The 12 Steps

This series of 12 narrative paintings of drunks and junkies attempts to bring a more personal face to addiction, illustrating some all-too familiar scenarios of alcohol and drug abuse. I am a recovering alcoholic/addict with over 25 years clean and sober, thus aware that the issue affects huge segments of the population, either personally or in relationships (romantic, familial or otherwise). Therefore these are both universal and personal statements, combining humour/pathos in themes common to the disease.

I'd like to both shock and amuse the viewer, familiarizng them and in this way desensitizing the issue, and ideally removing some of the stigma. Who Are You (awakening to a stranger), I'll Be A Little Late... (in front of a car wreck), Seclusion the junkie's stoned leer, Zzzzzz is a partyer passed out at the table. Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty is the typical drunk chasing their pet in search of affection, which unreciprocated could flip to rage. Ladies Night is 4 young women out on the town, just about to drive with more than their legal limit. Most alcoholics can say "Been there, done that" on far too many of these scenarios, but in recovery there's as much laughter as tears at our common stories...

In terms of content 'The 12 Steps' hearken to Edgar Degas' The Absinthe Drinker and Edouard Manet's Un Bar Aux Folies-Bergeres among others. The titles in sparkling letters are reminiscent of Byzantinine mosaics and early Christian reflective surfaces. "Glitter as it were with rays of light..." a visual allusion the illusory beauty, drama and flashiness promised - but rarely delivered - by drugs and alcohol.