''My plan has always been to hit at least two international cities a year.  I've gotten around and up in several cities in the past 5 years and this is my second time to London in that time. I have several good friends there and love the city.''
''I left LA and arrived in London on April 21. I was traveling with a good friend and stayed in Shoreditch.'' 

''I first met with one of my best friends living in London Chadd Curry, aka dahc Dermur.  He took us out and we saw Nitzerebb in this amazing underground space. It was awesome.''

''I scoped out London on the 22nd and ''hit'' it the 23rd. It's one city you can safely tag during the day. Had an amazing time while I was on Brick Lane and cruising through ''throwing-up'' work.''  

''As I approached this mosque on Brick Lane, I glanced up and saw George Passmore of Gilbert and George. There's a story here and history. The previous time I went to London I ''hit'' Shoreditch pretty hard. About six months after, I got a message from one of the galleries I work with, that Gilbert and George were showing Homo Riot as their own work in an exhibition of new work.''
''Apparently, Gilbert and George's new work was derivative of the street art in Shoreditch, being their neighbourhood. So I was more than pissed, I was flattered! But anyway, so I went up to George and pushed a Homo Riot ''slap'' in his face and said, "Do you know who this is?"  It freaked him out!'' 

''I met a couple of other street artists on the trip, one in Star Alley and the other on the street near the Gilbert and George mosque area. He made these amazing street post toppers (I'm going to try to remember his name), out of metal. He was on a step ladder when I ran into him and I was thinking, I wish I had that fucking step ladder. He had a camera and I asked him if he was a street art photographer and he said, no, he was just taking pictures of his work. So cool.''

''I got a tattoo while there with my bud Liam Sparkes at Old Habits and one of the highlights, I hung with the OG gay street artists Paul Le Chien another super cool old guy with so much great work.''
''After London, my friend and I took off for Amsterdam and made it for King's Day which was amazing and I participated in a street art exhibition at NDSM with street artists from all over the world. It was very cool and made some great contacts and new friends.''

''Mostly after that I spent my time hitting Amsterdam with slaps. There is apparently some beef between graff writers and wheatpasters in Amsterdam. I didn't want to insert myself into that so I just focused on sticker bombing shit, but it's a crazy town for slaps. So many sticker artists from all over the world are represented. I've had tons of tags on Instagram from Amsterdam since and that's cool.''
''Stayed there a couple more days, (I fucking love Amsterdam)! and then headed back for a couple days more in London before heading back to LA.  All in all, it was a great trip and I'm ready to go back ASAP.''

''I have a trip to Berlin on the books for next year. I have a show in Brooklyn in February, a show in Phoenix in April and part of an exhibition in Melbourne in January.''   


''I've always been attracted to caricatures since I was a kid and it seems to be something that I naturally gravitate towards.''  


24 X 36 

Acrylic on Canvas

''The Malcom X piece was a commission from someone I met when I was selling down in SoHo. I believe he contacted me a few years later after we had initially met and it goes to show that you need to plant seeds and be patient in order to be successful. It's more photo realism that I've done in the past, but I think it's important to change things up once in awhile.''


30 x 40

Acrylic on Canvas

''The Mike Tyson piece is one of the few pieces I've done that I use to inspire me. I have it hanging on my wall and I always look top it when I'm lying in bed and I'm not quite ready to take on the world. I look at the Tyson piece and I remind myself that I need to be aggressive and take on the problem head on rather than wishing it would just go away.''


20 x 30

Acrylic on Canvas

''The Eddie Murray piece was fun, as 1970's baseball was a big part of my childhood growing up. These ballplayers were like gods to me. I see a lot of myself in this painting as I'm a pretty layed back guy and an observer of people and it seems that Eddie emulates both of these qualities in this painting.''



Pastel on Sand Paper

26'' X 20'' 


“THE CHAMP” is the first painting in a new series called, “Bolivianos.”  

This series is based on photographs I composed in May at a mask exhibition In La Paz at the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore.  

The masks were presented against black walls with dramatic spot lighting. They looked exactly like 3D versions of my paintings. These old Bolivian masks were simply stunning!

Why soft pastel?

Soft pastel is the medium that I fell in love with many years ago. I have always liked the article, “What is Pastel?” by Mike Mahon. 
Pastel is the most permanent of all media when applied to conservation ground and properly framed. Pastel has no liquid binder that may cause it to oxidise with the passage of time as often happens with other media.


Pastel on Sand Paper

38'' X 58''


''CONUNDRUM'' is the latest in the ''BLACK PAINTINGS'' series that I began a decade ago. 

I always use 20'' by 24'' c-prints as reference material. 

Lately I have been revisiting my old negatives (taken with a Mamiya medium format camera) for some that may have been overlooked. I am hoping that by seeing these negatives with fresh eyes, I will find a few that might be interesting to turn into pastel paintings. ''CONUNDRUM'' is one such work.


