I have been an Artist all my life. I really made a conscious decision about that around age 6. I'm not kidding, I know it's kinda weird...but it's true. I studied and produced all through my school days and went on to Art College in 1979. Philadelphia College of Art was my Freshman Year. I transferred to CCAC in Oakland and obtained my BFA in 1983. I am now working on my MFA, at PNCA in Portland.
From 1983 until 2000, I lived in 9 States and visited 47. It would be easier for me to list the jobs I didn't have. It was all about supporting my lifestyle, and my Art. I drank alcohol and did a good bit drugs, but it was alcohol that would finally get a grip on me. I got sober in Hawaii on May 1st, 2000. All of my life's experiences allowed me to solve one of our Planets biggest SocioPolitical problems. I know it sounds Cray Cray, but I might get the Nobel Peace Prize when It's all said and done.
...or should I just say LIFE! Because it was beyond transformative. It has brought me so manny gifts. The greatest one in my opinion, is that I now look at my mental health, addiction, and all that entailed as my most important asset. I owned a Gallery in Reno, Nevada. We had a themed show there called "Prohibition," and I had 8 paintings in that show, that are now in this book. That in how this thing started growing. I realized it was bigger than it seems, and interconnected in a very bizarre way.
When I was in preschool, my favorite time of day was when I was allowed to draw and paint. As I got older, this love never faded and eventually I went to college to study art. My beautiful parents and my brother and sister were always encouraging me to do my Art.
The Rolling Stones were usually playing in the background. Being born in 1957, I was 12 in 1969. So this "War on Drugs,' has also been playing right along side it. I've been watching it all my life, and being affected by it. I am lucky, and blessed, that I did not get seriously hurt, or incarcerated because I surely could have been a casualty.
I have always used many different mediums, such as clay, acrylic paint, pastels, printmaking, sculpture, film and video, and photography,...it's all great. I can make Art with anything. I believe that working in a single medium is restrictive to my artistic process. Each idea and medium manifests in its own individual way. But what happened to the paintings in that little show in Reno, turned into a book in Portland, and then it morphed into a "Performative Talk." I now plan to take this on the Road and speak in all 50 States, selling the book as I go.
So here's the thing...My Art and my Politics have become one. I can't end the "War on Drugs" without using the Political System. I also need my Art to make it Universal. Because, make no mistake, this "War on Drugs," is actually a "War on Us," all of us. It's a Global War, Started by the United States. We are the number #1 consumer, so that's kinda hypocritical, and a bit ironic.
I can End the Opioid Epidemic, End Mass Incarceration, End Gun Violence and Gangs and Cartels, Break the back of the Big Pharma, Crush the DEA, ATF, and provide Universal Free Health Care, including Mental Health and Recovery for everyone that's interested, and do it overnight. By changing just this one thing, ending Prohibition of all drugs. It will positively transform the World. Can you imagine that? I can, and I did. let's make it happen.
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