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This Might Kill Us

This past weekend I went on a much needed visit to Nashville, TN to see my brother. We always have great philosophical discussions and agree on basically everything from culture, human and animal rights, life, etc. While our minds were filled with heady topics and our mouths were filled with vegetarian pizza slices, he drove us around Nashville showing me all the things that had changed. I lived there from 2003-2006 and I have been back only twice to visit. We drove by a house I rented in a not-so-great part of East Nashville or “East Nasty” as I found out some locals are calling it now. We also tried to visit my old band/party house on Hawkins Street that my bandmates and I rented. Unfortunately, upon turning down the street and seeing the cul-de-sac where Hart, Ashford and Wayne and I threw so many drunken parties, recorded our first and only album, “This Might Kill Us” (with my brother, Rame playing lead guitar), where I had received my first illustration job for Atlanta Magazine to do a piece for an article about homeless children, where I taught myself to screen-print, and where I painted in the breakfast nook – the brick house with asbestos trim from the 50’s had been torn down. A stark white, Miami Vice drug lord stucco structure stood in it’s place. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m probably the biggest and only Miami Vice fan) Rame and I both exclaimed, “Awwww man, no way!” As we both talked about all the changes and drove around the area and saw all the other major changes, I realized where a lot of my inspiration has come from over the years. Whether it’s animals, architecture, landscapes or portraits, my work seems to always concern itself with the past and the ephemeral. Things that are not permanent. Structures that once were but are no more. Nature that could have been. The changing world. Nostalgic is a word that I use cautiously. Yes, nostalgia is a stepping stone, but I don’t think it is blatant like it is in Americana Art. I’m intrigued by the “what was” but also the “what could’ve been”.  As I feel myself transitioning once again into some bigger and broader forays of subject, it’s important for me as an artist to find the common thread.

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