1. The cornerstone piece of this show is Love Kills, which has the story behind it that’s printed in the show ad. How do other pieces in this show also identify with Love Kills?
The piece “Love Kills” is a more literal reference to the overall theme of the show since it portrays the volatile love between Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy, which ultimately led to both of their deaths. Some of the other pieces, however, don’t make such an obvious visual connection to this overall theme. The piece “Crass” represents my relationship with punk rock and period of my younger years where I was trying to find myself as an individual and an artist. Political punk gave a voice to my youthful frustrations but also gave way to other bad habits like drinking and cutting myself and that’s how something you truly love can also kill you. I have also included little pieces of memorabilia in my works that correlate to this dichotomy between love and pain. The old newspaper clippings represent the memories I cherish of my father, but also the pain of his recent passing. There are also odes to a couple ex-girlfriends, who have undoubtedly caused a lot of love and hurt in my life.
2. Are there certain characters that you are connected with? Talk about them and the symbols like hearts and spider webs that continue to show up in your works.
Love has always been an interesting subject for me; just the fact that it can evoke so many other emotions. It can make you happy, frustrated, calm, crazy, confused, enlightened, and every emotion in between. That’s why I enjoy using some darker creatures, like bats and spiders, to represent the love theme, it’s kind of like an interesting twist, a surprise.
3. What are your major creative influence? music? other artists?
I would say that my friends influence me the most. From artists to musicians to jewelry designers, my friends continue to inspire me on a daily basis. Growing up I always had my idols, from Sid Vicious to Salvadore Dali… but also some which have even ended up becoming my friends. One of these people in particular is Jamie Lynn. As a teen I envied both his snowboarding and artistic talent. Being part of the snowboard industry, we have crossed paths on both artistic and professional levels. I think that now being able to call Jamie a friend inspires me even more because I am able to understand the artist’s viewpoint on a more personal level. I also really enjoy collaborating with other artists whose work I look up to; it allows me to get to a creative place that I may not have been able to get to on my own.
4. You love to travel… a big part of Love Kills is your trip to NYC… talk about one of your other favorite places to go… or a memorable trip….
One of the first trips that comes to mind is my Tokyo, Japan trip with the Iam Snowboarding crew. My art was featured in a traveling art show in memory of pro-snowboarder Jeff Anderson. First off, being able to experience such a shocking difference in culture is something I will never forget. Art and new inspiration were everywhere I turned. It is such a creative and loud city, and I felt that it perfectly suited my style of art. It also felt really nice to be recognized for my art, I made a ton of new friends and people who truly appreciated my work. Being around other artists, as well as celebrating the life of another artist also makes for a very memorable trip. Another trip that I will never forget is the month-long music tour I did with Valient Thorr. I couldn’t think of any other group of people that could ever top the fun that we had on that tour. It’s probably better if I keep some of those experiences to myself, but I can confidently call those some of the best times of my life.
Bonus Question: What do you want people to take away from your art?
I want people to look at my art and see that I am willing to put a lot of my own life into each painting. Sometimes it’s scary to put yourself and your story out there for all to see, but my best works come from my own life experiences, particularly the hard, shitty ones. It makes it worth it when someone can look at my work and relate to that creativity. I also like to have a relative complexity to my work. When someone buys one of my pieces I want them to be able to continuously look at it and find something new that they may not have noticed before. Each thing, from newspaper clippings to concert ticket stubs has its place and purpose. I truly believe art is an extension of our life experiences, and I enjoy sharing mine with others.