behind the façade

This series was created in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. That year my son noted artist Lucien Smith decided he wanted to live with me he was 11 years old. It was a very hard year on me to say the least. I was living with my second wife Uyanga, my son and a Golden Retriever from Mississippi that must have been retarded. After my son went back to live with his mother after a year (He had enough of the struggle) and Uyanga left me and moved to DC I was alone and depressed. Again I turned to my art to give me comfort. This is when I believe my visual dialogue and technique was taken to the next level: color, scale and subject matter all working together and the end result powerful, provocative and poignant. The series took three years to complete from 2003-2006. I survived 11 days in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and was working on my ‘Usual Suspects’ piece when the New Orleans Picayune journalist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Chris Rose discovered me working in my studio while the entire city was in state of emergency. He titled the piece he wrote about me: ‘Peace Among The Ruins’ and the feature was later included in the book ‘One Dead In The Attic’ a New York Times Best Seller.