Although I expressed an interest in art as a child through writing, drawing and photography, it wasn't until much later that a truly deep-rooted passion was ignited. Through a chance encounter with a friend who had studied art in Paris, I began to actually connect the artwork on the wall with the artist. Around the same time another friend shared a quote from Van Gogh that I found deeply inspiring: "If you hear a voice within you say, 'You cannot paint,' then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced." Shortly thereafter in the fall of 2002 I began painting without reservation.
Instinctively drawn to the abstract, it wasn't long before various materials and techniques made their way into my efforts. I was soon incorporating unusual items including rocks, bits of wood and even yard clippings into my paintings. Having an affinity for discarded things, especially rusty, burnt and broken items, I began collecting found objects. This led to my fascination and experimentation with collage and non-traditional sculpture. A few select words from modern artist Jasper Johns managed to further the cause: "Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it." For me this was truly a call to arms.
As a self-taught artist, I have no formal training and rarely subject my work to review. I approach the creative process with an inherent need to express, often through social commentary and self-examination. The act of sharing my art with others completes the circle in my mind with the viewer playing a vital role. Although my work is rarely for sale, the first painting I exhibited in March 2003, "Contented Man of Men," was purchased during my debut with the Untitled Artists' Group in Nashville, Tennessee. I had purposefully over-priced the abstract self-portrait (pictured above) because I honestly did not want to part with it. I miss it dearly to this day.
Since that first exhibit I have shown my work many times, sold a handful of pieces, and often give away my art to family and friends. As it turns out I've achieved more than I ever hoped for because all I really wanted was to create art that I could enjoy and share with others. Truth be told, critical acclaim and mass appeal mean little if anything to me. Neither seem to have been a distraction thus far.
Now, a handful of years since I began, I have filled my walls with art that I created and I have the ongoing pleasure of sharing my work with countless others. In all honesty, what more could I ask for?
For inquiries concerning artwork or related opportunities,
please contact DJ Justice directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous exhibits include: