Artwork

Communicating a personal narrative is imperative to my artwork. The notion that “the personal is political” is at the center of my artistic conceptual structure. My imagery and iconography is intentionally, overtly personal and is utilized as a tool scrutinizing and critiquing larger political structures. The format is appropriated from more traditional media (family snapshots, illustrated books, photo album’s, scrapbooks, etc.) as a way to evoke a sense of familiarity in the viewer, only to have his or her expectations challenged by decidedly non-traditional subject matter of an openly gay man, father, husband, and son. My overall goal is to engage the viewer by visually enticing them with a pleasant and well-composed image or book then delivering a message.

Experimentation and evolution of imagery is important to avoid creating work that is stagnant and lacking in purpose. In utilizing all media available, such as paper making, printmaking, digital photography, painting, and book making, I expand on the visual possibilities within each image.

Prints​

The difficult processes that I employ like require precision and forethought to execute and convey a simplicity that is a radical re-alignment of complex life experiences in an almost cartoon-like narrative form. I take common experiences of daily life and encourage the viewer to reconsider the deep repercussions of taking a typical experience like high school wrestling matches or childhood birthday parties for granted. As a part of my recent practice, I have chosen methods that have a less prescribed visual feel like the pressure printing process in contrast to the primitive reductive wood cut print process. By using this method, I hope to accentuate the idea of memory and the inherent lack of clarity, especially in relation to early memories from childhood.

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Books

My books speak  about the complexities of relationships. New relationships are formed as the viewer turns a page or revolves a cube. There is a connection between form, function, and the narrative.  My goal is for the viewer to respond to each spread and to see how that may relate to their own experiences. Sharing my personal narratives is a way to begin difficult or challenging conversations. Much of my artwork deals with the broad issues of questioning and examining the definition and role of the family; on exploring the notion of acceptance (i.e. how is “acceptance” granted or denied, who decides, what is the role or place of self-acceptance? etc.); on promoting conversations and dialogues that address these issues and concerns; and finally, on interaction; including personal exchanges that the work instigates, audience participation in the book arts, and viewer involvement.

 

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Paintings

My paintings go through a similar process to that of my prints and books. Each image is comprised of twenty or more color layers to articulate each image. I spend a great deal of time conducting research for each image. As an example, I spend hours going through old photographs from my childhood, web searches, and recalling memories to compile an image. For many of my images, I digitally create a sketch, draw on top of that image, transfer it to another support and then manipulate the surface. After painting has begun, exploration and sometimes experimentation with the medium at hand takes over until I am satisfied with the visual quality of the piece.

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"Healthy Poop" (2013)