Detail of Evensong | 4″ x 6″ opened case, image 3″ x 2.5″ | oil on panel, velvet, brass, wood case | 1995
As a gay man, I’ve sought to give my history the sanctity usually denied it. Conflicts arising from history, religion, sexuality, race, and prejudice are issues I’ve continued to address in my artwork. Growing up a gay Catholic in a racially mixed, Eastside Detroit neighborhood, my schoolbooks negated homosexuality, my church prayed to heal me, acting on sexual impulse condemned me, and prejudice was directed against me. I was often bullied—a universal problem existing to this day. I’ve come away a stronger person who can speak about these experiences in my drawings and paintings.
Many people have coped with the deaths of parents and friends who’ve helped through difficult years. I’ve begun to examine this sad reality by striving to capture some of the ways in which we, as individuals, respond to life’s uncertainty and death’s inevitability. This has led to a deeper interest in spirituality, mysticism, and parapsychology.