Growing up I was surrounded by the incessant beat and the fascinating backdrop of a great American city -- Chicago. Sounds of trains passing by my family’s apartment, homeboys blaring music from their cars, the calls of young people jockeying for a spot in the street hierarchies, almost daily visits to the beach after school (even in the winter), guitar lessons at the Fine Arts Building, free tennis lessons at the park, sirens from the firehouse a block away. This was the soundtrack to my life as a young Chicagoan, and now you can feel, hear and sense all of it in my work. Look closely.
I am the third of three children to a wonderfully creative mother. She did not draw or paint, but she threw the best parties for me and my siblings. These parties weren’t for the typical holidays or birthdays, but rather spontaneous, fun affairs, each with incredible themes, I remember helping her with all the intricate details she felt were so important and made them so unique.
Now I realize she was escaping the stresses of being a single mother by creating something amazing with things immediately available to her, even when she couldn’t afford paint supplies. She once created a Ferris wheel out of toothpicks that actually moved when you would spin it and I would spend precious moments wrapped in the world she’d created. Now I can appreciate that she managed to channel her stress into creation, rather than drug abuse, violence or despair – choices that would have been at the time, easier to make.
My work tends to be about our choices and the impact those choices have on those around us. It is also greatly influenced by the impact architecture has on me, as a Chicagoan. The power of a great skyline and the planning it takes and the inspiration it can engender in its inhabitants is of acute interest to me.
Small plans do not stir my soul. The grandeur of incredible buildings around the world inspires me to create pieces that often can’t be categorized as painting or drawing or sculpture. But that’s okay. People didn’t know how to categorize K.D. Lang either, but she’s made an enormously successful career for herself with her talent – perhaps because of this ambiguity.
I am an extension of my mother's creativity -- a creativity that did not have a chance to blossom due to the great responsibility she was forced to shoulder on her own. My art is the progeny and the influence of architecture, my beautiful city and its incredible life beat; my muse is being my mother’s daughter.