Tuesday, October 27, 2015


 Here is a kind of collaborative mandala between the bride and groom to be / Jessica Davison, Sean Rutherford and myself the artist.  I'll start at the top and work clockwise.  At the 12 o'clock position there is a city dove, representing Baltimore our collective home.  Then we have a red peony.  We have a brown bear (Sean's spirit animal) at the 3 o'clock position.  There are some white lisianthus at the bottom right.  At the bottom we have Bowie the bunny and family pet who is a breed of rabbit called a Holland Lop.  On the bottom left is a white peony.  At the 9 o'clock position is a river otter (Jessica's spirit animal).  Top left is some astilbe.  The piece is painted on what was an old reading table I picked up at a yard sale, so technically the painting is acrylic on panel with some gold leaf foil.  Congratulations Jess and Sean. 
 Here's a detail of the goods.
 Check out those otter whiskers.
That bunny is cute.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Mohammad Mosaddegh

Happy Nowruz 2015.  This is a portrait of Mohammad Mosaddegh the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 until 1953.  Please take a moment to google " Mosaddegh "  His story is shocking.  The grandson of Teddy Roosevelt/ head of the CIA organized a coup d'├ętat against him, initiating a chain of covert U.S. powered foreign regime changes to other democratically elected leaders in places like Guatemala and Brazil.  These declassified events crack the edifice of America's claim to champion global democracy.  America's big stick mentality seems to be more in play here, especially the part about speaking softly.  However, I don't focus on this subject to criticize America, but rather to lament what the Iran/United States relationship could have been.  It becomes harder to imagine a day Persian-Americans could visit Iran like a European-American can visit France, or Belgium.

This portrait was commissioned by a friend of my family that is actually related to Mosaddegh.  From all accounts he was a kind and very well educated man.  The piece is 20 x 16 acrylic on panel.  The originally photograph was from a LIFE article.  I have added a few symbols like the colors of the Persian flag on the buttons of his left sleeve.  I made his shirt blue to represent his democratic stance.  Most importantly is the crack of light traveling up the door only to be cut short by the lock.  The light is the hope of Mosaddegh and Iran in 1951, and the lock doubles as the eye of the illuminati we see on the dollar bill surrounded subtly by a greenish triangle.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bo Senior and Bo Junior

 This is Bo Senior and baby Bo Jr.  We see representations of maternal love consistently throughout art history, but paternal love between a father and his son is more rarely depicted.  I was deeply moved by this commission.  16x20 Colored pencil on Rives BFK.     

Sunday, May 4, 2014


 16x20 Acrylic and Watercolor on Panel.  Ephesia is a part of an indigenous tribe in the Brazilian Amazon.  The international beef industry is the leading contributor to deforestation in this area.  Some American companies benefit from this industry, mostly in terms of the leather.  Some American corporations that benefit from Brazilian leather are Nike, Adidas, Timberland, Clarks, and Reebok.  There are many more.

I will be joining the resident artists at the Creative Alliance in August 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Embera sketch

This is the sketch for one of the eight new pieces in my Amazon Women series I've been working on while a Resident at the New York League of Art Students Vytlacil Campus.  Her name is Embera and she looks on in disbelief at hectares of razed jungle she once called her home.  In the distance atop a hill she is watched by the demon of industry mounted proudly upon his Nelore bull.  Seven football fields of rainforest have been burnt today so the world may have its burger.  There has got to be some other way. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Amazonian Indians

This is Penthesilia the first of many paintings I will be doing addressing the fate of the Amazonian Indians.  The girl's tribe is the Karajá and like many of the indigenous peoples of Amazonia their livelihood is in danger.  Her home is burned by cattle farmers who would see the rainforest in ashes for a cow.  But there is another enemy that could prove more destructive.  It is the large South American engineering company Electronorte, which has made plans to create a dam that would place her territory under 40 feet of water.
The Karajá do not paint lightning bolts on their face.  I adapted the symbols on her cheeks to mimic the logo of Electronorte (www.electronorte.com)  She is marked for extinction.  The goal of this piece was to express as strongly as possible the feeling of sadness and anger that one feels when their home and traditional way of life is taken from them by a distant economic machine.  I've seen artists who wear a similar expression.  16x20 acrylic on linen.

Legba and Adjessi

24x48, oil and acrylic on canvas.  This is a piece I created for my friend Lisa Kang over the course of last year.  The left half of this painting is derived from a sketch I made at her house of some potted plants.  The colorful area toward the center hides an abstracted version of the Haitian voodoo symbol for Papa Legba.  Legba is perhaps the most important voodoo god because he must be acknowledged first at ceremonies.  He is the operator that must be called before conversations with other gods can occur.  He is the cross road between mortals and deities.
Legba's wife is much more obscure and secretive in nature.  Her name is Adjessi and I know almost nothing about her except that she often stands at his side and helps support Legba who hobbles with a walking stick.  This piece marks the beginning of a trend in my work I plainly call Hipster Tribalism.  More to come...