Artist Statement

When I was young, I went silently unnoticed. I was unseen. Nothing I had done or was going to do was regarded to be of any importance. It wasn't until my adoptive mom told me that I was her youngest son's shadow, that I could finally put a name to my dilemma. With this strange new label that followed me through my childhood, I found myself questioning my own identity. I had thought my adoptive mom knew me; I had thought she was one of the few people that really noticed me, yet she wasn’t even gazing at me.  

Many of my pieces contain figures that want to be noticed, but yet they seemly blend into their backgrounds that I create for them. These figures which I refer to as “Shadows” or “Shadowboy,” are a by-product of their background. They are safe, within this reality, that I’ve made for them; they are within themselves. I frequently incorporate found photos of my biological mom,  specifically her eyes; they are the ones that sit in the painted shadows. It was the way she used to look into me, how she really saw me, that I found remarkable. I want others to experience this feeling of being seen.

Before my biological mother's passing, she used to frequently tell me that God brought me back to her and that God had given her a second chance. The crosses throughout my work represent my mother's religious devotion to God and her love for me, but it’s in her devotion to God that confuses me and hinders my ability to fully understand and see her.