Artist Statement

Pathos in art is an age old tactic, yet its purpose to persuade and provide an emotional corridor between art and viewer has the power to create Oneness. Indivisibility. Connection

I seek to be a voice for those that don’t have a voice. Too caught up in a struggle to survive…or barely surviving.  As an artist and social activist, my work reflects the forces that haunt our society, our community, our families and loved ones. This struggle, that can be felt and experienced by all, is what fuels me. Driving me, enraging me, compelling me to bring to life the pain and rawness of addiction, mental illness, isolation, despair, social injustice…and importantly, hope and faith in our shared future.  

Seeing the world through the lens of an artist, an activist, an angry and hurt brother, a father, a husband, a friend – is what grounds me in my mission to illustrate the often complicated “human” element through my work. I use my work to agitate and disturb the habitual reasoning that we all succumb to in order to cover what/who we do not want to interact with. I try to catch the viewer at that moment when we, viewer and artist, step out of our personal bubbles and can meet “face to face”. My hope is to provide the human context that will remind us why and how we need to confront ourselves with aspects that shouldn’t be ignored or neglected.  

My studio tells its own story. A narrative of inspiration, passion, vulnerability, hope.  I believe that the technical aspects of my art may be just as stimulating as its emotional and aesthetic intent. I employ older sculpting methods such as blacksmithing, ironworking, and sand casting, while utilizing CAD software to deliberate, draft, build and eventually communicate with the foundry. The experience of using heat, pressure, or even a simple hammer to coax metal into shape, derives a sense of pleasure and accomplishment that is immeasurable. The burnt fingertips, perpetually dirty hands, the cuts and bruises, all culminate in the finished works, often merging painting and sculpture to create something experiential. In this transition from contemplation, subliminal inquiry and physical manifestation, is what motivates me to continue keep going.

My most ambitious, personal, and controversial project to date was the Opioid Spoon, a symbolic eight hundred pound, ten-foot metal replication of a simple household utensil that has been modified millions of times, to cook and inject opioids. I crafted the Spoon in honor of my own family’s struggles and those of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to the horrific opioid epidemic. To bring attention to the pharmaceutical industry’s malfeasance, who knowingly and with deliberate greed was complicit in this national crisis, I dropped the Opioid Spoon in front of OxyContin manufacturer, Purdue Pharma. It didn’t assuage my anger but it gave me and hopefully others, a “David” moment. The Opioid Spoon has since become a national symbol of the epidemic, and our right as a community to seek justice.