I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now
My dad still lives in the home I grew up in, and this is his backyard today. My sisters are much older than me, so growing up I spent a lot of time alone outdoors. For some reason, my mother wouldn’t let me have a dog. But she would let me have bunnies and birds outside. This is me in the backyard with my first rabbit, Blanca. I also had a mallard duck named Doc around this time that had imprinted on me and followed my every step around our neighborhood and at the beach.
As a child, I preferred to be outside because inside was always serious. My mother was very ill, and by the time I was 5 years old, I had attended four family funerals. Shortly after this black-and-white photo was taken in our garden, my sister was hit by a car. She was in the hospital for two months, and the accident left her permanently disabled. I believe that the combination of these circumstances contributed to why I felt like an adult at a very young age. Based on these experiences, I now have this theory that if you don’t have a childhood you never get to grow up. While I felt old as a child, I now feel younger as an adult. The artwork I create about innocence and identity is a direct result of the experiences I had in my youth. I believe it is the purpose God gave me. I’m not elevating myself; just providing a reason for why I’m so sensitive to evaporating innocence. So when you look at any piece of mine know that they all begin with a self-portrait.