After completing a BA in history from Kenyon College, I moved to NYC for graduate study in art history at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. While there, I found that I was no longer satisfied with scholarship and writing; I wanted to paint. My day job, at the time, as a preparator at the Guggenheim Museum afforded me daily exposure to great works of art, which was deeply inspiring. So, in order to develop my own art practice I transferred to NYU’s Graduate Studio Art Program, completing a master’s degree there.
Influenced by an exhibition of German Expressionist painting, particularly portrait heads by Jawlensky and Nolde, heads became a major motif in my paintings and mask making has been an important aspect of my work since 1975. From 1977 to 1992, the mask making led to the development of my performance piece, “Transformations”, which uses multiple layers of masks and costumes combined with movement and sound. The idea of transformation goes to the heart of what art is to me; idea into image - spirit into matter.
As subjects for my work, I am also drawn to significant individuals from art history and popular culture; those who have achieved a mythic stature in the culture at large. They are linked in my mind to mythic figures and themes from the distant past. Other aspects of my work include my fascination with the edge between funny and frightening, horror and humor, in addition to high key color, which intensifies the emotional and psychological aspects of my work.
Since 1970, I have exhibited in numerous one-person and group shows in NYC and other American cities. Internationally, in Italy and S. Korea. In addition to corporate and private collections, my work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Denver Museum of Art, the Cincinnati Museum, and the Chase Manhattan Collection. I’ve received grants from NY State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.