Bio

l_0fccc8eb077d3aed417d2608a97152c2
 

My love of art goes back to my early childhood. My Uncle Dominick was a painter/sculptor and his studio was in the midst of his brownstone home in North Bergen, N.J. I recall ascending the long wooden staircase a peregrination in itself adorned with niches displaying classic Greco-Roman statues of Gods and Heroes. At the top of the steps was  an ornate stained glass window that would create a magnificent show of multi-colored light. The smell of drying oil paint on canvas and freshly carved wood compelled me onward.

Entering his studio was nothing short of magical! Wall to wall canvas, frames, jars overflowing with brushes, pallet knives, carving implements, and paint tubes abounded. It is a recollection and an inspiration that is still vivid nearly  40 years later.

Throughout my childhood I drew pictures on any surface I could find. My favorite place to draw was beneath a marble table in our family living room. My favorite subject: dinosaurs.

High school was stifling to my creativity for a number of reasons. After High school I painted a few acrylics in college, and I painted two platoon flags during my brief stay in the Marines. Shortly thereafter I found myself in a dark place. I was facing a twenty year prison sentence and my first impulse to retain my sanity was to study god’s work and draw, draw, and draw some more!

As my sanctification by fire began so too did my diligent love of all things art. I diligently studied art theory and art history. A few years into my sentence I was introduced to portrait painting in oils by two older convicts and my love of oils took root! I spent many years painting portraits, one being a portrait of Mother Teresa which a friend of mine (Sister Lourdes of the Sisters of Charity) presented to Mother. I keep my Thank you note from Mother in a dry safe place and she was kind enough to verbalize that I captured her spirit better than any artist afore me (I suppose this little white lie won’t keep her from taking her deserved place in Heaven, lol!).

Around the same time I was commissioned by a Catholic priest to do an oil of Jesus (Christ in chains). This painting resided in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Rochelle Park, N.J. When my friend (Father O’Brien) retired, he offered it back to me and I ecstatically accepted it. It now resides over my fireplace.

During my stay in the Gray bar hotel I was introduced to the ancient art of Tattoo. I spent nine years honing my skills and upon my release I began working as a professional tattoo artist.

In my spare time I paint, create assemblages, and enjoy spending time with my six children. In the near future I would like to get into wood carving and sculpting.  

I am inspired by so many artists in the world that it would make no sense to list them all. In this day and age of “nanotechnology” discovering artistic talent is simple as clicking one’s mouse. My greatest inspiration is the Grandest Artist of them all: God! When I consider so many of his creations I am left with a feeling of awe. I Thank the Lord for all that I have, and all that I am. Without his grace, discipline, and mercy I would not be the man I am today.

031

My humble accolades are as follows:

Three drawings, one painting featured in Convictions magazine Volume 2, # 1 circa early 1990’s

My tattoos and tattoo awards have been featured in the following magazines over the last decade:

X-roads, Tattoo Expo (Incipient Jersey), Motorcycle Monthly Magazine (Harley Rendezvous…), In the flesh Tattoo Expo (Florida), Tabu Tattoo, Tattoo Planet, International Tattoo Art, and Tattoo Magazine.

My assemblage art has been featured in many newspaper articles and magazines such as One more for the Road (The Lo Brow Art of 80 Grit).

Myami Magazine (a magazine in Miami) on two separate occasions.

One of my oil paintings was featured for the cover of the 2003 Treasure Coast Competitive Art Exhibition at the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

I have had my drawings, oils, and assemblages in the A.E. Backus Gallery and Museum, Fort Pierce FL. on four separate occasions and I won a “Second place” ribbon for one of my oils and a “Best of Show” ribbon for an assemblage I did last year titled: Swine Flu Soiree.

A gallery show at Fusse Studios in Miami, FL.

A gallery show at the Martin County Council of the Arts art gallery in Jensen Beach, Florida.

A Gallery show at the Ft.Pierce Art Bank.

And I have exhibited my art over a dozen times at the annual South Florida Tattoo expo. This exhibition raises money each year for the Joe Dimaggio’s Children’s Hospital. It occur’s each year during the second week of August in Coral Springs Florida.

The main body of my work has dark overtones for two reasons: First, my artistic abilities were developed on the anvil of chaos in a maximum security prison,. Melpomene: the Greek muse of tragedy was my muse in this painful abode. Secondly, we live in a dark world and I am not the kind of artist who wishes to sugar coat the truth by offering congenial images reflecting a facade of superficial wellness. For beneath the surface lies a dark side to this human condition that must be confronted on a collective level. I strive to persuade, if you will, this confrontation one piece of art at a time; one viewer at a time.

I hope and pray that I am able to perpetuate my vocation as an artist because for lack of a better description I feel my art gives me a sense of purpose and I genuinely believe I was created to be an artist, and besides, I am having fun doing what I do.

l_303009c88917751f0bfcec2d72b40982