When I was born my dad Raymond was teaching art deep in the Appalachian eastern Kentucky county of Pike, my mom Ellen being a beautiful ballet dancer refugee from Berlin Germany. Riddle: The year I was born is exactly the same upside down. The whole year. As in 1001, 1691, it doesn't happen again until the year 6009.
I grew up pretty much in Akron Ohio playing in my dad's west exchange street art gallery. That could be really fun with shows by Peter Max and Mark Mothersbough, and the big blow-up soft sculpture car that all the kid's came around to jump on. But often the art could be really boring and I came to trust my child's eye that I never wanted to go the boring, elitist, academic route.
A couple years in Venice beach California with my brothers Raynard and Damon and dad, and then hitching around the country wound me up at a native american demonstration in Washington called the Longest Walk. With the Native culture I refined a perspective on the environment and the tribal challenge to our destructive culture.
Teenage angst and rebellion led me into the punk music/art scene just in time for the Reagan era. The idea that Americans elected that idiot for a president pushed me into punk and alternative ideas as far as I could go. I promoted punk shows with my sound system showcasing the best touring underground bands such as the Misfits, DRI, the Dicks, the Necros, the Crucifucks, MDC, Cause for Alarm, etc. Me and Jimi Imij published the graphically oriented SLaM magazine. This led to record sleeve projects for hardcore luminaries as MDC, Raw Power, Vatican Commandos, etc.
I did a stint in Michigan growing veggies and milking goats at the farm outside of Lansing where the Crucifucks rehearsed their album. I liked that direction and before long me and Liz found ourselves in the backwoods of Lincoln County west Virginia, building a solar powered cabin and riding horses every day. The outhouse hippy redneck scene was fulfilling and my art geared more towards environmental activism and wildlife and my son Corey was born in 1986. I was hoping to make a go at mountain type crafts as woodcarving, furniture and homestead athens insider cover story herecrafts but the irony was that here I was the richest in my life, but financially zil. By the end of the decade me and Liz split and I headed over the Ohio River to Athens Ohio.
Dave Nicholi Araca helped me explore the tattooing scene which I had dabbled in since I was 14. This got me traveling to tattoo conventions near and far selling my design sheets in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New Orleans and everywhere in between. Sadly, Dave died unexpectedly, leaving me to fake my way into tattoo shops. The 90's saw me work in shops in Kalamazoo Michigan, Lexington and Richmond Kentucky, Athens Georgia and Pigeon Forge Tennessee. I spent 3 fun years tattooing in San Marcos Texas at Touch of a Feather and 3 more in the hoppin' neighborhood of Little 5 points in Atlanta at Urban Tribe Tattoos.
Tattooing was great but I wanted to take some time off to explore other mediums. It's been a tricky transition, when I was close to destitution I had some horrible experiences in some crappy tattoo shops that burned me bad. This new millennium has me back up to Kent Ohio doing wonderful fun projects with Jexo at Standing Rock Cultural Arts. My work with the kid's plays, my art shows, mask workshops and puppets at the North Water Street Gallery and the friends, family and community have kept life good.
As my mental state declines and my idiosyncrysies won't let me operate normally in the "real world", I open that door to my 4rth eye, tattoo puppet world to play with my tribal community.
I can't work in the corporate-sponsored academic art world with it's esoteric club of snobbery. I'm squeezing the last of my acrylics onto dumpster-dived trash made into alters and treasures for the earth.
Spirits of the land, the Shawnee and Wood Bison bones coming back to life to smash the institutions that rape and ruin. It's a holy war for our subconsciencs aspirations armed with cartoons and classic icons and lusty apocolyptus trees.
If these insane delusions defeat my mortal existence, I hope the evidence I leave will show I was serving these just and sacred spirits the best i could.