What compels my artistic practice is the desire to convey that which I have found to be true in all of the countries I have traveled to: that our commonalities as human beings far outweigh our differences. Divisions are often either superficial or artificially created based on racial, economic, and national ideologies. Where we are similar is of a more profound metaphysical caliber: the bond between brothers, the love between mother and child, the kinship shared through creative endeavors; these run like threads in the great fabric of generations.
The reasons behind my use of recycled material are multilayered. First, I believe that artists have always used materials close-at-hand. I use what is most readily available to my era—waste from our globalized consumer culture.
Secondly, my use of trash is a spiritual practice in the sense that it is re-transfigured into something of beauty.
Finally, using post-consumer waste is a socio-political act: it is both a form of recycling, and it expresses our interconnectedness and commonalities as human beings—in what we value, share, consume, and cast away.
My artistic practice has taken me on a lifelong “shoestring” adventure—packed with action and magic—that has variously found me training in Beijing with Kung Fu masters; tango dancing in Buenos Aires; in riots in Chile; eating dinner on dirt floors with Tibetan exiles in Nepal and at the dinner tables of famed filmmakers in Italy; on the couches of Panthers and Weather Underground; in medicinal ceremonies in the Amazonian jungle; at Tahrir Square with a million Egyptians... I am a humanist artist: unapologetically narrative, and for whom art and the social world are inseparable. I use the proceeds of the sales of my art to witness the world firsthand—i.e.-when I sell a painting, I buy a plane ticket and go!
It all began with a natural integration of my sociopolitical beliefs with a sheer joy of art-making, and has since developed into an artistic praxis by which I integrate the human realm- its individuals, cultures, and struggles- with its refuse, in order to address the issues I feel most passionate about. I have been to more than 50 countries, immersing myself, to the best of my abilities, in the daily life of countries like Nepal and Nicaragua, cities such as Istanbul and Caracas, studying languages, getting around on foot or by bus, sketching, making friends, and collecting disinherited commercial “waste”. Inevitably I return to my studio in Santa Fe, NM, to create series of works that are exhibited and collected internationally