What’s your art? And how did you get started?
I am a painter, illustrator and photographer with my creative roots initially tying back to graffiti. I started painting on the streets at 14 and stopped making art after multiple arrests. At the age of 18, I picked up a tattoo machine in South Korea and got back into the arts, then moved to Italy where I launched my own studio and have been going steady since.
Where do find inspiration?
I naturally have a desire to create, almost all the time. I am inspired by the human experience. I am inspired by what is around me, so with travel, the inspiration changes. A lot of my work is just me trying to explore a personal passion and purpose.
Some of your art seems to center around a woman. Is that fair to say? Who’s she and what’s her story?
Yes, of course. She has no race, no beginning, and no end. She is spirit and truth.
You travel a lot and have taken pictures of homelessness and poverty around the nation and world. How do you walk the fine line of not exploiting versus documenting?
I would be lying if I were simply just “documenting”. To exploit someone is ultimately to benefit from them. So in definition I may be exploiting. A lot of my adult life has been unlearning everything I was taught to believe growing up in white-America. I benefit spiritually through immersing myself in poverty, but it will never be for financial gain. Jesus was homeless, and lived in poverty, and I would like to reflect his life.
Does art ever stop being fun for you?
Only if a client attempts to take away creative control. Then it turns into a job.
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve created and why?
No, not really. I think each piece is important to me.
What’s the relationship between you and your art, how attached are you to them?
Not attached at all, the quicker they go to a new home the better. I am a minimalist and like my space. If I have too much art lying around it prevents me from making more. So the best studio is an empty studio.
What can you tell us about the helmet you created for MN4MN?
Again, revolving around the theme of Woman. It is a lioness, a woman’s portrait and then reads, “love yours” across the top of the motorcycle helmet. The whole helmet reflects motherhood. A drunk driver nearly killed my mom two years ago while she was riding her motorcycle. She crashed the bike, and broke her leg. We are blessed things weren’t more severe. The helmet is a reflection of that personal experience. Life is short, and unexpected. Love your mother, love your neighbor and love yours. That’s it ultimately.
What’s next for you?
Haha. Lord knows.