I’ve been painting, off and on, since the mid-80s. Despite graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago I’m largely self-taught. I only started working in this style recently, for a number of reasons.
Travel helps. I got inspired by Los Angeles, which looks like a gigantic stage set after the sun goes down. I’m crazy for artificial lighting and sun-drenched landscapes with saturated colors. And it’s thrilling to turn a crappy Thai hotel room into a studio, or to work on a piece while sipping cà phê sữa đá at a cafe in Hanoi.
Cameras are getting more and more magical, and my work is so dependent on photos. As my cameras get higher and higher resolution, capable of picking up more subtle lighting, so my paintings become increasingly detailed and their palette more sophisticated.
Lastly I owe so much of my style to affordable Chinese airbrushes, matte acrylic gouache (opaque and waterproof, the best of both worlds), water-soluble oil pastels, fluorescent pigments for black light, glow-in-the-dark powders, laser-cut stencils, etc. etc., the technology is so fun to explore.
Paintings should be fun to look at. This is my idea of a good time.