For me, the very essence of painting is singularly personal. I believe biographical moments or instances, although anecdotal, establish a strong connection with the viewer the same way in which biographical literature does. I correlate my experiences and memories by transcribing them through mark-making to create a vulnerable sensation that the viewer can connect with. My mixed-media paintings act as memoirs imbued with urban undertones that originate from background as a graffiti writer. Like graffiti, my work is an acknowledgement and reverberation of my existence distilled in images of myself, muses, and memories.
Growing up as the son of immigrants, I experienced immense poverty. I felt like I was living in a society where I didn’t matter. Graffiti gave me an overwhelming feeling of purpose as well as a profound sense of being connected to my surroundings. I was fascinated by how someone could become an overnight celebrity, while at the same time no one really knowing who they are. The whole objective of graffiti is more. It’s about having a name and wanting to see it everywhere.
My technical process focuses on the augmentation of form, compartmentalized patterning, compositional balance, and integration of media. Utilizing thousands of reference photos that I have compiled over the years, I map out compositions that are then broken down into sections of painting, drawing, and collage. I then repetitiously arrange each medium in a sequence obscuring the elements that are painted and the ones are adhered. This allows the materials to transform the work into something unanticipated or initially unimaginable. The practices of drawing, painting, and printmaking fundamentally influence how I deconstruct and re-render an orchestrated or observational reference photo to create a stylized, yet realistic, atmosphere within the context of a painting.