How did you start making work?
I originally went to school for music, but didn’t really take it too seriously, so then switched majors to photography. I always wanted to add more to the photo, like I could never express what I wanted to through just photographs. For my senior thesis I started making collages and from then on it just never really stopped.
Wow, where did you go to school?
St. John’s for the first half, and then I transferred to Ramapo up in New Jersey.
Shit! You were deep in Jersey!
Yeah, I just commuted from my parents house. They’re in the Morristown area. There’s really nothing to do up there, it’s actually like suburbia. I knew I had to get out of there... I moved to the city around 2012 - 2013, but was back and forth for a little while.
Where do you usually get your clippings?
I’ll usually just go to bookstores and go through the bins on different artists.
Do you create work in series or is everyone of your paintings an individual idea?
I definitely create in series, but each piece will always have its own identity, an individual story behind it.
The work is an extension of me. The series are eras, and each era is defined by the story of a piece.
You have a really effortless way of talking about your work and I think people respond to it well.
I just like things to be genuine and flow natural. I feel like my work flows out in the same exact way.
It seems you've got a pretty good work ethic.
I definitely work on something everyday, but they’re some days when I have to take a step back… I mean I pretty much gave up every other gig, so I have to put in the time. I have no other option at this point.
What are some of you biggest influences?
...To be honest, I’ve been staying pretty low. So most of my time spent is just me and music. I’ve been listening to a lot of West Coast hip-hop lately. Specifically Kendrick Lamar. His albums are so profound, telling the multifaceted story of black boyhood. It’s brilliant really.
I’ve also been listening to a lot of James Baldwin speeches while I work. The guy was too smooth.
Tell me about this film you’re going to be in.
The film is called Vedic Nights. I’m sort of playing myself, in a fictional story, with a lot of parallels to my actual life as an artist. The film has many layers to it, and my story is just one. I’m excited for it! ...I’ve never acted before, so it’ll be an interesting experience to say the least.
The director, Jean Michel, is a brilliant guy... plus, he wrote me to be a lot smoother than I actually am. So that’s cool.
Do you think the internet made it easier or harder for the modern day artist?
It’s interesting... It’s an amazing platform that has no limits the possibilities are endless. You can sculpt it to be the ultimate tool. It’s an amazing teacher if you have the right intentions and treat her right.
Galleries, curators, dealers, buyers— they all found their place on the world wide web. So, why not join them?
But, at the same time, I do feel that the internet has a weakened layer of “genuineness”.
Everything is a numbers game, followers over actual quality. People are more inclined to follow trends, solely on the fact that the minions find happiness in trendy wholeness.
It’s cool though. I hold no hate towards any chosen path. I just personally try not to get wrapped up in that.
You’ll lose yourself before discovering yourself. And that’s what art is to me... To be a successful artist today, we have to adapt to the times.
And, “the times are a changin”. (Bob Dylan Voice)