idiosyncratic interpretation. A sense of "strange beauty" and a certain ineffable quality I can't put words to but somehow reaches down and gives me a shake, excites the heck out of me.
I draw form such wide-ranging aesthetic schools as Italian neorealismo, film noir, the Ashcan School, brutalism, and constructivism—from the worlds of cinema, literature, architecture, and my own mishmash of lived experience.
As far as cropping and freezeframing go, I'm a sucker for middle grounds where human culture and nature meet and intermix, and things get fuzzy and difficult to categorize. Think the "urban jungle," or a wildly graffitied wall to which equally wild underbrush has attached itself.
Part of keeping the work honest and a genuine survival strategy for me is finding ways to never be bored with it. For my sake and for yours, I want it be mysterious, powerful, and still recognizably art, but how and in which ways exactly who can say for sure. I try not to create anything I wouldn't buy and put on display myself. Thus, taking time to free associate is conceptually important, as is looking at a lot of art in the flesh, and not just online.
I also experiment constantly with new materials and approaches. I paint in watercolour, ink, acrylic, aerosol, and oil. Sometimes I combine these, incorporate collage or graphite, or add earth or ash. At other times, too much freedom and a lack of boundaries overwhelms me and I go Zen, pushing just one medium and a few colours to a point of transgression.
When not painting, I sculpt in various industrial materials, write, translate, and play the violin very badly with my daughters.
Prior to dedicating myself to art professionally, I was a plasterer, computer programmer, and high school teacher.
Raised in Guelph, Ontario, Canada, I currently reside in the L.A. area.