Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
Long Island, with a short stay in St. Louis during middle school/high school. I live in Brooklyn now, with everyone else.
What's your background as an artist?
I've been drawing since I was really young, I started copying comics from the paper and took it from there. My parents were very encouraging and always found art classes to put me in. I started college thinking I would be a painter; after my first year I started experimenting with printmaking, bronze casting, embroidery, and book binding and eventually focused just on printing. After college I worked in a lithography studio that did a lot of experimental printing with both emerging and established artists. I learned so much watching how each artist approached their work, and as much as I loved printing, at the end of the day I wanted to simplify the process of making my own work. Thats when I went back to drawing, no chemicals, stones, ink, etc. just a piece of paper and a pencil.
Have you always worked in graphite? What does it mean to you to work in black and white?
Not always, I still occasionally make prints and in between larger graphite works I make smaller watercolors to take a break from drawing. When I first started these drawings I was still printing for other artists and just wanted to simplify my work as much as possible. Using black and white was the natural approach for me. Now I've come to a point where I want the work to have a vagueness so it can be very personal for many different viewers. Working in black & white is a way of keeping the subject neutral and even more open to the viewers perception. It's important to me to only make a suggestion to what the work is about, I have a clear story line in my mind for each piece but its not important that that anyone else knows it.
In On The Cut (in progress)
There are definitely some subversive subjects in your work. What themes are you most interested in exploring?
I'm mainly interested in finding balance. I've been using the relationships around me, between friends, strangers in passing, and my own as the starting point to each piece. I'm interested in the different power struggles everyone goes through to find their idea of balance with others and themselves. For awhile I was thinking just about relationships in nature, how parasitic and symbiotic relationships worked which led to observing those around me and in my own life.
The two pieces with multiple eyes "Lady Eyes" and "Re-Growths" are quite jarring but have their own strange beauty. What are these works about?
These are about overreaching for some sort of personal stability and trying too hard to make too many things work all at once. They're both about specific people with a lot of inner demons trying to make things right for themselves- there's an overall normalcy to both but quietly still in turmoil. Drawings like "Skinny B's" and "In On The Cut" are all about symmetry. What attracts you to these kinds of compositions? It comes back to balance. To me these are examples of different behaviors somehow being exactly the right balance for the subjects. A lot of the times when I use multiple figures, they're representative of different sides to one individual reflecting on themselves. When I'm thinking along those lines, I'll use symmetry to reinforce the thought of reflection.