Portfolio 1 - New Work 2019

13 new york










Portfolio 2 - Wanderlust

The way I figure things, it could be my parent’s fault (isn’t everything?). It is twilight, and my mother is singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow as I drift off to sleep, utterly at peace. I’m probably three years old. My first memory. It still haunts me, even more so since my mother died.


If you know the song, it promises things are better—somewhere else. A place that you will never get to (it’s over a rainbow), but there, "skies are blue.”

My dad (he’s dead too) made things worse. First a red scooter, then a bike (I crashed a lot in the beginning), and then, around age 11 when everybody else my age was still walking…he threw me the car keys. A Dodge Dart with a push button automatic transmission, I know what you are thinking “yeah right, age 11.” Hey, it was the country (Mississippi, no less, and I was white and it was 1964, which sadly, made a difference at the time in terms of what you could get away with), and what the heck, I could see over the dashboard without assistance. Besides, I stayed on the back roads (which are the best roads) until I was legal.

And so my toolbox has grown; you know – boats, trains, planes (no zeppelins yet, but I’m game). The car remains my preferred drug. I like it best when gulped hot and fast (like a cup of Waffle House road coffee). Three a.m., seven hundred miles behind me and five hundred to go. Nobody on the road but me and those amphetamine-wasted, red-eyed truckers cruising down the road.




The steady beat of the center stripe in the small pool of illumination created by my headlights is hypnotizing. Drawing me onward, until I will have to drop from sheer exhaustion.

But I have to keep going. This is living. And besides, I still haven’t gotten over that rainbow.


Portfolio 3 - Chance Encounters

Stonewall Jackson was a Confederate general known to be fearless in battle, yet almost speechless with terror when speaking before his church congregation. Vincent Van Gogh was riven with turmoil, but made paintings of sublime order and beauty. Martin Luther King observed that there is some good even in those who are evil, and some bad in those who are good. We are all strangers to each other, but most of all to ourselves. And no matter how physically close we press ourselves to someone, we can never inhabit their mind. As a result, we are each secure behind our facades of normalcy, but inevitably, permanently alone for every moment of our existence. And so we search for clues about who these people are that inhabit our world.

All of the people (except one) in these photographs are (truly) strangers to me. It is my hope that each one of the images sets that person apart from every other person in the world, if only for this one moment. We are fellow travelers.


Portfolio 4 - When The Wet Dog Shakes

03 The Owl the Dradonfly the Bee










Portfolio 5 - Triptychs

“Got to have more of it or less of it.”  That’s Jackson Brown, singing about cocaine.  Sometimes, one image is not enough.  Why should it be? Of course, I’ve also heard that “three’s a crowd.”  You be the judge.







Portfolio 6 - Sin Sombras

(A Search for the Meaning of Life, If There Is One, in the Southern California Desert)
or “My name is writ on sand.”

Okay, I didn’t get that quote exactly right. The original is actually on John Keats’ tomb, and goes something like “Here lies One whose Name was writ in Water.” Now, that’s ironic, because the “sand” version captures what I love about the desert (think here of the transience of life), and the desert just happens to be defined by the absence of one thing: water.

Zooming along the concrete corridors of Interstates 8, 10, and 15 that cross the great deserts of southern California, most folks just feel suffocated by the landscape—eager to be anywhere else but here. As the seemingly endless miles go by, they long for alpine oases such as Flagstaff, Arizona, or the cool, shimmering beaches to be found in those paradises-on-earth like La Jolla, California.

So what do all of the hermits, mystics, and holy men see in the desert? After all, ever heard of anyone who wandered around the beach for 40 days and 40 nights before launching a new religion? Nah. The beach is Margaritaville. The beach is for the soft. Go find your flipflops.

The desert is different. It is Las Vegas. It is for the fierce. Here, existence is an act of defiance. A sense of threat hovers over the landscape, low and mean, even on a good day. One stupid mistake, get cut off from the herd--you die. And the desert is ruthlessly indifferent to any outcome. Crybabies--go home.

So, back to where we started--the water thing. Oscar Wilde once said (in paraphrase) that it is hard to know how much is enough of something without having had too much of it. The desert proves the inverse of that principle, that is, it’s hard to know how precious something is until there is not enough of it. Man is able to eke out an existence here by sucking water out of the ground or from the few rivers or streams that exist, and then shepherding it very carefully for long miles through pipes and canals. “No water, no life” is a rule that dictates a spare, uncluttered environment, where the horizon is almost always visible. Maybe this is what attracts both the actual and wannabe prophets. It is as if the austere simplicity of the landscape of the desert frees the mind to turn inward, unfettered, allowing a more unflinching examination of oneself.

So all of you minivan kamikazes with your cruise control set at precisely four miles above whatever the speed limit is on this particular stretch of highway ‘cause you figure the cops won’t stop you…slow down. Stop. There are visions to be had in the desert, for those who are patient and willing to receive them.