I grew up in the much-desired, mostly undeveloped coastal wetlands of Virginia. While it was not a challenge to escape into nature as a child and even into young adulthood, I never had anything in view as sublime and seductive as the sculpted San Gabriel Mountains. When I moved from my childhood home, an area with a maximum elevation of 50’ to an area with a base elevation of 1,000’ in view of 10,000’ mountains, it drastically affected my work. Within weeks of moving to San Bernardino I had summited my first peak: Mount Baden-Powell (9,406’). This was an exhausting, cold, painful, but ultimately empowering experience. Baden-Powell is the site where I would later begin The Nomadic Gallery: Mountaintop Gallery, in an attempt to draw others breathers to the inspiration that grabbed me, just as it has attracted artists like Thomas Cole and Ansel Adams and even further to the beginning of art. These mountains tower over in a way that teaches someone their own tiny size while standing at the base, and their personal immense power while standing on the top.
My grandfather made an adventure across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States during World War II, my mother went on a journey backpacking through Europe in the 1970s, and now I embark on my pilgrimage into the depths of art to search for the same thing as those before me. Channeling the traditional American pioneering spirit, I aim to conquer ideas that appear unconquerable to myself, such as what does it mean and how much power do we have to occupy a body in this political world. I physically use and sometimes alter my body and the physical art gallery to express concepts relating to what it means to be an artist and a consumer of art, such as what is the value of art, and where does the current artist desire to take their work. In The Nomadic Gallery, I use the act of carrying the literal and metaphorical weight of the institution of Art to the top of the mountain, allowing some to experience art in a way that no one has before.
My other recent exploration includes, The Fragility of Labels, Cover-Up and Body of Work. This vain of production focuses on the physical human body and the effect of altering it’s appearance. Through the removal of gender labels, covering of bodies, and literal inscription on flesh, I am engaging the viewer in what it means to be an artist, as well as a human body in a constant state of observation and judgment.