"Lately I find myself wanting to spend more time in the dark."
NOTE: This show was exhibited in a unique viewing experience. The lights were turned off while viewers moved through the space using flashlights to view the work. In addition to these panels below, a large collection of sketches, most of which were automatic drawings taken from a four and half year period in which I experienced heavy depression, anxiety and hypochondria.
The space you are entering has been created with intent. I believe art is a powerful tool and should be used as such. Human beings just want to connect and feel they're not alone, I make art in an effort to do just that. To connect, and honestly, to feel less alone myself. 
Concerning matters of the mind, you can be easily convinced that you're alone. You may or may not find common ground with me after seeing this work, nonetheless this is my effort to talk with you.
The things that are hard to say, the things that are often left in the dark, are the things this show are made of. Just inside you will find mental imagery, places I have reluctantly visited and my best efforts to put them into visual terms. Hoping that each image be an outstretched hand to anyone who may find themselves in a similar place.
Let me stress. These aren't just pictures, and they aren't meant to live on a wall in your peripheral vision. I believe they contain energy, possibility and magic. Some art is worthy of a closer and longer look. Some art can speak and tell you something you didn't realize about yourself. Some art can even teach you something. 
So please, have a seat, and let's talk.
Bob Ross Shit: Mtns & Val, 2019
Painting: Coffee, Spray Paint, Pastel, Pencil, Black & White, Acrylic on Wood, Other.
You see a bed, I see a platform. Tucked away from all the noise just outside, in this dark corner, the stage is set. Here. I have gazed the landscape of my life from the tip tops. The peaks. I catch my breath with a smile. Here. I made it to the top, and next to me I hope she feels the same. Where love becomes practice, and practice makes habit. Here. I have recoiled. Clipped by the uncertainties & the unexpected. The predictably inevitable that came too soon. Here. I have never been so honest. It has a childlike quality. But then it’s, Here. I learned to grieve. So long ago. Mtns & Val.

This was created for a show focusing on mental health. Our beds are platforms, stages, sponges... they soak up some of the most joyous and desperate moments in our lives. If that energy could be bottled, it'd reside right here in this mattress. 

I included the pure white blanket to illustrate those peaks and valleys we experience, all being observed by the dark corner in the background which competes with the atmospheric light pouring through the windows as portals to the outside world. 

You see this mattress as if you are laying on the ground, the perspective is imposing and is meant to be as such. Just in front of it, you notice what looks like reflections. Reflections that make you consider the black floor as a vast dark sea, making that mattress an island.

There are multiple battles taking place here. Light vs Dark. who wins in your bedroom?
One time: ya blew it, 2019
Painting: Acrylic, Spray Paint, Pastel, Marker, Pencil on Wood.
Tell me ONE time ya blew it... I love asking this question because it’s funny but also revealing. Sometimes we can laugh at our behaviors as way to mask what's really going on, like when we are being self destructive.

Times I blew it:

- one time I spent the night in bar’s bathroom after “testing the waters” of my new meds, walked out the next morning barefoot, set off the alarm & ran to my car.

- one time I my wrecked car, locked my keys, phone & wallet in it then slept on a fire hall lawn on top of a bed of Taco Bell wrappers.

- one time I went to the store in a friend’s car then realized I had no idea how to get back, they passed out so I spent the night at a McDonald's parking lot in a sketch part of town.

- one time I ruined Thanksgiving by going too far on xans, parents found me in the bushes, someone’s broken window in the driveway & the mailbox knocked over.

- one time I almost burned to death in my car, my neighbor pulled me out as the flames & smoke filled the cab.

- one time I slept in an elevator.

- one time I ran through a barbed wire fence.

- a couple times I got banned from bars.

- a few times I went to jail.

- etc, etc, etc

The point is while I have laughed about these things it was all the result of a REAL problem underneath. I didn’t much care for myself. Borderline hate. But I put on my mask, and fooled a lot of people.

For all the one times, there’s a lot of times I hurt the people around me. A lot of times I ignored the love of others. For a long time, I wore a mask. To those I hurt: I’m sorry.

*someone’s self destructive behavior probably has a lot of layers.

