Artist Statement

Back in the 1970's there was a group called, "The Firesign Theater." They produced a comedy album titled, "I think we are all bozos on this bus." That has pretty much been my philosophy towards my art. It is satire. It is flippant. Painting and drawing are the way I deal with this crazy reality.  The red noses, the eye glasses, the bad teeth, and the flying bananas, are all symbols that I use to portray my vision of this world.

I started my professional career at a small screen printing company in Macedonia, Ohio. While there, I created the design, "CLEVELAND: YOU'VE GOT TO BE TOUGH!": my first real success. In 1979, I was accepted into my first May Show at the Cleveland Museum of Art which led to further invitations to group shows. In 1980, I began attending Syracuse University's MFA program. Part of that program involved trips to New York City. As a result, I was commissioned as an illustrator for Esquire, the New York Times, Playboy, and The Washington Post, etc .  My work gained national attention, and I got further commissions from publications, as well as having a prolific career showing my paintings in museums and galleries across the globe, principally Cleveland.

Over the years, I have experimented with different styles: loose and expressive, hard-edge and divisionist. In the tradition of Red Grooms, Peter Saul, Jim Nutt, Philip Guston, I use cartoon-like images to comment on society. I am influenced by Picasso, Van Gogh, Munch, R. Crumb, scores of cartoonists, illustrators, pop-art, surrealism, symbolism, and outsider art. In true postmodern fashion, I borrow from everyone. My paintings have been called ‘new image’, a term I like a lot. I strive to paint something that is ‘new’, even though I am using many conventions of the past. I balance tragedy and humor to produce outrageous scenes, and aim to not only make the viewer laugh, but think as well. Though my main medium is acrylic paint, I also have created thousands of waters-colors, prints, and digital paintings. There are no limits to my ideas, as I can not help but comment and poke fun at the absurdities of life, death and everything in between.