At one point in your life, you will experience a sort of crucible. An event which influences your perception of the world and tests your inner character. Whether or not you rise to the challenge, you come out a changed person. The old fairy tales and stories which have been passed down through generations illustrated this concept through a common motif. The Dark Woods, the Enchanted forest, whatever the name the character usually came out on the other side stronger with fewer illusions about the world around them.
My goal is to bring these characters into the 21st century, exploring the fictional characters classic motifs using modern college student experiences. Thus establishing the relationship between the past and present. Maybe you see yourself in these characters as you did growing up reading about them or watching TV.
As a veteran, I understand first hand that you learn a lot of things when you enlist into the military. Aside from how to accurately fire a rifle or applying a tourniquet, you learn how to become a functioning adult. When I returned to college after five years of active duty, I saw these kids in college going through similar life lessons. I would argue that college is to these students what the forest was for snow white, or the military was for myself: a coming of age ritual.
These portraits debut at the DOWD Fine Arts Center at SUNY Cortland March, 2017. You can see them all here of course. I hope to grow this collection and maybe revisit some of the characters.