I grew up in pre-Urban Renewal Chicago at a time when Chicago was a down-at-the-heels, blue-collar palace where the silent picture stars of Essanay Studios still hobbled the streets of Uptown. I get a good portion of whatever strength or inspiration I have from the beauty and tenacity of this amazing city. I love it so much I can be brought to tears while simply riding the el, but enough about that.
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is my alma mater. The Art Institute of Chicago figures prominently in my life, less as a repository for artifacts than a restaurant for the eyes. I recall quite a few wonderfully escapist days spent playing hooky from Lane Tech High School during which I perfected my technique for dreaming myself into paintings.
If you've perused the work I've posted here, you've seen monsters. My apologies, but it wasn't possible to grow up in Madmen-era Chicago and not believe in monsters. I mean for goodness sake our mayor at the time of the '68 riots ('hizzoner') Mayor Daley Sr. reassured Chicagoans that, "the police are not here to create disorder but to preserve disorder." What true-blue, card-carrying monster wasn't breathing a sigh of relief right about then, I ask you?
Growing up in an ornately grimy Gotham combined seemlessly with my childhood addiction to 'Creature Features,' a late-night Saturday airing of famous (and often offbeat) black and white B-movies of the monster genre. No doubt these two influences have had a big hairy clawed hand in making me a lifelong fan of creaturely, revenantial and undead beings everywhere.