Pastel on Sand Paper

58'' X 38''


''COLLOQUIUM'' is the second of my ''BLACK PAINTINGS'' to depict a Balinese dragon. 

I found the figure to the left of ''COLLOQUIUM'' in Mexico City and the one on the right in ChiChicastenago, Guatemala. 

I love the fact that folk art figures from different countries came together to make this pastel!

Why sandpaper?

In the late 1980's, when I was studying at The Art League School in Alexandria, VA, I took a three-day pastel workshop with Albert Handel, an artist known for his southwest landscapes in pastel.  

I had just begun working with soft pastel (I had completed my first class with a wonderful teacher at The Art League School, Diane Tesler) and was still experimenting with paper.  Handel suggested I try Ersta fine sandpaper. I did and nearly three decades later, I’ve never used any other support except sandpaper!


Pastel on Sand Paper

38'' X 58''


The title of this paintings alludes to David Bowie's final album ''Dark Star'' and is my somewhat more optimistic take on his words. I often listened o Bowie's album as I created ''WHITE STAR.''

The white figure is from Panajachel, Guatemala, the bird is also from Guatemala, the figure on the lower right from Mexico City and the mask on the upper right is one I found in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Again, I love that these objects appear together even though they have such geographically disparate origins.


Pastel on Sand Paper

26'' X 20''


The main figure in ''PALAVER''  is a Balinese dragon I discovered two summers ago in a store in Rhinebeck, NY. 

Preferring to collect folk art figures while travelling in their countries of origin, I made an exception this one time. My reasoning? I did go to Bali in 2012. 

Even if I had encountered this dragon during my trip, it is four feet tall and carved from a solid block of wood. It is heavy and would have been very difficult to bring home.



Matthew Cervenka is a talented artist who often uses his hometown of NYC as subject matter for his enigmatic paintings, drawings, and photographs.

The first piece is a black & white collage, which is a compilation of a number of originals that I've created.

I've entitled it "New York, New York." It is a nostalgic view of my city.

The second piece is entitled "Kachina Mania" since I'm obsessed with Native American art. It's mixed media on grey paper.

The third piece is entitled "The Owl & the Pussycat," which is based on Moche Ceramics from South America & is mixed media on paper.

The fourth piece is entitled "Garden of Eden," which is a photographic collage.


I first interviewed, distinguished and terribly creative, NYC artist, Barbara Rachko in 2013. Scroll down to read the previous interview, and view other works. Her subject matter, being obviously surreal, immediately caught my attention. Rachko's attention to detail, and her affinity for, and use of vibrant colours, turn her original images into exquisite eye candy.
Q: Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?

A: Where my life's work is concerned, yes, I would say that I am very much a perfectionist.  I will never pronounce a piece finished and ready to sign until it is the best thing I am capable of making at that particular point in time.

Q: You are highly influenced by and very much enjoy South American art and culture. How much time have you spent there, and how often do you return?

Travel is very important to my creative process.  I have visited Mexico a dozen times or more (most recently in 2014), and have been to Guatemala twice, and once to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Honduras (Copan). 

In the past I would go to Mexico once or twice a year, but since 2012 I have become very interested in exploring Asia.  To date I have traveled to Bali, Sri Lanka, and India.  I have collected a small number of masks from these countries, but have not depicted them yet in any paintings.

Soon a Sri Lankan mask bought from an artist in Kandy will be featured in a pastel painting for which I am just beginning to develop ideas.

Q: Do you you prefer painting to photography? Do you construct the paper mache figures appearing in your studio?

A: Soft pastel on sandpaper will always be my first love, while for various reasons, photography is a distant second.  I have never constructed paper mache figures.  Rather I encounter and purchase indigenous folk art objects (including wooden masks, carved wooden animals, paper mache figures, children's toys, etc). during my travels around the world.  How I get these objects back to New York is often an adventure and it's also an important part of my creative process.

Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities now for artists to get work seen online.  These days, I am becoming better known so people often seek me out.  I continue to work extremely hard at both the creative and business sides of being an artist so this is a gratifying position to be in.


Are you, or are you not, an angry lesbian? Are you, or are you not, Banksy?

Not an angry lesbian, not Banksy, somewhere in the middle. 

What is your hope for the future of LGBTQ?  What should LGBTQ focus on next?

It's been said before but Space is the next frontier.  My hope for the future would be that we colonize a distant planet and start an Intergalactic LGBTQ Federation fighting for equal rights in the Galaxy. 

In all seriousness, a lot has been accomplished in the past thirty years or so.  As awful as the AIDS epidemic was/is, it has served to galvanize our community, and I think most of the great strides that have been made in our social standing and influence wielding can be traced back to its terrifying effect on us.

