My work explores issues and dynamics in contemporary family structure. I loosely draw from my personal experience as an only child of a single parent mother. I investigate the allure of a neighborhood street gang through the perspective of a boy growing up without a father figure. I present the gang as an extended family, accompanied by it's own set of values that communicate and instill a level of masculinity and toughness beyond a mother's capability. I am most interested in the duality within these values and accompanying feelings. Aspects of pride and shame, affiliation and separation, respect and disrespect, etc. often mirror themselves in my work. Ultimately, I question the idea of the gang being seemingly capable of replacing the missing father figure. For better, or for worse.
I build my paintings through a unique set of marks that mirror those of graffiti and territorial ‘tagging.’ These marks are often made of rough, broken color that when viewed up close, seem as foreign as the figures’ hand gestures; yet optically assemble themselves from afar. Many of these marks aim to capture the atmosphere of the figure’s energy and environment. They are neither a part of the figure nor the background, yet inform and describe them both.