I grew up in Spanish Harlem in NYC until leaving for university at the age of 18.
I received a bachelors degree in Marketing and Anthropology from Temple University, which may sound peculiar for an artist but is quite useful dealing with the business side of the art market.
Additionally, I have two Masters of Arts, one from The City College of New York and the other from The University of Auckland (Aotearoa New Zealand).
The majority of the year is spent in Hong Kong and Tokyo working on projects within the greater Asia-Pacific region.
The majority of my artworks are on cotton canvas or linen. Oil paint is my preferred medium as it allows me to work on several artworks simultaneously. Most of my supplies come from Tokyo, in particular my paints, with the local brand Kusakabe being my favorite. There is a fluidity to their pigment that is simply unmatched by other brands. That being said, my first brand Utrecht paint, will always have a special place in my heart and their titanium buff is still the best I have ever used.
Recently I discovered a UK-based company, Rosemary & Co., which sells handmade brushes with extremely reasonable prices and fast global shipping. Their brush quality is top-notch and is the perfect tool for blending and glazing oil colors.
My preferred paper is Hahnmühle Matt Fine Art Textured Paper. It is the first brand that I used and in my opinion the best for my style of work.
This is probably the most frequent question that I get asked. Art is like a diary; you can only create from the knowledge, skill sets and experiences that you have at that moment. On the whole, books that I read provide a large amount of the symbology in my work.
More importantly, the different cultures and people that I meet along the way inspire me. There is an instant connection when someone encounters a portrait regardless of the language they speak or where they are from. If we are discussing a particular city or locale that provides the most inspiration then without a doubt then Tokyo and New York City fit that criterion. Both locations have exceptional art cultures that push you to create the best work possible on the highest level.
Study for the masters and others that you admire but remember you are a unique voice and talent in this world. Put your own particular vision onto the canvas and believe in it 100 percent. Anything less would be a complete waste.
Commission works are considered on a case-by-case basis but priority is given to commercial establishments (including small businesses–we love you too) If you have any enquires please feel free to drop a message here.