As a child riding the street cars of Chicago in the summer with my mother, my eyes would seek out the bare arms of male riders with daggered-skulls, snake-entwined ladies, sinking ships, and scrolls announcing "Remember Pearl Harbor," "Guadalcanal,"
or "Death Before Dishonor."
As a teenager, I tattooed myself (and others) using india ink and thread-wrapped needles.
Years later, those tattoos, and some acquired in the navy, would be covered up by Buddy McFall
and Dale Grande
, who worked from my new and much more sophisticated tattoo designs.
By 1993, when Ed Hardy
put together a nation-wide tattoo exhibit at Ann Nathan Gallery, Chicago,
of professional tattooists artists who also did fine art, I was included. That show was a catalysis for my work as a painter.