Astranomelly | Acrylic on Canvas | 78″ x 120″
“Astranomelly” was the culminating piece of my artist residency in Downtown San Diego. During the months of April/May (2012) I spent 50 days painting on Broadway Avenue, generally averaging 10-12 hours per session and never taking a single day off. Basically living in the studio as I found myself on the precipice of homelessness, this climactic creation measures 6.5′ x 10′ and is representative of my collective experiences as “The Boy In The Box.” The culture shock of the residency experience made this both an artistic opportunity and a sociological experiment as I found myself imbued with the regionalism of this foreign community and was indoctrinated into their culture. The individuals that visited and shared their stories during my tenure in the box were all incorporated into the painting, their names inscribed in the underpainting that surrounds the iconic vortex (or black hole) that is simultaneously a symbol of the outward eyes looking in at me as I poured my soul into the canvas. The concept for “Astranomelly” came to me on a car ride home at 3:30am as I listened to the track “Battling the Sun” by local musician Astra Kelly. I had met Astra earlier that evening when she stopped in during a rare San Diego storm. The rest of the story I now leave with you.