For pricing inquiries or to purchase original artwork by ToiletFireArt, please contact 


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Exhibitions

Mani(a)c

Site specific art installation at:

ArtsWorcester

44 Portland Ave. 

Worcester MA

Sept 9-Oct 8

Opening reception: Friday September 16th 6-9

I am honored to be a part of ArtsWorcester's brand spankin' new "project spaces." For this exhibit I created a site specific installation which is meant to look like my studio. The point isn’t to show the best of my work, or the worst. Just everything as it is. I wanted to give the viewer an opportunity to look inside my world. To see what it is like to be a creator living with my condition. Much of society views people like me as dangerous or incapable. I want to change that.


The overwhelming majority of people in art and entertainment industries portray mental illness from the outside. As a result we are almost always confronted with art the further stigmatizes mental illness. The schizophrenic in the movie is almost always portrayed as the serial killer. We are de-huamnized, perpetuating the idea that we are dangerous monsters meant to be numbed and shut away. We live in a world that likes to comfort itself by sorting us into neat little boxes. To quote artist, activist, and educator Ceasar A. Cruz “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”

This art installment brings to life hallucinations, paranoia, sleep disorders, and things experienced during manic states. My goal is to pull the viewer into the mind of someone society would consider a “maniac.” By appealing to different senses through mixed-media, sound, light, images, and texture I give the audience an experience that is raw and honest.

How does one try to put order to chaos? How does a “maniac” collect their thoughts? How to we present ourselves in a way that is absolute when our existence feels so abstract? How do we express ourselves when answering the performative “hi, how are you” with anything other than “fine” feels burdensome? How do we begin? By creating a narrative that is at times uncomfortable but necessary.

I brought this installation to life because I wanted to share not only my experiences with the positive and negative symptoms of my condition but also the complex and painstaking process of trying to understand and cope.



Hallucinations are considered a “positive symptom” associated with psychosis, conditions on the schizophrenia spectrum, and other related mental conditions.

Positive symptoms are things that are added to a person’s experience, such as hallucinations. Negative symptoms are things that are reduced, or are taken away from a person, such as isolating or difficulty speaking.


There are 5 types of hallucinations:

Visual (seeing) I see a cat but there is no cat

Auditory (Hearing) I hear a cat but there is no cat

Tactile (Feeling) I feel a cat brushing up against my leg but there is no cat

Olfactory (Smelling) I smell a cat but there is no cat

Gustatory (Tasting) I’m pretty sure this food was made of or by cats and I can not eat it because it’s contaminated


There you have the five basic cats of hallucination. There are other branches of hallucinations and conditions associated with each. Also worth mentioning are hypnogogic hallucinations, which happen between wakefulness and sleep. Usually these hallucinations occur during sleep paralysis. These types of hallucinations are much more common and do not require the presence of schizophrenia or other psychosis.

The Dark Conscious

A video created as part of the ArtsWorcester exhibit:


I wanted to show people what it is like to live with hallucinations and I thought, what better way to do that than with Shadow Puppets!?

The themes of exploring the shadow-self and the dark conscious comes from Carl Jung. In one of his dreams he went down a set of stairs (which reminds me of certain spiritual out of body practices) and he explored different 'parts' of himself. Of course he told the dream to Freud who told Jung he had the dream because he wished Freud was his dad or some weird shit. Not everything is about YOU, Freud.



Self-Portraits

Self-Portrait of an Artist​

A monochromatic watercolor painting portraying the angst of an artist experiencing manic dysphoria. Inspired by Picasso's blue period and Van Gogh's self-mutilation.


Medium; Watercolor on 300 lb hot press 

The Wretch I had Created: To be looked at upside down and sideways on a Tuesday when it's Raining

The eyes are often the most important part of a self-portrait. We recognize each other and empathize through eye contact. Through the eyes we show vulnerability or materialize emotion. They establish intent as they seem to follow you around a room.

I created this self-portrait entirely during manic states. I wanted to give the viewer a glimpse of what it is like to experience and create during a manic episode. During mixed or dysphoric mania, it is common for the pupils of the eyes to widen, making them appear almost black. The lack of detail and reflection of light deviates from what traditional portraitists value most. It creates a void that seems to stare back at you.

I think we create self-portraits (or any art) as a way to deal with our mortality. Our desire to recapture those meaningful yet fleeting moments speaks of our longing to exist through narrative long after we have gone or that moment has passed. 


Oil & mixed media on canvas

Isolated Flamingo Incident

The Isolated Flamimgo Incident

On freehand checkerboard with weird human-claw manicure

Made with culture hustle potion pack and the pinkest pink


Medium : Scented Acrylic 

16X40 Canvas unframed


FOR SALE

Giclee prints coming soon!