What masks are you wearing?
Liability, 2019
Painting: Pastel, Spray Paint, Pencil, Latex, Acrylic on Wood.
If you were homeless, what would be in your cart? I’ve asked myself this question as I considered my father. He died a homeless man in the city I now live in. There was plenty I loved about him, but becoming him has been one of my greatest fears. At times, I’ve felt like more of a liability than an asset.

My cart:
- heritage
- wander
- love
- hunger
- hope
- instability
- a shield

Each item in the cart represents these things to me.

Take a minute & think about your cart. A lot has happened to lead someone to living on the streets.

I wanted this to look a little dreamy, as it is something I can only imagine to this point. I walk the streets my father was living on daily now. I can only imagine how he looked here. I was unaware of his condition until being notified by the police department that he had passed away during the night at one of the shelters.
Unpacked, 2019
Painting: Coffee, Pastel, Spray Paint, Pencil, Latex, Acrylic on Wood.
I wake up and it’s still there. Another day to carry this. I’m not sure where I’m taking it, the landscape is vast and cold. Expansive. Inside these tightly fit corners it’s contained. I just need a little room. The simplicity of the notion taunts. A small space in which to open this. The thought of it produces a burning inside me that resembles a slight glow. I’ve just amused myself... you can see it can’t you? It’s spilt. Too much to hold. Too volatile to hide. No longer can I confide, in these tightly fit corners. For all around to see, my baggage will reside.
Some boys, 2019
Painting: Spray Paint, Pastel, Marker, Latex, Pencil on Wood.
This is me as the anti-hero of my own life. This is me when I had given up on everything, even myself. The letter "B" on the t shirt symbolizes how I felt about myself at the time. The ultimate BOY. This piece was created for a show focusing on mental health. 

My intention behind every piece I make, is to be as honest and real as possible. If the subject makes me feel a little uncomfortable to share, I take that as an indicator to do so. I feel it is my duty as an artist to communicate my condition visually so that others can connect and know they are not alone.

Bold is the word that comes to mind in the presentation here. the subject is highlighted on the sterile white background. The viewer has no confusion as to what they should be focusing on, just as I intended.

As always in my work, I use any material necessary to achieve the look I'm going for, here I've used: pastel, pastel pencil, latex paint, maker, sanded eraser, acrylic paint and spray paint.
F•R•I•E•N•D•S, 2019
Painting: Coffee, Pastel, Spray Paint, Pencil, Latex, Acrylic on Wood.
I did it to myself. I put myself here. Through these eyes I trusted, and I had lofty expectations. Expectations that filled a well lit, clean white room bathed in the softest sunlight. I woke up to find myself here. The ominous corner behind me has somehow become my best companion. It’s truth, it’s stability, it’s unwillingness to budge or bend is a welcomed contrast to you. Like a handyman sleepwalker, I’ve tried to recreate my vision, but it’s mucky. Everything clean is dabbled with filth, and I sigh into the idea that will never change. You may have seen this episode, but I hope for your sake you haven’t. You know, “It’s the one where no one else is there.”
Bare bones, 2019
Painting: Wood Glue, Pastel, Spray Paint, Pencil, Latex, Acrylic on Wood.

One day I thought of what would happen if I were gone. I closed my eyes... I imagined text messages, those I knew having hushed conversations, I saw disbelief, concerns and a few questions. “What happened?” & “Why?” likely the headliners. And who could say? Idk. Ask my friends. Soon the conversation grew quiet. Then I was a just memory.

Depression is no respecter of persons, no matter how together you think you are. It can come unexpectedly, even after your entire life has changed for the better. Even when you think you’ll never have to see it again.

I call this piece, “Bare bones” because I don’t think there’s a time you’re more vulnerable than a moment you really ponder your existence. Nothing else matters then. Just you and forever.

It can be uncomfortable, and maybe you just don’t have words or know what to do. I think at the very least we should do our best to let those around us know we love and care for them. In some way. Idk. I don’t have the answers for this. One aptly timed day a friend asked me to come over for coffee. I met her newborn baby, and we talked. I didn’t mention anything I was dealing with at the time. But her warmth. She made it easier to breathe.
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