The paintings and drawings in this gallery represent my formative years. Although I had been sketching, writing, and painting (often with media that included finger paints, crayons and spray paint) since childhood, it was in 1989 that I, as a young person, decided to "re-baptize" myself as an artist. More specifically, I decided to consciously pursue art as not only a career choice, but a life journey. In my formative years, 1989 - 1992 (for which this gallery includes), those first images were initiated in college art classes (as well, of course, in my home in Oakland, CA). Besides street art and comics, especially Mad Magazine, working in an art environment in a college classroom served as an important motivator. Although I consider myself self-taught for the most part, my first college art class at College of Alameda (CA) with Mr. Hernandez aided me predominantly in taking my art seriously (especially the documentation and portfolio aspects). Furthermore, Mr. Hernandez introduced me to artists that became my art heroes, including Dalí, Kahlo, and Magritte. After receiving an Associate's of Arts Degree from College of Alameda, I took several literary, philosophy and art classes at the college that I transferred to, California State University, East Bay (Hayward). This is the university where I met lifelong friends including Mel Ramos who was and continues to be a pivotal mentor and pal since 1991.
It was in his beginning painting class where I created "Untitled (Self-Portrait)" as an assignment... needless to say, those years in the 1990s were filled with moments of epiphany and great creative exploration. In terms of content and media, I was (and continue to be at times) preoccupied with "dreamscapes" (mainly illustrating composites of dreams, imagination and poems and short-stories that I had written). In the early 1990s, I was also interested in heavily-textured surfaces that often involved using found objects, broken glass, siliconized caulk, sand, and debris that I'd find in the environment. I will never forget those formative years where the art "seed" was planted in my consciousness... it continues to proliferate!
Visit my Painting Galleries: For over twenty years, image-making for me has been a passion and avenue for exploring experiences, dreams and preoccupations, including issues of our dependence on technology, consumer culture, relationships, spirituality, politics, and the human "theatre". The paintings are arranged into different galleries, grouped, chronologically (the earliest from 1993 and spanning into the present) and "themes", especially when I find myself working in a series of paintings inspired from my life experiences, memories, nostalgia and personal interest, for example multi-generational, cross-cultural, popular consumer-based iconography and imagery, such as Chespirito, the Morton Salt Girl, muppets from Sesame Street, the Mexican Loteria, and Art History Homages.