Introduction | High Speed Photography | Photo Montage | Painting and Photography | Wood Sculpture | Limestone Sculpture | CV
Five Heads 20” x 60”
When I look at my night photos, I see more than an image. I relive the time spent with each person and I remember their stories. In an effort to bring this experience closer to the viewer, I constructed the wall mounted photo montages below. I also began exhibiting framed photos with short narratives.
We are told that storytelling is fundamental to human behavior. In fact, linguists have found that narrative form is constant, regardless of the race, class, gender, or religion of a storyteller.
The montages were made by dry mounting 11” x 17” color copies to foam core. The shapes were then carefully cut out and the edges were painted with two coats of acrylic to exactly match the photo. The backsides received several pieces of Velcro and these were then placed against concurrent pieces of velcro on the wall. Each montage utilized up to fifty-three separate photos. Stories were hand written on matching photos and placed within or alongside the montages.
1999 Centro Cultural de la Municipalidad de Miraflores, Retratos De La Noche, Lima, PERU
The most important exhibition of my career thus far, Retratos De La Noche (Portraits of the Night), was by all measures a great success. This gallery space, located in the Municipalidad de Miraflores (Miraflores City Hall) is considered the most important gallery in Peru. The gallery director, Luis Lama, is the county’s leading art critic and the director of a Lima school of art. The gallery had seven assistants, which made installation and public relations a breeze. This exhibition was actually the equivalent of two shows as over 40 pieces comprising two bodies of work were displayed, including 30 framed photographs and 12 large multi-pieced (up to 5’ x 8’ and 54 separate parts) photomontages. Wheeling the two large wooden crates, a big piece of luggage and a backpack through JFK, was a nightmare. When I arrived in Lima I was the first to recover my bags and the first in line for customs out of two international flights. Just as I was patting myself on the back for being so experienced and swift, customs decided to detain me and my big crates for two hours and I was the last passenger to leave the terminal. On the Lan Chile return flight, I found myself stuck in customs again as officials x-rayed the crates for two solid hours, back ´n forth, shift crate, back ´n forth, shift crate, until they decided that I was not transporting drugs.
The press coverage of the show was phenomenal - six newspapers and one t.v. station. The t.v. program was a half hour cultural arts weekly news magazine which was broadcast several times over the course of the exhibition. The t.v. host taped the narrative for the entire segment standing in front of my work. Translators were provided for all press interviews. The mayor, U.S. embassy representatives, and several prominent members of the Peru art world were present at the opening reception. The gallery was open to the public daily from ten to ten and the traffic was constant at all hours, so the show was viewed by many people. The highlight of the show was the emotional repose from the viewers opening night. In rough English, many patrons eloquently expressed the mood and exact feeling of the work that I had intended. It was quite moving to witness others being emotionally touched by my work.
*Gallery director, Luis Lama, peer-reviewed this work via portfolio and accepted it for exhibition.
Centro Cultural de la Municipalidad de Miraflores
Retratos De La Noche Gallery View
2001 Inequitable Conditions, Curated Nationally, Gallery for the Arts, Mt. Sterling, KY, U.S.A.
(Curator of Contemporary Art: Julien Robson, J.B. Speed Art Museum)
2001 Inequitable Conditions, Curated Nationally, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY U.S.A.
(Curator of Contemporary Art: Julien Robson, J.B. Speed Art Museum)
This traveling exhibition was comprised of 12 artists (1/3 Foreign, 1/3 National, 1/3 Regional) including Richard Ross, David Levinthal, and Ed Hamilton. A full color catalog accompanied the exhibition.
Mexican Immigrant 51" x 17"
Two years ago I came to the United States.
My girlfriend, Gabrielle Ortega, came here first.
She saved money for one year and then we bought my papers from the black market.
During that year I missed her too much.
I was working in the factory six days a week, 10 hours a day, and living in a slum.
Now, I am very happy to be in this country with my love, Gabrielle.
And, my job at Hardee's is also good.
Last week I was made assistant manager.
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Chinese Nuclear Family 52” x 63”
When I was a young man, my life was altered forever by a single event. This tragic event is known in the West as “The Cultural Revolution.”
One day I was attending lectures at the university, the next day I was planting rice in the fields. My entire generation was like this. Wasted into the fields.
It is strange that I occasionally have fond memories of living in the countryside and of hard physical labor. It was a simple and rewarding life. We awoke very early in the morning and worked until dark. I slept so soundly during those years.
But, today I am happy to be a teacher
and live in the city with my wife and daughter.
I’ll leave the countryside to the peasants.
Huang Ri Kun
El Salvador Family 55" x 71"
These people are my father-in-law, husband, and mother-in-law.
I think you can see that I am tired. We work all day and into the night. It is like this for 6 1/2 days a week.
My in-laws make me more tired than I
already am. They have not forgiven me.
My husband, their oldest son, went off to
study to be a priest in the U.S.A. The
land of milk and honey. But he met me
and I became with my child, Jesus.
Miquel and I work hard to save our colones. When our money reaches enough for installing electricity we will move to my mother's house.
For now we stay here with Miquel's parents and their electricity and their lost dreams.
Calle Real, EL SALVADOR
The Sidewalk Chef 60" x 85"
Ah, I can see you are eyeing my cooking.
You are smart to do so. It is very tasty.
My cafe is the most popular on the street.
Everyone is happy who eats here.
They eat the best food and listen to my humorous jokes.
And, the atmosphere is pleasant.
Oh, it is true that the sidewalk is a noisy location.
But, I have my green light to bring Chinese longevity and good health.
So, stop looking and join me for dinner.
Zuo Lai Sheng
Jian Ou, CHINA
The Roadside Professor 22" x 48"
I’m so happy to be alive you know.
Last year I was in a very serious accident.
The driver of my bus cut his engine as
we descended a hill to conserve petrol.
An oncoming car was passing in our lane.
Oh, the sound of the crash was so loud.
I lay along the side of the road with so many others. My brain was actually coming out of the back of my head.
God was with me though and I was taken to hospital. It then took two weeks for my nephew in England to arrive with medicine and surgical instruments.This country has so little you know.
In the meantime, everyone thought I was dead. A colleague at the university claimed my position as the chair of department. At home, my neighbors slaughtered my cows for my funeral feast. And my brothers and sisters divided my belongings.
But, [laugh] God and I worked together to bring my life back.
I don’t have my cows or chairmanship.
So what, I’m happy to be alive.