Sunday, June 25, 2017



Hey there!

It’s been awhile,

but I’m happy to be back. Good news! Recently, I completed a couple of larger pieces in my Afro series.

I’m really happy to have finally finished this one. 

FRO 74 has gone through many different stages. and I probably could have finished it awhile ago. At one point, I seriously considered abandoning it but I’m glad that I decided to push through. Sometimes, what creates a challenge to completing a piece, especially large ones, is changing my intentions midstream.  

Initially, I thought FRO 74 would be a larger version of FRO 79. And even though it was based on 79, I wanted it to be different. That shift in gears caused the piece to take longer than I expected. Somewhere in the process of painting FRO 74, I decided to tilt her head to the side which felt more natural and elegant than her pose in FRO 79.

I ended up blocking off her face so I could work on the background without having the face be a distraction and also to avoid the temptation to rework it.The background probably changed more than any other part of the painting. I also considered cutting it apart and re-configuring the whole thing as I’ve done with work in the past but decided against it when I caught a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. As I said earlier, I'm really happy that I stuck with it because the final piece exceeds my expectations.

FRO 74 38x48", mixed media on paper
FRO 74 (detail)


BUY NOW-Fro 74 10x13 Print $35
BUY NOW-Fro 74 18x24 print $75
BUY NOW-Fro 74 24x36 print $150



Next, New FRO started off a little different and it’s process to completion was more straightforward. I began with the idea of creating a portrait that engaged the viewer directly…


more so than this smaller version.


At each stage, I enjoyed changing the configuration of her facial features as each micro-movement gradually changed her appearance. Much more than AFRO 74, this piece evolved quickly. I believe I was driven forward by the knowledge of what did not work in it’s smaller, sister version above. Her gaze is meant to evoke the moment when one unexpectedly catches a glimpse of their reflection in a mirror, caught in between thoughts; a universal, perhaps soul catching moment. My hope is to have viewers see themselves in the painting even if they are of different gender, age, race or complexion. Also, working at this size allowed me to experiment with collage in the details of her eyes and mouth.


New Fro 37x35", mixed media 2017
New Fro (detail)


BUY NOW-New Fro 10x10 Print $35
BUY NOW-New Fro 30x30 Print $150


More to come soon.





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Friday, September 16, 2016

ArtSlope***Opening Party TONIGHT*** Friday, Sept. 16,7pm-Midnight

I'm excited to share a preview of this new piece that I collaborated on with friend and fellow artist Jonathan Blum!

Come check it out TONIGHT at the opening party for Brooklyn's Big Tent and the launch of ARTSLOPE a nine day art festival in Park Slope, Brooklyn. This piece will be on display with works from 30 other Park Slope artists. 

At Shapeshifter Lab-18 Whitwell Pl (near 1st St), Brooklyn, NY 11215, Gowanus. Friday, Sept. 16,7pm-Midnight

I'll be spinning records throughout the night along with a few friends and fellow vinylheads.

Hope you can make it, if not, enjoy the preview!

Monday, August 8, 2016

WEEKLY PAINTING #10-Why I love Uncle Tom and Why You Should Too!

