I was born & raised in a generic home located in one of the many developing suburbs in Colorado. Soon an example of American capitalism forced its way in next door, a megamall. And the quiet, out of the way area became a bustling, jumbled up mess of same minded, boring west coast clones. I had to flee; my refuge was an art school in the heart of a decaying city that never recovered from the loss of industry – Baltimore. A violent, glum & disparaging city, I spent 4 incredible years being educated at the Maryland Institute College of Art. It left an indelible mark; it helped create the open minded, yet distinctly process oriented artist that I am today.
I stayed a 5th year & lived in an apartment next to some low income projects; there I honed in and focused my paintings. It was during this time that my constant prying into the personal lives of friends led to paintings filled with psychological explorations. This is what interested the admissions committee at Yale where I where would go to grad school. There I found was attracted to the diverse body of students. While the overall nature of the students was full of a creative vigor, I was to find, the unfortunate problem was the politics generated by an intense, hard-working, mostly arrogant group of artists. I found myself rebelling against this rebellious group. This was unnecessary & ultimately counter productive as I discover the art world in general, was just like the Yale School of Art & I wasn't going to escape. Still with those philosophical differences, I found a solid base of friends to work with and ultimatly to be inspired by.
A year after graduating Yale, I was offered to return for a teaching appointment. It was a Lecturer position – a fixed 2 year term professor position that had me teaching drawing & painting to enthusiastic undergrad's. I also did one on one critique's with the grad-students. This, along with working with the faculty members whom I had previously had gotten along with the least, proved be to be a unforseen tremendous undertaking. I was too young & hadn't really been out on my own long enough. Being nearly the same age as the grad-students, had me constantly paired up with ones that were really aggressive & temperamental, who felt I had nothing to offer. Fortunately this was not the case with the undergrad's; they were great listeners & huge workers who faced up to the tasks I presented them. With the undergrad's, it wasn't like a job at all; it was like it was meant to be. But alas, it wasn't going to last, the 2 years went by quickly & my hope of finding another job vanished into the sea of the other myriad MFA students from around the world all vying for those few jobs.
With nothing else to do I moved to New York City. It was easy for me; my girlfriend was already down there working on a Masters in Architecture. I came without a job & at a difficult time; it was September 2001. just a week before 9-11, I had a couple of interviews & there were jobs, after, nothing. It took 3 months, almost filling for bankruptcy & dozens of phone calls to find a Preparator position at Christie's New York in Photography. I thought of it as temporary, a job that I would leave behind. I didn't expect to gain any knowledge being there, however coupled with real life in NYC, what I was to gain was unexpected & immeasurable. I'm still at Christie's - having had the unthinkable happen, a new boss coming in & conspiring to have me & a few others removed as to make way for his old team from a rival auction house to take our jobs. I fought back & ended up helping unionize the Art Handler's. We finally wrestled through the Union Busting & have a contract.
In the last few years in addition to painting I have been exploring black & white photography and I finally feel like I have enough work to post it here on my website prominently. Oh, I should mention that I have also recently gotten married to the same girl that I followed to NYC & we just had little baby, Justin Jeon Cuvelier...........