These are personal paintings about the human condition. Life size figurative work in urban settings.
I am curious about ceremonies, cultural identity and tolerance. The aim is to feel something and be present.
Since I am a native of New York City I tend to use urban themes. My heritage is biracial, and I am interested in African and European cultures. Ceremonies intrigue me as well as spiritual fervor. I am interested in things that are considered taboo and breaking them open to reveal that there is nothing to be afraid of. That everybody has the same origin and needs only to sit at a table with someone outside your culture to realize that we are all one.
One of my models – an African Priest – inspired a series of paintings on African ceremonies: The Initiation, Drawing down the Moon, and Isaih. I was intrigued with a practice that is foreign to me, being raised a Roman Catholic. I have done a series on African Drummers in Central Park (Soul Sisters) and it evolved into African Ceremonies.
The Kiss shows love across color lines, since the girl is bi-racial. Conspiracy recalls the UN Conference on Racism. The heartbreaking events of 9/11 as seen from my Brooklyn rooftop is depicted in “Mourning Twins” and “Hear no Evil, See no Evil”.
Each painting requires a different approach. Sometimes in a park or on the street, I see something and it strikes me. I sketch it down so that I don’t forget, and then proceed to hire models and set up the scene that I have in mind.
The drawing usually comes first. Life-size charcoal and chalk on paper. I work with one model and move them around, overlapping them until I reach a pleasing outcome. This is much more spontaneous and very similar to automatic writing.
Other times I work on a painting after I have done a grisaille from the charcoal sketch and then continue it with the model from life.
Since being an only child I was constantly with elders and forever with a pencil and paper in hand. I drew people constantly. I spent most of my summers in Argentina as a child and recall going to church with such enthusiasm, only because I knew I would see great art. The architecture, the paintings, and the feeling it evoked in me. When I go to the museum now, I feel as if I am stepping into a church. The reverence I have for the art that has come before me influences me to record my personal experiences.
Simmons “Art for Life”
$ Rush Arts
$ Rush Arts
$ SoHo 20
$ Painting “Soul Sister” on loan to US Ambassador to Bangui, Central Africa, with the US State Departments’ Art in Embassies Program, Washington, DC 1999-2002
$ Milton Library, group show, Milton Connecticut (1999)
$ Madelon Powers Gallery ─ East Stroudsbourg University of Pennsylvania (1998), 2 shows (solo/group) project coordinator for the touring exhibition of “Artists paint artists”
$ Cafe Axum ─
$ Cork Gallery ─
$ Studied with Harvey Dinnerstein, 1990-96
$ Studied with Ron Sherr, 1990-96
$ Art Students League, 1989-96
$ National Academy of Design, New York, 1989-96
$ Art Students League
$ American Artists Professional League, Inc.
Private Collections / Commissions
$ CLR James
$ Dr. C.
$ Dr. and Mrs.
$ Peter O’Toole
$ Chris Rock show
$ Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation Scholarship
$ Merit Scholarship, Art Students League
$ Lloyd Sherwood Scholarship, Art Students League (three years)
Mention Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts,
$ Eda Mirsky