There was a time, when next to the "n" word

Uncle Tom was the worst insult that could be hurled at a person of color. Case in point, on a 1988 airing of the Geraldo Show
politician and activist Roy Innis (who has found himself on the unfortunate side of several debates including the issue of gun control) was called an "Uncle Tom" by John Metzger of the Aryan Resistance. Insulted and affronted, Innis leaves his chair and grabs Metzger by the throat, just before the whole show descends into bedlam, becoming one of the early, eventful moments in shock television.
At the time, I was old enough to know what the term meant and even though I don't remember ever being called an "Uncle Tom," (as so many similar slurs were freely used to hurt people in my childhood) I was often called "oreo" - meaning black on the outside and white on the inside. 
I began to wonder about the origin of the term "Uncle Tom" and decided that Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel UNCLE TOM'S CABIN was the best place to unearth some answers. To my surprise, the character of Uncle Tom was not the despicable traitor to his race, cavorting and conspiring with "old massa," that I had imagined. 
Later, greater insight came to me, from all places, an episode of the Jeffersons. In the show, George calls Louise's uncle, who's visiting from out of a town, an "Uncle Tom." Louise's uncle then gives George a brief history lesson about a man named Josiah Henson whose autobiography "inspired" Harriett Beecher Stowe's UNCLE TOM'S CABIN and was the basis for the character. It turns out that not only did Josiah Henson escape slavery and write his autobiography, he was a minister, abolitionist (helping many to escape slavery) and founder of a settlement and school in Canada for those escaping slavery. In addition, it seems that Stowe may have been more than just inspired by his autobiography- -
I was disturbed and irked that this man, Josiah Henson, who made such a compelling contribution to American history, literature and the abolition of slavery has had his legacy so altered and corrupted. A mentor of mine once referred to a quote that he attributed to the novelist  Flaubert,  - "eat like the bourgeois, talk like the bourgeois and save your anger for your art." At the time I heard it, I'm not sure if it was an affirmation of what I was already doing or a call to action, but it's stuck with me and has become an animating force for my work. Sambo, Uncle Tom, and all the wrongs of history, especially those that personally troubled me have become fodder for my art.
Still mystified as to how this man's name and character became an epithet and an object of derision, I continued my quest, all the while thinking about bringing his story to my work. This is the first painting....
Followed by this....
And sketchbook work...
I began to consider the divisive power of such a term, the negative consequences of such labeling and the parameters that determine if one is indeed an "Uncle Tom" or "sellout." Who or what jury determines such a thing? In a conversation with Cornell West and Tavis Smiley, musician Bill Withers questions the true meaning of the term "sellout." He makes the point that if an item in a store is 'sold out' it's a good thing but it becomes a negative when applied to a person. Questioning what it means when some successful rappers refer to themselves as"thugs" and inspired by Tupac's "Thug Life" tattoo I created this week's piece....
My intention is to suggest that there's an amount of "tommin" or "selling out" involved with anyone who has achieved a certain degree of success especially at the level of a wealthy  rapper, producer or musician (especially any who refer to themselves as a "thug" and/or  has crossed over to film and television. I remember reading that Snoop Dogg are good friends. I don't know, perhaps there's a thug and Tom in all of us.
And, I also recently finished this larger piece....
paying homage to Josiah Henson and attempting to recontextualize the term "Uncle Tom".
There are 10x10 prints available for $30 of these three.....
And 10x13 prints also for $30 of these...
These are 16x16 for $50
And finally, I have large 28x36 prints of this one  for $150
All images are printed on high quality, heavy watercolor paper with archival inks, hand signed with 2" boarders on all sides.
Just respond here to buy any of these prints, or if you have questions about the originals or would like to arrange a studio visit. 

WHERE TO FIND ME (this fall)

The Picture Book Re-Imagined (group show):
Pratt & Bank Street College of Education Exhibit
Closing Reception Thursday, Sept. 15th, 2016,
Pratt Manhattan, 144 West 14th St. 6-8:30pm

Under The Big Top (group show):
Opening Reception Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 (More info to come)

Brooklyn Book Festival:-Panel discussion-Censorship of difficult subject matter in children's literature-Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016
(See Brooklyn Book Festival websites for exact time & location)

Vegas Valley Book Festival: Signing & reading,
Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. 4th St.Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, Oct. 15th, 2016 10am-4pm,
(to be confirmed)

Gowanus Open Studios:
MadArts 255 18th St, Studio #30 Brooklyn, NY
Sunday, Oct. 16th 12-6pm

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Ghouls & Gourds:
Brooklyn Botanic Gardens 
Saturday, Oct. 29th, 12-4pm (to be confirmed)

Brooklyn Museum's 10th Annual Book Fair:
Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway
Saturday Nov. 12th, 12pm-4pm

Brooklyn Public Library Grand Army Plaza
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY
Solo Exhibit, Youth Wing
November 16, 2016 through the end of January 2017