Bodegas and Roses

My continued exploration of female roles in spiritual narrative and mythology comes to life with vivid color in my portrayal of this matriarchal figure. As an artist and storyteller, interplay of adaptation and rebellion, the old and the new, often find a home in my work. The relationship between Christian conquest, The virgin of Guadalupe, the deity Tonantzin, and how this relates to the universal idea of the mother goddess is the central theme for this piece. I made the abstract bodegas in the background using layers of chalk pastels, chalk seeming like an appropriate medium for a city scape. The crude design and materials used is meant to feel very much like what most people would refer to as ‘outsider art,’ or art that exists beyond the realm of the elite. 


Medium : Oil paint and chalk pastel 

30X48 on wood panel


You can watch a video explanation below to learn more :


https://youtu.be/OqARmpSSM3A


FOR SALE

Giclee prints coming soon!

Metamorphosis

Metamorphosos

This piece is concerning the loss of cultural identity

For a full video explanation of the piece click here : 


https://youtu.be/t7Fl0Qzp_AM 


Medium : Oil paint and ink 

24X48 on canvas



FOR SALE 



Deb's Playthings

A custom shadowbox I made for one of my Patreon supporters. 

Chlamydia Fish

 From a series I started, concerning the oceans, water, and our relationships with those things.

Overfishing is destroying the delicate ecosystems in our oceans. Most of our oxygen comes from the ocean. All of the life on this planet is fiercely dependent on our oceans. If our oceans die, we die. Our oceans are dying. Probably at a faster rate than you think.

Most fisheries are cages in the ocean, which are terrible for the ecosystem and the fish you eat. The fish have hosts of diseases, including chlamydia, and are so grotesque you would never consider eating them if you saw the condition they lived in/what they looked like. Their grey and green sick flesh is dyed pink to make you think it looks ‘normal’ and healthy.

More than half of the plastic pollution in the ocean come from the fishing industry. The save-the-ocean-anti-plastic companies focus on how we can, as individuals, contribute less to plastic pollution. None of them talk about the fishing industry because that’s where the bulk of their donations come from. It’s a cover up. They just tell you not to use plastic spoons. It placates the public into thinking we can take control as individuals while they are making dirty back door deals.

There is no such thing as dolphin safe, fair trade or sustainable. Those are labels they pay to put on their products in the hopes that you will blindly consume. There is still by catch. There are still slaves. Ecosystems on our planet are collapsing. They still deal in illegal, non-sustainable exploitative activities. Don’t let those labels fool you.

Native human populations in overfished areas are starving because they can not get food. Their waters are overfished to the point of starvation. Their livelihood has become increasingly dangerous. It is easier to exploit and enslave these people. Some turn to crime and piracy. A lot of the fishing industry exploits labor. Slavery is still a big part of the fishing industry.

No one is regulating this shit. Governments say they are. That’s a lie. Oceans are big. People get bribed. No one checks up. It is very dangerous to speak out against the fishing industry. They don’t want you to know. Now you know.

What can we do? Consume less fish. Be a wiser consumer. Be more self-sustaining. Stop breeding. The world is overpopulated and we are too destructive of a species to keep growing and consuming the way we are. If you do breed, consider the world your children will one day be living in. Raise them to be aware. Raise them to do better.


Medium : Watercolor and mica on paper (You can't see how pretty the mica looks in the photo!)


Will be up for sale as soon as it is framed

Trusty ol' lute legs!

Here’s Lookin' at YOU, Freud - Trusty Ol’ Lute Legs

🥚 🎠

This is the Ego : 


“The ego is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse.” -Freud

⬛️♥️⬜️♦️⬛️🦋⬜️


Heres Lookin at YOU Freud is aseries of visual explorations of the three aspects of the human psyche

They all involve eggs….

Each piece was inspired by visual elements of two tarot cards.

Also inspired by happenings in the lives of Nark and Sapling ; After a long day of recording, Sapling ran into Nark at a local bar. They pointed out that the three of us together made really good representations of the individual aspects of the human psyche. Collectively we are a whole personality. Can you guess which personality trait I represent? 


FOR SALE 

Played Like a Fiddle

Played Like A Fiddle

Case AT Type 410 - The Rape of the Sleeping Beauty in the Briar Rose

Part of my series 

Drunk in a Toy Store and Out of Tampons with Aarne Thompson and Kurt Cobain


Mixed Media shadowbox on bed frame

36X36


FOR SALE

The Rebirth of Venus



Medium : Acrylic and Oil 


24X48 on canvas


FOR SALE

Mirror Mask

This painting is based off a strange and under-appreciated Neil Gaiman coming of age movie - Mirror Mask. The movie is about a young girl who lives and performs in her parents circus. She escapes/gets trapped in the surreal fantasy world she created with her drawings. 


Medium : Acrylic, ink and milk paint on canvas 24X30 on canvas

Columbia In Agony

Columbia in Agony

We Want You

A piece I 'sold' that I NEVER got payment for!


Medium : acrylic paint and Worcester Telegram & Gazette collage from the 1920's

Uncle Sams Queer Grandkid

The High Priestess