“Maybe a lot of these paintings are like a terrarium, an allegory maybe of everything we all have to contend with, pro and con.“
What was your starting point in the art world? Looking back what have been the most important turning points?
Hmm. I have always had the compulsion to draw. I wanted to eventually do movie special effects and geared everything to that end – my schooling, my training – but anyone I ever worked with always said, “hey, you should consider making your own art,” in one way or another. Finally, after being pushed by my mom to do something with all the artwork building up around her house, I entered an art contest and was immediately contacted by what would become my first gallery.
Much of your work has a cinematic tilt to it. What is your relationship with this media? What are the films that most influenced you?
Oh, think of Star Wars, of course, Godzilla, The Wizard of Oz – all of it. My father was close to the film industry of old Hollywood so I also grew up on Errol Flynn and Gary Cooper films too. It goes on and on. I even eventually interned at the George Lucas Industrial Light and Magic company in what they called the Creature Shop.
In many of your paintings, the calm suburban life continues its boring routine while under the attack of gigantic angry chickens, destructive Godzilla-style lizards or with tremendous tornadoes in the background… What do you want to convey with this part of your work?
Not sure that it is anything I am trying to convey. It is how I see things. Truly. New life is always happening at the same time as imminent death. So maybe a lot of these paintings are like a terrarium, an allegory maybe of everything we all have to contend with, pro and con.
Many monsters, or monstrous scenarios. What would say is it that captures you of these figures from a conceptual and aesthetic standpoint? What their role in your imagery?
Not sure. Sometimes when I make a painting without an element of that nature it seems to be “missing.” At one point in life, I wanted to be a herpetologist and have a natural affinity perhaps for reptiles and what they do. How they look. Very wonderful animals.
Contrast and juxtaposition create on your canvas a cohabitation between the real world and the imagination one. This choice has -my opinion here- a strong conceptual end. Ideas in your paintings have equal importance as the figurative aspect… What is the common thread in your work? What overarching ideas?
Another thing that very much interests me is cosmology. A lot of what scientists are beginning to discover and work with is something they call the Holographic Principle. It is an idea that suggests, perhaps, that our universe might to some degree be a simulation. And while this is science and not science fiction, the two regions get close to one another from time to time. It is fun to ponder the idea that we all live inside our heads regardless. That is to say, the real world might indeed be also imagined – and by something if not by us. Fun!
In your bio, you go through your route of studies in the art world. What advice would you give to a young kid on this kind of choices?
My advice would be to pursue it. And if there is something you want to learn, seek a teacher whose work seems to fit your pursuit. But it is important to stay in love with the pursuit and find ways within art to love art itself. And take inspiration from the world that is directly related to your own experience. And don’t ever stop with “good enough.” Always do the best you can until you can do what anyone can do. And maybe then your own territory may present itself. But the most important thing is to stay extremely curious about everything!
An artist that you feel has most influenced your work? In what way?
Well, Wayne Thiebaud was a teacher of mine. I even still use his palette. He introduced his students to so many other artists and could also speak from a position high atop the art market – something that, by every account, including mine, never ever went to his head. Amazing man. Brilliant in my opinion. Our readers here should check out some of these interviews. I constantly revisit them.
A contemporary painter you want to give a shout out to?
Next and upcoming projects?
I had a huge show this last Fall and am now getting together what it takes to build up another body of work. Sketches, studies, models – just exploring right now! And I hope to “up” my game by trying a few new subtle things – or even not so subtle things!