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Drawn at age four

Trying to fit my life into a bite sized biography is hard with each step of my life being a unique chapter.  I have decided to present a web version of my story that speaks more towards what helped create me.  In the past the biographies my former dealers or galleries presented seem to want to play up the poverty and suffering in my life which really doesn't represent me.

My life is about overcoming problems rather than allowing them to define me. I’ve always felt challenges should teach us strength and resilience. Maybe there's a misplaced idea that suffering sales art. Art saved me, there is no doubt about that, but it saved me so I could grow and become who I am, not use each canvas to lick past wounds.  

I was born in West Germany to young American parents in December 1974.  I was out of my home at age 15, for reasons that were inevitable, but the actual stated reason is because my mother's boyfriend assumed I was gay.  There was a great deal of violence in my home, and weeks prior to getting kicked out, I intervened in a physical fight between my mother and her boyfriend.  I was given the choice to leave on my own, or my mother and my younger siblings could go too.  This was presented as an actual choice, where I could decide to leave on my own accord, or leave as a family, placing everyone else in the position of being homeless too.

I think this event is what has always set me apart from others in my youth.  While everyone else I knew got to be teens, I got to be an adult.  With this came challenges and benefits, but mostly it created a world in which none of my peers could relate to.

I floundered a bit in Washington State, but by the age of 17 I was living in New Mexico, where I opened up my first studio in downtown Gallup NM, on Coal Ave.  

When I met who would be my wife for 13 years, my life completely changed.  She had recognised my talent and my mind, and our conversations often talked about how I've been raised provincially, and that it would be wise to broaden my worldview.  I got introduced to the more intellectual life and culture makers in New Mexico, in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and began going to the opera.  We then moved to NYC, where she had lived for seven years.  Living in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  I would stay in New York for about 15 years, although after I gained a deal of recognition in the city, I preferred to reside at our country house in Upstate where I could work on larger canvases.  Our friends were the up and coming writers, artists, poets, and even celebrities.  My NYC life was truly a charmed life.  I would end up turning my back on all of that.

I ended up having major genetic heart issues at age 29.  I nearly died.  This would be a theme of my life, often finding myself close to death.  At age 39 I found myself in very poor health, eventually needing a heart transplant.

I would move back to New Mexico at age 35, where I have helped our local art scene, creating the largest monthly event that is ongoing for over 10 years.  I created our Coal Street Commons and the downtown logo.  As I am getting closer to age 50, there's deep need for change, including my location. In terms of my career, I rose pretty high, met my career goals.  I am focused on about 600 paintings I am working on. So when I lift my head from that cloud, I'll consider my career future more closely. Or maybe something will fall into my lap! One never knows!

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