Being Irish, Iroquois, and French Canadian: My values, my life-long love of history and learning; my politics, and my willingness to speak truth to power…these compel my art.
A child of Merrick, LI; A graduate of Mepham High School; Running track and body surfing, playing baseball, ice hockey, rugby and boxing; having been a Lifeguard and a broiler-man; artists’ model, bouncer, housecleaner/painter; gas station attendant and real estate agent; chauffer, butler and sewer man; Earning degrees in Communication Arts from Notre Dame ’71, Philosophy and Theology from Truman State ’76, and History and International Relations from Long Island University ’94; Winning Fulbright Scholarships to study in Egypt ’88 and China ’93; Teaching World History and Geography in NYC for 22 years; Taking 3 NYC students to live with the Maasai in Kenya for 2 weeks in 1990; Returning to Kenya to record their folk music and songs a month later…all these inform my art.
My training consisted of copying Rouault and Modigliani from photos of their art when I was age 11. I’ve been influenced by the Post Impressionists, the Fauvists, the Expressionists and the Abstract Expressionists; they and Matisse, Picasso, and Pollock opened the door to my Neo-Primitivism.
I am not interested in refining my skills. I have no interest in techniques of gentle sub-layering but in painting from my gut, my heart and my mind in giving expression to my intensity and my anger: My demons, passions and missions in life are apparent in my art. In looking into my art others will see themselves and they’ll see me.
I often use my art as a weapon, provoking and challenging the viewer to think. Some describe my art as intellectual; others that it is full of passion. One thing many agree on is that my art has something to say.
While some may feel that their house-pet could do as well, I see my main competition coming from elephants, chimpanzees and three year old prodigies.