When I was 9-years old, a botched back surgery left me in horrible pain and clinging to life in the hospital. To help myself cope, I began drawing and coloring "Superdude" comic books with pens and crayons. I had always created drawings, and my Mom always said that even the earliest scribblings were "sequential," a panel or snapshot of people and things amid intense change. Both parents art teachers, I had excellent opportunities to grow artistically and understand images very early on.
Today at age 33, much of my artwork is still comic art, webcomics, "sequential art," though obviously with progressively more complex images and themes, exploring the fear of the other entwined with American politics and sanctuary for mutants in the action comedy Bunnies in Space (2012) and the futuristic noir adventure spin-off Bun Detective (2014-present) which delves into even darker territory, such as official discrimination against mutants and people with disabilities, and space and high-tech making economic and social survival of a marginalized community possible.
I've always made paintings that look at the juxtaposition of supposed opposites that become entwined: cold and hot, artificial and organic. In the May 1st painting "Self-portrait from side," the ventilator tubing is part of the human, the same colors, part alive. With its expressionist brushstrokes and colors, the tubing becomes the same substance, the artificial becomes organic. Since 2011, I've increasingly focused on painting, self-portraits, and portraiture, like the Faces series (2014) documenting people with disabilities and others in community in a unique and colorful style. Curator Susan Surface connected an article I'd co-written with anthropologist Zoe Wool, Life Support, with earlier self-portraits and other New York artists' works that highlight the connection between the human and the technological in the May 2014 show More-than-one-and-less-than-two at GordilloScudder gallery, Bushwick, Brooklyn.
The show in Brooklyn displayed portraits that preceded and foreshadowed the Faces series, which is, in a way, also "sequential art." When we speak of disability, it's a change or difference in ability, and survival beyond that change. The Faces series is just a snapshot or panel of people amid the rapid scroll of time.