I can't stress enough how important highschool was for me in terms of shaping my whole outlook on life, opening my mind and giving me a glimpse of endless possibilities. I would not be the same person if it weren't because of those 4 years I spent going downtown, waking up at 6 in the morning to enter a building full of some of the most creative and beautiful people I've ever met. Robin Whitelock was the light of my middle school years. A wonderful art teacher who incouraged me to push myself and told me to apply to New World because it was the best. New World had a legacy of SICK artists...some floors decorated with great paintings that do not cease to amaze me til this day. The best part was that all the arts were mixed up... we would take academic classes with kids that were musicians, theater students, dancers and after 5th period when most highschools would dismiss their students we had an extra 3 hours of respective art classes.
In the visual arts department we would go on fieldtrips a couple of times a year to paint at the beach and other outdoor places. During one of the trips I was walking around and saw a man asleep sitting on a foldout chair. Seemed as if I had just intruded in this man's house... except his house had no walls. One of the many homeless people in Miami. I don't know this man's story, I didn't want to wake him up so I just snapped a couple of shots...and left my shrink-wrapped sandwhich next to him. Actually that's an understatement.. I threw it at him but it fell by his feet. The subsequent painting was started at home in my studio on two separate pieces of wood. To prepare the surface I used a lot of gesso layers letting it drip mainly on what would later become the background and placed. the pieces of wood on the floor where I proceeded to dance on it with my bare feet. You can still see some footprints mainly on the bottom right section. It's a shame this piece is in such shitty condition but then again I think it works with the subject matter. There was no Uncle Sam poster in the background but the American flag WAS there. I just added a big ass burnt bullet hole on it cause I felt like it. This is still one of my favorite pieces not only because it captured a slice of real life...none of it was staged..but also because it was a lot of fun to work on ( and to step on ). I believe my footprints might have inspired my good friend Matt Krawcheck to step on his work as well except he used house and oil paint found in dumpsters and that's why he's more badass than I am :D.