In the next 30 years, I think the normalization of the Gay Family will be our greatest challenge.  On the flip side, the retention of our unique culture is important too.  Like a tribe of lost people, discovered by first world explorers, we are in danger of losing our language, our rituals, and history.  My personal goal going forward is to memorialize the past struggles, heroes and victories of Queers.

What is your next project?

I have a gallery show slated for September in Los Angeles, and I also do some DJ'ing and go on the road hosting club nights around the country.  The next Homo Riot night is at The Lash in DTLA on August 28th.

website     www.homoriot.comfacebook


About the Artist known as ‘KRAZ’…

Carlos Castaneda changed my life.  After learning that "reality" was elastic and that perception was unlimited I began a journey to rediscover my true purpose.  Art became a vehicle for that search, that path.  I am convinced that the answers lie within and that the path is through opening myself to that inner knowledge.

I have been working with this process for the last 35 years.  I never know where a piece is going, allowing the natural process of intuition and conscious decision making to guide the completion of each work.  The final product is both a mystery and a mastery, I guess.

This journey has led me to a greater understanding of myself and appreciation of the human experience.

What inspired the idea of creating one mono print per day?

The first time I tried an image a day was in 1999.  I was drawing on the computer for the first time.  I had gone on a trip to Africa and brought along a sketch book.

Instead of sketching what I saw there I had made a series of intuitive drawings.  When I returned I was scanning the images and redrawing them on the computer.  This evolved into using the computer as a drawing tool.  Somehow then I got the idea of an image diary.  The ideas were coming fast and furious and I organized them by the day they were created.  So it was kind of an evolutionary process, materials, ideas, and practice.

The mono print evolution was similar.  At first I was making many prints each day, just excited by the imagery.  To organize it into a disciplined practice I decided to make at least one print each day to stay focused on the medium.  I try to do the print at the same time of day, early morning.

This is our third interview in a decade. Your new pieces seem much more free and fluid than your previous. Has there been a personal metamorphosis responsible for this gradual shift in style preference?

Wow, this is our third interview?  Thank you for sticking with me all of these years!

Looking back I realize that I have made hundreds if not thousands of images at this point in my career.  For the last year or so I have noticed this movement towards less defined figures and greater movement in the work as well. 

I think this is a natural evolution as I have become more comfortable and confident in myself and my craft.  The funny thing is that I think this "new" work is more like the work I did when I was a kid just starting, the idea of being truly spontaneous. 

With the earlier paintings I think I was trying to give this spontaneous inspiration some kind of concrete form.  So I would draw freely then apply rigorous structure.  Now I am letting go of that structure. 

My structured paintings have been changing as well in more conceptual resolutions regarding color and space.

Upcoming shows?

I will be showing at Gallery 37 in Northport, Long Island in December and will be participating in the QAS, the Quarterly Art Soiree, at Webster Hall this November. 

I am also participating in Parachute NY in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where I will be painting LIVE.

Also, in November I will be showing at Art on A Gallery in the Lower East side of NYC in a holiday group show.

More with Michael located in E.I. archives. Scroll to bottom of page.



Q. Please speak about your background, education, and work ethic.

My background, education, and work ethic are highly unusual, especially for a visual artist.  I graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor?s degree in psychology.  I couldn?t find a satisfactory job so after traveling around a bit, I moved back to Clifton, New Jersey to live with my parents.  There I began selling real estate. 

At the age of 25 I got my private pilot?s license before spending the next two years amassing thousands of hours of flight time.  I earned every flying license and rating I could, ending with a Boeing-727 flight engineer certificate.  After I was unsuccessful in finding an airline job (women in the cockpit were rare then), I joined the Navy in 1982.


While I was working at the Pentagon, I began studying drawing and medical anatomy (initially I intended to become a portrait artist) and began many long years of developing my craft.  In 1989 I resigned from the Navy to be a professional artist.  However, I spent 13 more years in the (part-time) Navy Reserve and am now a retired Navy Commander. 

I used to think that the 7 years I spent on active duty were wasted ? during those 7 years I should have been working on my art ? but I see things differently now.  The Navy taught me to be disciplined, to be goal-oriented and focused, to love challenges, and in everything I do, to pay attention to the details.

Trying to make it as an artist in New York is nothing BUT challenges so these qualities serve me well, whether I?m creating paintings, shooting and printing photographs, or trying to understand the art business and keep up with social media.  I enjoy spending long solitary hours working to become a better artist. I am meticulous about craft and will not let a work out of my studio or out of the darkroom until it is as good as I can make it.


Q: Who inspires you creatively?                        

Paula Rego, Salvadore Dali, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington ? really  all of the Mexican and American surrealist painters ? and photographers who make staged photographs ? Jeff Wall, Laurie Simmons, Cindy Sherman, David Levinthal, and many others.

