Having worked extensively as a bar manager and bartender within the LGBT community, I have observed continual trends occurring within the San Diego Gay bar scene. The “social interactions” that occur between LGBT men and woman while under the influence of drugs and alcohol have an underlying sense of loneliness. Common themes in my paintings are the contrasts between joy and sadness, happiness and depression, loneliness and affection, and internal and external emotions. Joyful groups of figures contrast singular loners. Heated moments of passion challenge the public verses the private. The colors I choose in my paintings reflect the dark and alluring atmospheres found in these nocturnal meeting places. Unusual highlights and heavily saturated colors reflect neon lights and color filters so often found in night clubs. Finding my inspiration from such historical artist as David Park and the other Bay Area Figure artist, the heavy paint application within my work is a symbolic representation of intoxication and also a tool for depicting spatial depth. The images in my compositions are composed through multiple observations and combined imagery. Photographic cropping brings the viewer closer in to the action of the narrative so that they may experience the portrayed persons underlying emotions.
As I explore my work further, I ask myself what is it about the LGBT community that drives so many of us to drugs and alcohol? What are the psychological factors behind it? Why are there conflicts that occur in the younger generation and how has that altered their abuse of drugs and alcohol for the better or worse? Using hundreds of photographs for reference and creating combined imagery I will search to answer these continuing questions.