Hometown: Palmyra, NY
Shoe size: 10.5
Sushi or Burrito: Sushi
Favorite pizza topping: Sausage
Guilty pleasure: A good beer every night
Biggest pet peeve: Inconsiderate people, e.g., leaving a shopping cart in the middle of the parking lot
Best advice you've received: From my wife: Stop focusing on what you have to do tomorrow and focus on what you're doing today.
Strangest thing in your fridge right now: I guess the most interesting thing is the maple syrup that my brother-in-law tapped/processed which sits next to the eggs his chickens laid for us…
Series you've binged recently: Just rewatched Game of Thrones
If you weren't a painter, what would you do for a living: I'd still be doing what I was doing for a living, writing software!
Your artistic career started from a bet with your wife that you could change a thrift store art piece into something different. Explain your style and how it came to be:
Well, it really just started as a bit of a joke between my wife and I that quickly turned into the desire to answer the question of whether or not I could change the meaning without altering the aesthetic of an unwanted piece of art and make it wanted again. The question of style was really the answer to that question. I use oil paints to make my additions, but I try to match the styles of the existing pieces in such a way that you almost believe my additions were originally there…
Some of your art has an almost dystopian feel to it, what do you want people to take away from your art?
I think some pieces have that feel, but certainly not all of them. I usually try to tell a story with each discrete painting, but lately I've been using a series of paintings to tell larger stories. At the end of the day, I like to think that art is a bit of a mirror – it reflects its meaning back to the viewer through their own perception. You take from it what you want to 🙂
Do you think society is on the right path?
I'm an eternal optimist, so while I think we're heading in an interesting direction and I do feel like many of the advancements we've made have the potential to do a lot of harm, I feel like we're net positive.
What's the best comment/reaction you've received regarding your artwork?
I feel like any time you can make someone smile or laugh, that's a golden moment. I've been fortunate to see a number of people smile and even cry-laugh when looking through my work.
At 177k instagram followers, you've found a community who appreciates your style. Are you surprised by the popularity of your work?
I think I'm appreciative every day and I never take it for granted, but I also think that I had something of a hypothesis rooted in the idea that nostalgia, humor, and familiarity were more powerful than aesthetic. In that sense, I'm not surprised that some people enjoy it – I AM surprised by the number of people who enjoy it. I truly never expected to be an artist full time, and that would not have been a reality without the reach I've been fortunate enough to have.
As a former software engineer, it seems like the arbitrary nature of art would be frustrating. What do you love about painting?
Everything. It's meditative, tactile, iterative, both planned and intuitive, and the arbitrary nature of it creates an environment that's limitless.
What is it about NFTs that attracts you to the business? Do you think NFTs are here to stay?
Since I left my job writing software in 2018, I've been looking for a way to combine the technical and artistic sides of my life. NFTs (and the underlying smart contracts they're built upon) are providing me the tools I'll use to build the bridge that will connect the two. I think they're here to stay and I'm 100% committed to the space.
What are some other artists you enjoy following and believe are on the up and up?
Oh man, the list is long! I've been turned on to so many amazing artists in the NFT space and I've continued to follow and love those in the traditional space, but just to name a few of my new favorites: Filip Hodas, Slime Sunday, Xsullo, Bill Elis, Fvkrender, Fewocious, Mad Dog Jones, … the list goes on and on…