Personal Artistic History
I have been an Artist since the age of 4, I graduated with honors at Cooper Union, NYC.
I have exhibited my drawings and paintings in Ayr, St Andrews, Aberdeen, New York, Houston, London, Milan & Perugia, Italy, Minden, Germany, Kyoto, Japan and The Hague, Netherlands. (please see CV, attached)
I have been teaching art for 25 years, in the Moray Art Centre/Studio, which I built, in Findhorn (7 studios & 2 exhibition spaces, UK Partner with The British Museum & The National Galleries of Scotland), and at Edinburgh Drawing School.
I have given keynote talks in The European Registrars’ Conference at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Museums Galleries Scotland, Big Lottery and Creative Scotland.
Museums Association wrote a 4-page article about my vision in their Museums Journal (attached).
I created, curated and delivered two exhibitions with The British Museum (Italian Renaissance drawings & Classical Greek sculpture), also working with The National Galleries of Scotland, Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, Paisley Museum and Art Gallery and The Courtauld Gallery, in which I designing scholarly catalogues and associated education programmes.
Professor Sir Ernst Gombrich OM, Art Historian
As an Artist and teacher, I am dedicated to helping others experience beauty viscerally, as a body-response; to alleviate pain and fear in people’s lives through beauty. My work as a creator, since childhood, has been to share what has become my life’s dedication in order to enhance the lives of others in the broadest and greatest way possible.
By working towards the depiction of another person, with clear illusionistisic volume and form, my intention is to create a presence for the viewer. In the same way that the 15th century Florentine artists, through their study of nature, development and use of perspective and the depiction of form through light and shade and cast shadows, tried to create a verisimilitude of the natural world, we, in the 21st century, can carry their focused work forward towards a next-stage of evolution by creating the presence of a form, in this case a person, in a more palpable and tangible way – the bulk, form, fragrance, breath of that person entering into the viewer’s space.
My intention is to create a perfect friend for the viewer, by creating a strong depiction of form with such solid, heroic volume, that the viewer feels the depicted person is entering their own realm. I wish my people to exist in your space, to such an extent that the viewer can hear their breath, see their minute pulse, smell their bodies – and in this way, through a growing curiousity, fall in love with each man. I invite the viewer to ‘complete’ each drawing by adding the element of their imagination: by adding colour, the story of who he is, and thereby allowing all one’s senses and sensitivities to expand.
At a very early age, creativity, expression and beauty became, for me, an obsession.
As a child I would draw every weekend at the Museum of Natural History in New York and draw my favorite animals. At the age of eight, left home alone, I chanced to see a performance of Martha Graham’s 1944 modern dance choreography, Appalachian Spring, on the television. A wave of pleasure and awe rose through my whole body. What was this?
Years later, I began to search ways to repeat this overwhelming experience. I traveled in Italy and found it, through 14th – 16th century Florentine art: Giotto, Masaccio, Fra Angelico and Piero della Francesca. When I began to teach art, 25 years ago, I spoke of this ‘aesthetic orgasm’, in which beauty could be felt viscerally, as an all-body experience. Not an intellectual exercise, but instead a physical experience of being penetrated by beauty. No one knew what I was speaking about, so I said I would build an international research centre for beauty – which I did ten years later.
My dedication, both as an artist and educator, is to share this experience of exaltation to many people, one at a time, so that our culture will move away from banality and ugliness and will demand beauty in all aspects of life; beauty that acts like an anti-depressant, beauty that takes one out of the world of problems and into a world of meaning, beauty that uplifts the soul! – felt physically.
I began teaching art when I moved to Scotland and ran a small studio before building and opening the Moray Art Centre in 2007. The centre has become a UK Partner with The British Museum and Associate Member with The Tate and The National Galleries of Scotland.
My vision is that people will have an experience here that changes their lives or brings them to a new phase in their lives, and they will go home and think: “Why do I live the way I do? Can I not live in a world where the things around me are beautiful, the words and music that I choose to hear – beautiful, the images around me consciously?” It starts with this core idea of beauty being the alleviation of pain, and uplifting the soul and the spirit.
I wish each of my exhibitions to be like a place of worship, in a sense, a place of devotion in which one can look at works very quietly, with contemplation.