I started my life as an artist drawing and painting (see The Confrontation below). Tony Phillips was the most transformative art teacher I ever had. He flipped my switch from drawing what I saw to drawing from within, the stuff of dreams and feelings. He knew what my intent was before my charcoal piece ever touched the paper. I don’t believe in psychic abilities, but I am pretty sure Prof. Phillips had supernatural abilities of some sort. He was a master teacher at work, and a wonderful painter.

The Confrontation (1997). Charcoal on paper. Marientina Gotsis.

Aural Masturbation (2000) has outlasted anything else I have ever posted on the web since 1995. Perhaps my only claim to artistic fame is that typing ‘aural masturbation’ into Google brings up my piece first. The same art piece can always be found floating in the famous Grether list rescued by Golan Levin and is also archived at Rhizome. My best non-online works have been gifted to friends and family, and many other online works have vanished. I am pleased to report that butcher paper lasts longer than most websites or home burned CD-ROMs, and that sometimes, one-hit-wonders are just good enough to keep you going.

I never pursued a traditional career in artmaking. A good friend once told me that an art degree is the most versatile training one can ever get. He was quite right. Art is a way of life: once you have seen the light come in from all directions, you shall never be blindsided. I believe that although art cannot be taught, art school training will never be forgotten. It leaves an indelible mark on how one approaches every aspect of their life. Older artworks from my past life can be found at my UIC/EVL website.

If you love your work, let it go.