One day I was walking down Stephen Avenue Mall, it was a warm day and I spotted a busker, A big man with a big red beard playing the harmonica while making a little wooden puppet clog dance.
As I approached him he turned to me and nodded. He was dressed in fringed cow hide jacket with trousers to match.
I asked him if I could take his picture, he said ”yes”. I took the picture and thanked him and asked him how life was. He simply replied, “ I love doing this, what more can a man do?
I went home that night and made a drawing and a small 16x20 painting, and left it sitting where I could see it every day.
Here I am Oct 02, 2017, I've had a couple of martinis, and I walk into my studio, pick up a brush and start smearing paint on a fresh canvas.
This is the moment, I realized what I was missing, it was "where I live" creatively, literally, and metaphorically.
I knew what I should be painting now.
Someone I deeply respect, once said to me, "a good artist pays attention to his environment, then paints his experiences".
I had been searching a long time for the very thing I already had.
“Urban Culture” is where I live, it is where I feel most comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time, it amuses me and annoys me, but most of all it keeps me engaged as a person and an artist.
It started with that one street performer and have expanded my vision to include a whole world of performers and narratives about the people, places, and events that make up our urban centres around the globe.
My images come from many places, and yet there is a common energy among them.
The very nature of my process as a painter is not static, so it is that vital energy of the inner city that drives my creativity and transforms my canvases.
It astounds me, that after living among such profound, diverse energies, we as human beings are still looking outside our selves for ways to generating it.
Whenever I begin taking inner city life for granted, I witness some wild and crazy spectacle, that I embrace and make part of my work.
Everything I paint has a relationship to my life and the inner city, I express it as "urban culture", a living experience that is nothing short of a cultural smorgasbord.
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