Where are you from originally?
I grew up in the suburbs of Buffalo, and couldn’t wait to get away. After three years in DC, I moved back and found the city to be a thriving and fascinating place to live.
What is your medium?
Painting and installation. I have been moving from painting images to incorporating interactive pieces of my images. For example, painting directly onto abandoned buildings and models (Our Lady of Lost Spaces – lead image) or creating paintings as sets, like the mural of explosions you could pose running away from in Coming Soon.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I try to observe widely and record, then sort through everything later. If I am traveling, or reading, or visiting an opening, I take notes sketches and pictures, and then later categorize the images and ideas by topic. This results in a lot of scattered sketchbooks that somehow miraculously solidify into a show-concept.
Name an artist (or more) that most inspires you?
I am really in awe of artists who also work as authors. For example, Shaun Tan is a stupendous illustrator, but he also conveys powerful ideas through his narratives. The combination of skills and media moves me to push the boundaries of what I work on.
What is your preferred subject matter?
Right now, I am working on my “Beautiful Monsters” theme. We are fascinated with monsters who overlap both humanity and animal instinct. I think there are so many avenues to explore there, where figures meld into tentacles and claws. We seem to sense that we are weak enough to benefit from adaptations that haven’t yet been explored.
How do you feel you can best advance to the next level, or are you most happy where you are now?
It’s always healthy to push your technique and your concepts. Right now I am experimenting widely- working on an interactive book with animated gifs, creating and pitching installations with monsters you can become or walk inside of. Pushing beyond 2d work is what I want focus on.
Is there a purpose to your artwork?
I most want to create dialogue. Art is about the essential fluidity of our culture. It may not always feel like it, but the rules we live by have been invented by us and can be reshaped by the ideas we place out into the world and defend. My work’s purpose is to ask questions about how we see ourselves today, were religious dogma and sexual identity have become less restrictive. Who will we become when these past pressures are less oppressive?
How often do you work on your art?
As often as possible. At least 30 minutes a day, stolen on my lunch break, and whenever I can steal extended time on evenings and weekends. My minimum goal is ten hours a week. When I think about all of the sketchbooks I have filled with ideas, I wish I could fit in much much more.
Name one person that you would like to sell a work of art to?
Leonard Cohen. His work moves me so much, it would mean a lot to reciprocate.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
Absolute freedom: this generation of artists has access to the internet’s wealth of images and research, every art supply imaginable, and a wide and varied world. We can react however we want, create anything. It’s incredible and a bit daunting.
What’s the worst thing about being an artist?
The same. Absolute freedom is pretty paralyzing. That’s where terrifying deadlines come in.
Where is your current/next show in the city? Dates? Opening night? What is the title and theme of the show/s?
I am collaborating with Jon Furman for Trimania: at Buffalo Arts Studio, 2495 Main St, Buffalo, April 13th at 8pm: Choose Your Own Artventure
Live vicariously through the artist-quest of an aspiring performance-artist and Giant Squid. Travel from the deep and vast Marianas Trench to the even more mystifying Miami Art Basel as you navigate this interactive book/installation. Brought to you by Tara Sasiadek and Jon Furman.
More Greater Buffalo artists and artisans…
Veronica Kruger, Larry Allen, Dana Saylor, Sean Madden, Paul Rybarczyk, Beth Pederson, Robert Schulman, Paul Klonowski, Betty J. Pitts-Foster, Carol Case Siracuse, Alejandro Gutierrez, Paul Alico, John Sargent, Deborah Stewart, Pat Pendleton, Kristin Damstetter, Alana Adetola Fajemisin, Sarah and John Cozzemera, Rob Hopkins, Jennifer Seth-Cimini, Elisabeth Strong, Michael Mulley, Patricia Schwimmer, Mikel Doktor, Jerome Greenberg, Elizabeth Leader, Jacqueline Welch, Doreen DeBoth, Joe Cascio, Candace Masters, Iris Kirkwood, Lukia Costello, Michael Morgulis, Julie Leatherbarrow, Chris Liberti, Michael Mararian, Daniel Rodgers, Bruce Adams, Ken Payne, Christina Cooke, Elise Anne Brooks, Frank Cravotta, Jackie Albarella, Gary Melius, Melissa Campbell, Jeff Quigley, Nancy Moran, Vincent Alejandro, Patti Harris, Eileen Graetz, Rita Argen Auerbach, Dianne Baker, Norine Spurling, Margaret Raab, Ingrid Luongo, Joseph Stanek