After visiting with me for three days, a good friend who I had not seen for many years exclaimed, “Dude, you’ve changed, you’re WEIRD! I’m leaving!”
It was true. In the three years prior, I had started training quite seriously in Zen and various martial arts while living in Oahu, Hawai'i. One of the biggest manifestations of training so vigorously is expedited change in one's self. My friend and I were now very different and it may have seemed to him I was a different person altogether.
Upset and wanting to let go of that moment, I decided to use that as the premise of my show Weird's Around.
Weird's Around, my first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, opened with a reception on November 18th, 2011.
Weird's Around was a group of roughly 30 illustrations composed of construction paper and crafted with Exacto blades and wood glue. I developed a visual language using figurative images from daily life to investigate my own challenges regarding introspection, vanity, and selfishness:
“I have cousins who live on the East Coast. Over a period of a year, I missed all their weddings because I chose to train as a live-in at a dojo in Hawaii. I wrote one of them a letter explaining my prior obligations and wished her well. I enclosed a check to help with MORE honeymoon expenses and mailed it. A year later, I realized that the ‘get out of jail free card’ I sent wasn’t for her but for me; to make me feel better for missing an important moment in her life.”