My whole life, I’ve had an appreciation for the aesthetic of the used. Before I could even speak properly, there was a space in the garage for my “yunk collection;” a pile of spark plugs, rusty washers, old batteries, and other metal odds-and-ends I’d found on the ground and carried home in my pockets. By the time I was in elementary school, I’d begun assembling the junk parts to form little “robots” and people and animal sculptures. Throughout middle school and high school, the sculptures grew into full busts, functional lamps and wall installations.
In college, I pursued a degree in photography, and after a few years, began to re-create photographs I’d taken by sketching them out and burning them onto wooden pallets, discarded doors, and old table tops with either a blowtorch, or a magnifying glass and the sun. There wasn’t really a word for the process, so I called it “torchraiture.” Over the next decade, I traveled around the world, doing blowtorch and flamethrower murals in the U.S. and India, selling magnifying-glass-on-driftwood artwork in Costa Rica and New Orleans, and exhibiting anywhere and everywhere along the way, all the while developing new processes that fit my aesthetic--rusting ferrous metals, tarnishing non-ferrous ones, dribbling red wine onto watercolor paper, and scratching the surfaces of doors and tables with screwdrivers, forks, ice picks, and crowbars. My 2-dimensional work led to 3-dimensional work and I began creating sculptures that blended my appreciation for the “used” with a real-life cartoony aesthetic.
Following my appreciation for both fire and spectacle, I began pursuing a stunt career, which I blended with my art career in a project called the “Fire Angel,” where I lit my body on fire and scorched a human image into a panel of wood. My stunt career eventually parlayed into an acting career; I currently live in New Orleans, creating reclaimed-material sculptures, burning and rusting images into locally-sourced materials between film projects.