“Elegant and strange, these otherworldly beauties beckon us to realms of exquisite darkness and frightful light. A delicate harmony of contrast and congruence emerges giving birth to a new kind of Goddess.”
Q: Could you explain your fascination with devils and angels?
A: Devils and angels have become the symbolic embodiment of good and evil. They haunt us as reflections of our selves. They represent the opposite extremes in human behavior and nature and have become part of a contemporary mythology of good and evil. Even outside of Christian influenced imagery there are examples of demons, devils, angels and avatars in all of the worlds great religions. In each of us is the capacity to do good as well as the capacity to do evil. We sometimes mistake our own impulses for the voices of Devils and Angels over our shoulders, as if we are not responsible for our actions. We are torn between our selfishness and our compassion. We struggle with our weaknesses, even as we search for redemption. I wrestle with these things as an artist as I wrestle with them as a person.
Q: Some of your creations possess characteristics of both devil and angels. Where did this come from and what does it represent?
A: At some point the images started to look more and more alike. Both the devils and the angels seemed to me to be like elemental sprits that exist in nature, neither good or evil. Within nature is both beauty and pain, birth and destruction. Many nobel creatures live and care for their young by feeding on the weak and the sick. The forces of good and evil combine to create a natural order that does not separate these things but embraces them both.
I was trying with these images, to express a harmony and a balance that was missing in my earlier representations of the more traditional devils and angels. Some of these new pictures are an attempt for me to find that harmony in my self. Now when I look at some of the older paintings that portray a devil I sometimes see good. In the angels I sometimes see evil. It’s a strange thing.
Q: At your website your referred to some of this work as a goddess series. Could you elaborate on this?
A: I think of the goddess as the embodiment of desire and the source of life. She is a force of nature, beautiful and mysterious to man. When the devils and angels merged they formed a new goddess, one that is cold and cruel while at the same time warm and sweet. These images have been inspired by love, pain, fear and wonder.
Q: There is a distinct erotic quality to a lot of this work. Is that part of the symbolism or is it more a matter of style?
A: On a more basic and playful level, devils and angels are the subject of many peoples sexual fantasies. We are attracted to both. Some of these images are an exploration of these fantasies and an attempt to capture the essence of their attraction.
Q: How have you incorporated these ideas into your tattoo work?
A: I first started working with Devil and Angel imagery as the subject of tattoo work. I found a lot of clients wanted their tattoos to express their own struggles with good and evil, right and wrong. The devils and angels are powerful symbols in the skin. They act as talismans of repentance, or malevolence. Tattoos have a lot of power to transform people by changing how they see themselves. I have worked with clients who have used their tattoos to explore the dark and light aspects of their personalities by developing an elaborate narrative of images for their bodies. For me Devils and Angels will be an unending source of imagery and inspiration for tattoo art.
Q: What are you working on now and what can we expect to see from you in the near future?
A: I have been working on a series of backpeice and body suit designs which explore a range of surreal, mythological and horror themes. There is also a deck of Tarot cards in the works as well as a new flash set of fully painted skulls. I have had the pleasure of working with a bunch of really talented artists on a wide range of flash projects. Our goal was to put together a comprehensive collection of flash that would represent the best of today’s cutting edge styles.
My personal work has been changing a lot and has been turning into some strange kind of universal mythology that draws on a wide variety of cultures and influences.