Eye Tattooed America
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.