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Freak Show


This exhibit is a self-project inspired by my drug addiction, my demise and my checking into rehab last August. I have become fascinated with institutions and the institutionalized. The characters in my drawings, such as the moon with John Lennon glasses, the pig holding a newspaper, or the alien man and his cigarette, represent institutionalized people from various societies with various conditions. I have met lots of these people in my 20 years. Medically speaking, I am one myself.

I have made a strong connection between institutions and abnormalities, and this observation has led me to. So, I have been researching an interest in American freak shows of the early 1900s, in which people were put on display because of their physical abnormalities. Many of these American ‘freaks’ of the 30s are represented in my art, including the bearded lady, the man in the dress, and the tiny man.

The sketches in my sketchbook often inspire me. I often build on drawings from my sketchbook, some of which are familiar characters that I have invented in my head- some and developed over years, and some are from sources. Some of my pieces may seem like they came out of a children’s book, containing clowns, dolls, exaggerated smiles, and wide eyes. But the characters from this children’s book have been taken out of their context and faced with the realities of hardship, isolation, desperation, and finally institutionalization.

I have recently recreated started to expand a series based on a character I had sketched while watching the 1932 drama, “Freaks.” He is the announcer at the beginning of the film and introduces the freak show, using critical statements like, They did not ask to be brought into this world…