Prior to being an international award-winning and nominated artist, I began painting because the majority of baby photos possessed by my family had been lost through countless moves throughout the United States. The ability to see oneself is paramount to self-identification. Painting was my way of documenting my existence. Artifacts that attested to a personal lifespan.
Born in Chicago, based in Los Angeles and Paris, I am an anomaly produced amid a mélange of systems. Displacement has been a reoccurring theme in my life. As a middle child, developmentally, and an INTP logic and intuition were activities that clarified an ever-changing external environment. I have two awards from two former presidents, George W. Bush and his father, for my longstanding commitment to the most vulnerable within our communities.
I transitioned to depicting the statues of Paris after experiencing an emotional fracture with the death and murder investigation of Jeanette O'Keefe in December 2001. I was researching at the Bibliothèque nationale de France at the time, in addition to my studies at La Sorbonne, where I ingested over eight thousand pages that comprised "The Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud." Consumed by a psychological paralysis, I became agoraphobic, and I began to identify with the only other presence that made sense –the statues that were petrified, frozen in a moment in time like I was.
The statues were the only witnesses around me that I could relate to. Trauma led me to marry psychoanalytic principles to art –creating the world I needed most. The statues around me provided a sense of safety in a fragile environment where I placed the architectural background of Paris at the forefront of consciousness through observation.
Nearly a decade later her murderers were caught.
Being both left and right brained has served me well as an artist and research scientist. Formerly, as a self-represented gallerist of the Muizz Gallery of Newport Beach, I was able to logistically straddle two worlds at once, with one foot in business and the other grounded in creativity.
Something I wish more emerging artists were able to identify is that as they continue to navigate this chosen path, the things they consider failures –the moments that bring them to their knees, eventually accumulate into stepping stones and turning points that will lift them up to their highest potential should they be able to sustain a recommitment to themselves. After a certain period, the evidence of this will appear as if by magic.
This is something I wish I had known. But the paradox is that the journey is one of conviction –of things believed but unseen. Now that I am no longer agoraphobic I have validated this for myself. How opportunities are not always about being the best but the most steadfast. For I have come undone and decoded enigmas while striving for renewal. I have reconciled failures and losses, and redeemed this journey through expression. I have come in contact with many marvels. I can account for myself. And above all, I am fulfilled and filled in knowing firsthand what it means to throw oneself wholly into this exceptional existence.
Be you for you.
"Being an artist means seeing things and never being able to shut your eyes."
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