I began to study art and make music in Seattle as a child. My first art school experience was at around 11-years-old and I grew up visiting the large, inspiring museums of Southern California. I grew up in Seattle during the grunge movement and moved to the Silicon Valley right at the beginning of the Silicon Valley boom in 1992. I was actively influenced by and involved in the environments surrounding me that were driven by some of the defining elements of these two periods: rebellion, pioneering innovation and take-it-all attitudes. I am fortunate because my parents supported me and placed me in several art classes at San Jose Museum of Art in high school. At that time I began to study landscape painting and portraiture drawing, which still heavily influences my camouflage work. Once I began college I was became interested in what was then called “New Media” in the film department. I took some postgraduate experimental video, sculpture and art history courses in Los Angeles. I balanced working in the art department on major films and television shows with my personal experimental video and paint projects.
In 2006 I was introduced to bodypaint by Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls and posed as a human canvas at one of her shows. Shortly after that experience I saw Marina Abramović’s The Artist is Present at the New York Museum of Modern Art and set myself on a different course. During the Great Recession I was living in the San Francisco Bay Area and lost my job, as did 90% of the Bay’s population. While I searched for a job weekly, I mainly focused on building my portfolio and was regularly getting hired for small commissions. After about a year and a half on unemployment I took the plunge as a full-time professional artist. It was a purifying time in my life and really allowed me to focus my thoughts on what inspired my art; consumer materialism.
While you still cannot study body art in art school, I was then fortunate enough to apprentice in New Orleans at the first bodypaint gallery in the world, the Craig Tracy Fine Art Bodypainting Gallery. During this time I was able to hone in on the technical aspects of bodypaint and begin to focus on single pose paintings. As I was studying at the gallery I also received education on the history of bodypaint. I found that these lessons in bodypaint history made me acutely aware of a disconnect existing between the contemporary fine art world and the modern bodypaint community, which features largely illustrative art and is focused on events and competitions.
I was later selected as a summer participant at the Watermill Center in 2013. In addition to studying with Robert Wilson and creating some work alongside him, I was pleased to meet Robert Athey and hear lectures by him, as well as take a workshop with Marina Abramović. My work became more focused on intimacy, the balance of space and force between bodies, connection to sound installation and silence and more site-specific installations. I continued exploring themes of consumer behavior, body image issues, the temporal and the ancient and indigenous influences on minimalistic art. I also paid particular interest to Robert Wilson’s amazing sculpture collection.