Artist Statement

My art is influenced by caricature and mural art. When I was fifteen years old I realized that realism did not capture the emotion or essence of the human experience. So I took a sketch pad and started experimenting with methods of distorting faces. I remember being fascinated by the caricatures of celebrities in Entertainment Weekly. Some were Cubist-inspired and others were more illustrative. After a year of painting celebrity caricatures I started creating caricatures of everyday people, which is what I do today.
My love of mural art began when my older brother (who is also an artist) asked me to help him paint a children’s mural twelve years ago. I realized while I was painting alongside him that my artistic expressions felt more natural when I worked larger. After that project I went to Home Depot and bought several boards and entrenched myself in the study of mural art. I became fascinated by the works of Rivera, Siquieros and Orozco. I cherished the book Community Murals-The People’s Art by Alan W Barnett. I remember being enamored of the artwork “Chicano Moratorium” by Gronk. I had never seen such horror and expression in an artwork before. I wanted to do artwork that had that level of impact.
My current work consists of portraits, mostly representative of myself, but sometimes caricatures of other people and their inner lives. Lately I have been creating paintings that represent the roles that I play in my life. My recent paintings represent how I might be perceived by my peers coupled with the complicated nature how I view myself. I use my work as a means of defining my spiritual beliefs and my attempts at connecting with the spirituality and individuality of others.
While I have struggled with mental health issues since a very young age, in the past decade I have begun to comprehend through professional help my dual-diagnosis of bipolar disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. That dual-diagnosis, on the other hand, does not fully explain what I feel and experience and I still struggle to choose what, if any labels define who I am. As of right now I use art as a form of catharsis. I pour my raw and vulnerable feelings into my work and really don’t care about the comfortability of my work to an audience.  I hope the work will show my pain, and that the audience will sympathize with the often depressed and often silly nature of who I am.