The focus of the following poems is the interplay between people, which I think is the only way a person can know what their condition is. Other people are the mirror in which we see ourselves, and the only means by which we can know our own condition, which I do believe is the only condition we can truly know.
How often do you question your existence or the existence of others? Can we ever feel completely certain of the external world (or even our own inner world)? The following visual art series, “Disintegral,” focuses on the alienating effects of dissociative disorders, in which the sufferer feels fragmented, solipsistic, and unreal. “Disintegral” focuses on this fragmentary feeling through a series of pen and ink drawings.
In “Ghosts of Venice” we are privy to the inner thoughts of Gil, a man living in Venice Beach. He starts his day trying to mend his relationship with his girlfriend after fighting the night before. Gil has two powerful forces acting within him: his analytical/logical thought system, and his irrational impulses. Gil tries to understand the dynamics of what makes himself and others happy, while ironically causing his own pain. The story asks these fundamental questions: Who are we? Do we choose our identities or are they chosen for us? And, do we get to choose what we want?
Written during a trip to London with my husband, this piece documents a pivotal and transformation period of time where I began to rediscover a sense of self by letting go of self. A candid journey inward, questioning what it means to be human, to be a father, to be a gay man, but most importantly to be authentic.
As humans, we are relational beings. Most obviously, we develop and rely on relationships with others (e.g., family, friends, or work associates), creating a sense of community. Less obvious are the relationships we create with ourselves, with activities we do that give us purpose, and with nature. The following poetry collection touches on a variety of impactful relationships between an individual and the self; parents, grandparents, and cherished things; community during a crisis; tribal/clan culture; and God and nature. Who are we if not a compilation of who and what we choose to surround ourselves with?
How is the self conceptualized when viewed from someone else’s perspective? This foreign perspective brews doubt and confusion within the subject’s mind. It results in a gradual decline of confidence which, in turn, leads to complacency or inaction. “Only Fools Can Be Truly Happy” draws on this confusion of self-perception and attempts to bring forth the complexity and unpredictability of human behavior.
The following illustrations tell the story of the odd and isolated. Those of us who enjoy spending time with nothing but ourselves as we admire all parts of nature, such as beautiful landscapes and the clouds in the sky, experience reality differently than those whose days are filled with to-do lists, deadlines, and other people. Finding peace and relief from the frustrations of the real world is necessary every once in a while, and can entail travelling into a zone of enlightenment to the point at which we start to see the surreal. The following illustrations intend to show the power of taking time to experience the earth and one’s self.
How important are reflective, contemplative, and calming experiences for individual growth? Is the modern world priming us to need more of these moments or less? Is self-doubt required for personal development?
The following sculptures incorporate surrealistic, mythological and magical imagery — often with whimsical overtones — aimed at provoking our experiences and self-reflections. Intending to unbalance our rational minds, the predominant imagery deals mostly with facial expressions of both living and “non-living” beings, and things that speak to us in their own languages. They are textural, metallic and mixed media assemblages that have been assembled, disassembled and reassembled, becoming abstractions unto themselves.