In August 2012, at the age of 28, I was reconnected with the biological family I never knew. At that time, I learned that my father, also named Michael, did not die in a car accident as I had always been told. Rather, I came to find out that he took his own life on my mother’s 21st Birthday, just shortly before I turned a year old. He did not leave a note. Almost 30 years later, in my most personal and emotional creation to date, I wrote that note for my father. Written through our collective heart, eyes, and hand, that piece of our soul is “Michael’s Note.”
The artist journal and the messages from it were started around 2011 when I was on the precipice of homelessness. I didn’t have the resources the paint, so painting the words in the journal satiated that desire just enough until I could get back on my feet again. I realized there are lots of other people struggling out there and perhaps they could use some hope and encouragement from someone that has been in their shoes. We all need a little boost sometimes and our vulnerabilities have the power to make us stronger both individually and collectively. These pieces are just a small sample from my hundreds of journal entries.
Some of the greatest artists in history received little recognition while today you can have millions of followers on social media for all of the wrong reasons. The number of people that know you or know your work has little to no correlation with your personal value. Always remember that and make the work you need to make. The right people will pay attention and those are the lives you will change. It’s better to build one real connection than to have a million fake ones. Success and fame are an illusion. True success can only come from within. It is only by knowing yourself that others can truly begin to know you.
Commencing upon the precipice of homelessness, “The Boy In The Box” follows the rigid geometric structuring of the “The Up-Side Of Down” and represents the perpetual quest for personal freedom and breaking outside of the box.
As every story has a past, present, and future, what may at first glimpse appear to be non-objective abstraction is in fact segmentations of energetic imagery interacting and breathing through the boundlessness of space and time. I’m very blessed and thankful to be able to share this powerful and emotional piece that sheds light on suicide and suicide prevention. I’ve never shied away from the deep and the dark and I won’t start now. This is one of my most intimate and personal creations, depicting an angel embracing a suicide victim at the moment of impact. It reflects upon not only losing my father to suicide on my mother’s 21st Birthday, but also my own battles that have continued to follow me throughout my life. I was only .38 seconds away from a completely different story that would have left many of my greatest creations nothing more than dreams never brought to fruition. If you or someone you know is fighting this battle, please call 1-800-273-8255 because there is hope. There is always hope as long as you’re still breathing. Keep fighting.
This painting is on exhibition at Arts District Liberty Station with the Expressive Arts Institute in the Martha Pace Swift Gallery until June 15.
You can see my powerful musical collaboration with Lucidious for this piece at CariniArts.com
Today is my mom’s Birthday, which should by all means be a day of celebration. Today is also the anniversary of my father’s suicide. Featured in the first image is “.38 With A .38 (The Speed Of Eternal Stillness)”, which depicts an angel embracing a suicide victim at the moment of impact. I’m very thankful that I was given an opportunity to pull this painting off the racks this weekend to display it publicly for the first time in an exhibition about recovery and art therapy at the Expressive Arts Institute. The Expressive Arts Institute also provided me a platform two years ago to debut my 5 year project, “Reign Upon Sonrise”, which was, in part, highlighted by the suicide note I wrote for my father…the one he never left. One of my highest goals with my artwork is to reach and help those battling suicide. It’s a battle that never truly ends until it does.
It is said that time heals all wounds but perhaps that time comes in a different state of existence or unexpected ways and connections. I woke up this morning, before my alarm clock went off, from a vivid dream about my dad. In an effort to shift my attention, I opened up IG and the first thing I saw was a beautiful story shared by Cat Zingano addressing the same thing. It felt like the universe was telling me today was a day that someone somewhere might need to hear this.
As every story has a past, present, and future, what may at first glimpse appear to be non-objective abstraction is in fact segmentations of energetic imagery interacting and breathing through the boundlessness of space and time.
Featured: .38 With A .38 (The Speed Of Eternal Stillness). This painting reflects the fraction of a second it takes to change an entire connection of intertwined lives and energies. It depicts a suicide victim being embraced by an angel at the moment of impact. I used to paint exclusively in an effort to heal myself and my own wounds. Nowadays, I paint to hopefully inspire, but more so in an effort to save a life, perhaps one I don’t even know. I would love to help people grow but the first step to growth is survival…and some days merely surviving is growth. Hold on.
If you are struggling with issues of suicide, please call 1-800-273-8255.
Those that have been on the bottom have a deep appreciation for the little things in life, no matter how minuscule or minute, because they know what it means and how it feels to have nothing. That’s where the “Beautiful Accidents” series was born.
Recycled art created from the remnants of my palettes, these “Beautiful Accidents” are based upon the Japanese aesthetic concepts of wabi, sabi, and shibui. Beauty is everywhere if you are only willing to open your eyes to see it. I challenge you to not only see it, but to create it and add to it today.
New quote prints available. Trying something a little different. I picked the quotes that I thought paired well with the paintings. Available framed or unframed.
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