I'm a 59 year old artist that's been painting since 1974. I'm self taught and have been labeled "Outsider/Visionary Artist" and I have no qualms over this description being that my desire, drive to create art is driven from personal issues and not from an "art for art's sake" or some preconceived notion of ever making a living from my artistic endeavors. I've often said that I paint because I'm unable to do much else...unfortunately that's closer to the truth than just a self effacing quip. I never acquired enough credits to graduate the low standards, rural high school that I attended. Predictably my only high marks were from Art and Creative writing classes. So it seems I'm the poster boy for ADHD!
  Yes, I know that the definitions over this term can be a bit loose and may be over diagnosed but with me, it fits me to a "T." This past summer I underwent six hours of "comprehensive cognitive" testing.
  Results: "slightly higher than average I.Q..." CRASHING into a dump truck loaded with ADHD! Or words to that effect... I view this prognosis as my blessing AND my curse, in that my learning disabilities motivated me towards creative endeavors and has much to do with my unique style which most academically trained artists can't touch in terms of originality. Most of my paintings/narratives reflect this mental make up as well. My subject matter seems made up out of a grab bag of diverse objects/situations interacting/reacting and though they are frequently dark in tone are rarely without humor. My work might be described as, Expressionistic, Impressionism and Surrealistic painterly styles meets big business advertising with the volume turned up to 10. At least that's my take on it.
  My paintings can always be viewed at Alana's Restaurant on High Street just north of campus and at Short North's P.M. Gallery. I've been involved in quite a few group shows over the past few years but my only "for sure" upcoming show is scheduled to be held at The Jung Haus 59 W. 3rd Ave. in July.

1. Describe for our readers the most compelling art piece you have made:

  I guess I'd have to say my "greatest hit," the 6 x 12 ft obsessively detailed "Mother Russia Meltdown" painting. I was initially inspired after witnessing the broadcast of the Berlin Wall being smashed up...then began to paint it in '94, finished it (for the first time) in '96. It's a densely populated wonderfuck, basically it's depicting a war between a platoon of Commie cherubs guarding their "Mother Russia" from an incoming barrage of Capitalistic figures with advertising imagery. It's gone over very well with viewers and its image has jumped off the pages of quite a few magazine and newspapers in the past 18 years. Even grabbed a "No holds barred Masterpiece" quote from Art's writer Douglas Utter when he reviewed my 2011 show for Cleveland Scene Magazine.

2. Tell us about your best, most successful, or most fulfilling art show.
  I guess debuting my aforementioned 12 x 6 ft "Mother Russia Meltdown"painting at the Acme Art Co. in '96. I knew it would go over well but was surprised by the "hang time" of the viewers. Meaning that the patrons who ordinarily would float in, move in a slow rotation round the gallery, then chat with friends, review a favorite or two and leave for the next gallery DIDN'T! They began to pile up in front of my painting and stay. It was as if they were viewing a movie or performance. As I remember the row count got up to about five. Not bad. Other shows of note would be the HUGE retrospective show at Astrisk* Gallery, Cleveland in '11 and my "featured artist" slot at L.A.'s Hive Gallery in Feb. 2012. An estimated two thousand came through the doors opening night as part of "Downtown L.A.'s Artwalk" which is like our own "Gallery Hop" except L.A. BIG! Disappointing show? Probably at Duff Lindsey's Gallery in fault, couple of strong pieces but overall...I'm guessing circumstances in my personal life dampened my creative fires. I had a sexy girlfriend, money, good health and no debts. I was just too damned comfortable to produce vibrant work! Thankfully I'm worse off now and am creating the most powerful work I've ever done.

3. If you could work with any other artists, alive or not, who would it be and why?
  Fortunately,VERY fortunately, I've participated in quite a few artistic collaborations over the years. Two talented artists pop up in my memory immediately.
  Columbusartist/writer/cartoonist/comedian,musician and weekend flying saucer pilot Paul Volker, who's input is always welcomed by me. Sculptor, designer Aaron Schroeder who, based on my own designs, built most of the custom made furniture within my house as well as contributing sculptures in my back garden.

4. How do you integrate art and politics or social justice issues?
  From back to my "art start" in '74, I've always thrown in some religious or social contradictions within the subject matter my work. Or maybe not "thrown in" as much as they just appear, it's rare that I'll sit down and think "and now I'm going to address THIS issue." It just seems that certain prevailing problems or shifts in America's perceptions of "reality" just seem to seep into my work. However lately, sad to say, I've been so disillusioned with politics that perhaps from now on I'll switch over to only painting abstracts...or maybe not...actually my two dogs prefer my Still Lifes .

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