My parents had four children, all sons. In 1976, when I was seventeen years old, my oldest brother, Ron, shot himself and died. Eight years later, my youngest brother, Alex, did the same thing. My one remaining brother, Tom, is a chronic alcoholic who is homeless in our hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. I am a fifty five year old husband and father and have been a professional artist since graduating from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1980. After the unexpected death of my father in 1999, I could longer repress my feelings about my family’s struggles and felt compelled to explore the issues of loss and personal tragedy in my art.
At that time it became painfully obvious to me that most of my friends, men in their forties, were facing similar difficulties in their lives: the deaths of loved ones, failed professional ambitions, marital break-ups, separation from their children, and alcoholism. Since 2001 I have been working on this series of large charcoal drawings of my closest friends. I am stealing candid and unguarded moments in their lives. Particulars may differ, but the shared theme in all the drawings is damage.