Some years ago, my family and I left Los Angeles to return to our rural roots and live off-the-grid in a lovely place where even GPS gets lost. Here we produce our own electricity, pump our own water, process our own trash, and we are working on growing food and raising animals. Intending to “go natural’, reduce our carbon footprint and reconnect with the earth, we discovered just how synthetic we really were after decades of living urban. Being artists, we have processed our re-engagement with the land by creating Golems, or handmade humans, and staging them in the land we live on.
From the beginning of my creative pursuits, I have been fascinated by the tensions and fusions between spirituality, the fine arts, and contemporary life. I was raised in an Italian Catholic home. In that tradition, human senses are filled with stimuli: objects, sounds, and smells that punctuate the sensual landscape and direct the viewer, both physically and spiritually, toward the Divine. The secular and sacred experience becomes blurred. Here I also learned a deep love of the human identity and the human body, which became coupled with Womanist teachings from the African American Church, and Martin Buber’s philosophies of I/Thou which together taught against the objectification and subjugation of the other. Our new life on the land has now expanded my understanding of the other including animals, plants, land, and water. Philosophically, this is my foundation of embodied life, faith, and the arts: no divisions, the three feed and support each other.
Later, after having drawn much from my spiritual heritage, I started to step out of my ecclesiastical contexts to learn from the plurality of popular culture and the larger art world and began my graduate studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. There I learned about the visual voices of other communities and cultures. I began to experiment with new vocabularies, and consider the implications and multiple interpretations of various visual elements. Eventually, I began to hammer out an aesthetic that had integrity with my own history but was still in active dialogue with others.
In addition to my professional art career, I am an independent art educator. Teaching courses in art from middle school to graduate school levels. I live with my artist wife and children on the California Central Coast.