I am a firm believer in the power of art to affect change. My work addresses contemporary views of social, political, and cultural issues. These narratives explore relevant varied themes such as racism, war, healthcare, abuse of power, and political climate. My large-scale paintings often depict unsettling images of power, struggle, violence, and fear while others sit in contrast showcasing the more human side to these struggles.
My current body of work deals with racism in America and is informed by my experiences. I grew up in the greater Philadelphia area and then served in the military for 20 years in the Air Force where I travelled the globe and called many places home. One place was Montgomery, Alabama and it was there where I first came face to face with how ugly racism is. While at a gas station, I was greeted with a shotgun and told, “We don’t serve your kind.” All of this because my friend was with me who happened to be black.
It wasn’t until then that I realized how real racism was. It was also then that I wanted to help become a voice for the African American community and stand against this type of behavior. My friend and I barely made it to the next gas station before we ran out of gas but we made it. How many others don’t? I experienced a very small sample of what African Americans and other marginalized figures experience every single day.
I’m exercising a voice against racism in my current work. In my series Injustices, I have painted seven large-scale portraits of the Mothers of the Movement. These are seven mothers who have lost their children due to inexcusable brutality and the misuse of lethal force by police. These portraits are monochrome, a blinding bright yellow on white canvas. They are hard to see and create a tension that highlights the difficulty these Mothers have experienced.
My current body of work also includes a social and politically charged painting depicting a police brutality scene. It is a scene where a black man is being abused/shot by multiple police. This painting is dark and graphic. It is also very large in scale being 20 feet wide by ten feet high. Like the portraits of the mothers, it is hard to look at. This painting exposes racism and police brutality that leaves children dead by the hands of police, sworn to defend and protect them.