Photo by Sarah Cass
I was born on Easter Sunday in 1981 in Hartford Connecticut, USA, the last of four children raised by an ex-navy private, (dishonorably discharged) turned-peacnik, turned self-employed social worker Father and a home maker Mother, both from California. Both families are mostly from Italy, although I look more Irish, than anything.
I had a lonely childhood, I think - I guess, where I felt extremely out of place and was labeled, "strange" and "weird" by my peers, which did a number on my self confidence and made me rely on an inside world of my own. I didn't feel very smart most of the time and didn't really identify with more than one or two people at one time. I rarely showed the usual signs of rebellion, but I never did that well in school, as the system itself had little room to go up, just down to slower and slower classes. I had an incredibly illogical fear of homework.
It sounds as cheesy as it gets, but my grade school art teacher was a tremendous supporter of my art habits and I wish I could thank her personally. In first grade, I starred as The Little Gingerbread Man in, The Little Gingerbread Man. I thought that was wild. I still do. I took part in my first art show at around the age of fourteen. My parents and grandparents drove to where it was hung, a few hours away. It was sort of embarrassing.
I moved to Boulder, CO when I was 18 to get away from Connecticut. I dropped out of the local University (University of Colorado, Boulder) after receiving exceptionally horrible therapy services after attempting to cope with losing my parents who passed away six months apart from each other. I was only a student for few years. Nothing gained.
I moved to Denver to shake out a depression and continue at a new school, The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. I did exceptionally well there, under Clark Richert and the rest of the Fine Arts Department. During that time, I probably was in an art opening in a gallery of some sorts, at the very least, every month in some way.
I graduated in 2004 and moved directly into a Catholic High School-turned art studios - somewhat illegally, until the building itself was demolished to make room for a parking lot. Phil Bender was the landlord. The parking lot is still there.
I then moved into Andenken Gallery - the 21st/Market location and stayed there for 3 1/2 years. I had my first solo art show at a place called, Rhinoceropolis, their second art show ever and it was well-received.
Andenken lasted until the owner of the building raised the rent on all of us - included the gallery owner, by three times the previous rent and our little bit part in revitalizing a shit part of town caused our own downfall, ala Richard Florida's Creative Class. I began at Andenken as a gallery intern and helped put on events, hang shows, throw parties, etc. It was a large space with a lot of different people and a lot of crazy shit went down there.
I then lived in a strange office-like space above a cabinet maker in a bad part of Denver, with very cheap rent and a very nice, honest and hard-working landlord who owns the building. When living there, I produced three solo shows, here in Denver.
I took the Fall off and lived in Paris in 2009, a few blocks from L'Hotel de Ville, if you're familiar with the city. I moved back in January, being without a home for a few months. I currently live in an unfurnished, unfinished basement in a non-descript part of Denver, Colorado, living inside my camping tent, with nothing but clothes in plastic bins and a few books.
My studio is in a bad part of town, which I share with Laurie Lynnxe Murphy. It used to be where hearses were stored, when they weren't used in funerals. Before we moved in, the entire place was covered in motor oil.
Other than identifying myself as an artist, I currently identify myself as a cyclist. I've taken part in a few seasons of cyclocross racing, as well as self-supported bike touring across America from Canada to Mexico and visiting France, Spain, Switzerland and New Zealand in multiple trips - all by bike. I usually just bring a tent and camp for free, wherever I can find a good dry patch. Take pictures. Enjoy the view as it slowly reveals itself to me, around every turn of the road. I've traveled extensively without a bicycle, both home and abroad. I usually spend time away from traveling, wishing I was traveling and balancing the other parts of my life to work around leaving for months at a time. I am not a world traveler by any stretch. It's not really a goal.
I'm actively learning French.
I'm a straight-up computer hacker. Self taught and I've done it since I got bored of highschool classes. What I've learned is that I much rather enjoy my time away from computers and electronic networks , but do enjoy these tools as facilitators to Real-World activities. I have the lamest cellphone imaginable.