As a child, I discovered a 19th-Century copy of Dante’s “Inferno” underneath my parents’ bed, heavily illustrated. The etchings were horrifying but enthralling. As I grew older I learned the artist was Gustave Doré, and fell in love with his illustrations for Paradise Lost and the Bible as well. In high school I found William Blake through his poetry, but after seeing his visual art I became obsessed with it. The fantasy, spirituality, and visceral works of both were among my first influences, as well as artwork I found on album covers from the metal bands of the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, as well as those that came later. All combine the fantastic and the carnal into one without compromise.

I use these base and transcendental elements to express the intensity of emotion I experience as catharsis, as expression for thoughts that have none in language. I utilize melancholy, creepy, and metaphysical imagery in order to do so. Horror, depression, and existential anxiety as well as happiness and exultation. I acknowledge humanity’s suffering and celebration. I identify with them and seek to give others a voice and connection through my work. I offer a small but significant consolation that they really aren’t as alone as they feel, that at least one person has been where they are, too; that they are understood. That is what I have always wanted, and what I want to give back.