All my life, I have been an artist, ever-thirsty for exploring, sharing, and making new discoveries. In the midst of creating my art, I began to gather a collection of ideas to bring something new to art. This became a lifelong project, Universalism.
I have always utilized my own life as a medium in my art, using my own journey to punctuate and hopefully illuminate the journey for us all. I have always felt a strong, inherent responsibility to others to create experiences, such as I have had whether due to my mental illnesses or spiritual experiences, awakening us to something higher than what we know, or who we think we are.
I approach my canvasses as if they are open windows that anyone can look through to see into another world. The intention is for the viewer to see so deeply into the painting, that eventually, the line of sight reconnects with the individual. This is to bring about a unique, all-encompassing experience which not only heightens the personal notion of “self”, but increases the concept of oneness or coconsciousness through the merging of worlds. Through exploring a compendium of subjects on one visual plane at a time, we enter wholly into the pursuit of finding ourselves, remembering where we came from, and discovering what we mean.
It has been many years since I began my Universalism project. This series was created on the premise of bringing a new art movement to the world by way of my own discoveries and life experiences.
Around 10 years ago, my chronic mental illnesses blew up in my face after a long period of frequent meditations, writing and painting. It culminated in my losing complete touch with reality and being no longer capable of caring for myself or even effectively communicating.
After a stay in a Louisville, KY mental institution, an aggressive regimen of medications and a lot of therapy, I found my way back. Returning to the real world wasn’t much better because my life was in turmoil, as it would remain in a lot of ways to the present day.
What I was left with was a long series of writing, automatic painting and planned painting. Over time, these pieces lined up together until a seamless whole came to be, Universalism.
Universalism is about achieving an ultimate integration of all things, much like the momentary clarity I've found after intense therapies. In my work, it is the culmination of as many subjects we study in life and art movements as could ever exist as one. The result becomes something completely new. An experience.
People whom have studied my universalist work have proven to me that what I am endeavoring to do is succeeding. They find reflected from the work, instances of their own awakening. A memory, a wish or connection with something higher than they knew of. By placing each painting with its matching piece of writing, the experience becomes multisensory and with any luck, ultimate.
The “Art of Universalism” show includes the paintings, writings and an art book which explains the story of Universalism and its goal as well as the paintings, juxtaposed with their writings. It is my wish that this show travel to as many locations as possible.