For the past couple of years I’ve been working on a new and interesting idea that has turned into something visually rewarding and inspiring. My currently Pittsburgh PA based artwork is pastel on canvas. I turn graphically and historically interesting manholes that we walk over everyday into a piece of colorful and creative artwork.
I use a canvas and conte crayons for my initial lift, then in my studio I create the finished piece. The environment and the available material is what dictates my work and it is where I get my inspiration for the lighting and the color. I’ve been doing my lifts all around the Pittsburgh area and plan to continue finding new ones in culturally rich areas. My hopes are that this project leads to travel, maybe to communities next door or to communities across the world.
My inspiration came from my rides to work each morning on my bicycle. I would see interesting designs and it dawned on me that this was visual art that we hardly ever notice on our daily commute. Someone designed these functional pieces of metal that are practical windows to the earth below our man made world. It is already a graphic design; I just thought I would take it a step further.
I really enjoy the process of coming up with the materials, finding out how to create what I want, and then producing a finished piece. When it takes on a life of its own and can speak for itself without explanation, that’s when I feel I have accomplished my goal. When I’m creating my art I’d like to think I’m inspiring someone to think about the world a little differently and maybe even start something of their very own. That’s what other artists do for me; they make me think of things in an entirely new way. My goal is to become an independent artist, free to explore my imagination.
I was born in Wilkinsburg, PA and lived in various locations until I ended up back in Pittsburgh pursuing a degree at The Art Institute. After graduating I worked as an airbrush artist at several studios. In 1975 I started my own commercial retouching business and along with my wife Bonnie we have turned it into an award-winning digital photo illustrating studio as well as a professional photo restoration business.
I have experimented with different medias such as water color, wood, glass, sculpting and photography. One thing that has interested me is making the unnoticed, noticed. This is what I am trying to accomplish in my latest body of work, Manhole Art . I hope to push this work as far as it will allow and hopefully it will push me into places I’ve only dreamed. Luckily I have unconditional support from my equally creative family.