Q: Do you prefer doing sculpture, painting, or photography?

I?ve never done sculpture and only began studying photography in 2002, after my husband Bryan was killed on 9/11 on board the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.  Pastel painting is certainly my first love.  I?ve been working in soft pastel on sandpaper since the 1980s.


Q: You posted a brilliant written piece on creativity viaTwitter a few days ago that caught my eye. How often do you post?

I have a blog to which I post twice a week.  On Saturdays I discuss some aspect of my work or what it?s like to be a New York artist in 2013, and on Wednesdays I share a passage from a book that I?m reading.  I call the Wednesday posts ?Pearls from Artists.?   These are ?an ongoing series of quotations ? mostly from artists, to artists ? that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.?  Maybe that?s one of the posts that you were referring to?  My social media person takes my blog posts and distributes them widely,  onto Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

Q: In my opinion, your paintings and sculptures represent Tim Burton-inspired animations and a variety of mythological beasts. What is your inspiration for creating them?

I am a big fan of Tim Burton and have long thought that our work shares a certain sensibility and that we would like each other if we ever met!  However, if by ?sculptures? you mean the figures that I paint and photograph, they are folk art objects - masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys - that I bring back from my travels.

On trips to southern Mexico and Guatemala (and other places) I frequent local mask shops, markets, and bazaars searching for the figures that will later populate my pastel paintings and photographs.  I use them as surrogates for human beings acting in mysterious, highly-charged narratives.  How, why, when, and where these folk art pieces come into my life is an important part of the process.  I take very old objects with a unique Mexican or Guatemalan past?most have been used in religious festivals?and give them a second life, so to speak, in New York in the present.  When I return home I read prodigiously and find out as much about them as I can.  Sometimes there is not very much written about them.   

In the early 1990?s my late husband, Bryan, and I made our first trip to Oaxaca and to Mexico City.  At the time I had become fascinated with the Mexican ?Day of the Dead? celebrations so our trip was timed to see them firsthand.  Along with busloads of other tourists, we visited several cemeteries in small Oaxacan towns.  The indigenous people tending their ancestor?s graves were so dignified and so gracious, even with so many mostly-American tourists tromping around on a sacred night, that I couldn?t help being taken with these beautiful people and their beliefs.  


From Oaxaca we traveled to Mexico City, where again I was entranced, but this time by the rich and ancient history.  On our first trip we visited the National Museum of Anthropology, where I was introduced to the fascinating story of ancient Meso-American civilizations; the ancient city of Teotihuacan, which the Aztecs discovered as an abandoned city and then occupied as their own; and the Templo Mayor, the historic center of the Aztec empire, infamous as a place of human sacrifice.  I was astounded!  Why had I never learned in school about Mexico, this highly developed cradle of western civilization in our own hemisphere, when so much time had been devoted to the cultures of Egypt, Greece, and elsewhere?

When I returned home to Virginia I began reading everything I could find about ancient Mexican civilizations, including the Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Aztec, and Maya. This first trip to Mexico opened up a whole new world and was to profoundly influence my future work. I would return there many more times.   

Q: Upcoming shows?

I will be having my next solo exhibition in New York at HP Garcia later this year, although we haven?t worked out the details yet.  The show was postponed from October 2012 when the gallery relocated to the Lower East Side and building-out took longer than expected.  In the meantime I am very active on social media and invite readers to see my work online and connect with me.

The Street Art of LA's HOMO RIOT

LA's HOMO RIOT hitting the streets with his unique graffiti art.


Q: Are you originally from LA?

A: No, I moved here from New York 11 years ago, but originally I’m from Florida. 

Q: When did you start doing art professionally?

A: I’ve been an artist all of my life.  If by “professionally” you mean when did I start supporting myself through my art, I’m still waiting for that to happen.   

Q: What motivates/inspires you?

A: The passage of time, injustice, deformity, queer history, masculinity, pirates, guerillas, astronauts, urinals. 

Q: What is your stance on the Prop 8 debacle?

A: The passage of Prop 8 was the genesis of Homo Riot, so for me, Prop 8 ironically has changed my life in a very positive way.  And oddly enough, I feel like it may have been a positive thing for the gay movement.  I think it was a wake-up call for a lot of gays and lesbians who might have been apathetic about politics and gay rights.  I hope it has served to galvanize a generation of queers.

Q: Were you involved in the Occupy LA movement?

A: I’m sorry to say that I was not directly involved.  But without a doubt I was and am with them in spirit.  Unfortunately, my schedule since the start of the movement didn’t allow me to participate.  It’s probably inconsequential, but I do follow several of the Occupy groups on Twitter and re-tweet things frequently.   

Q: Obviously, gay rights are first on your agenda. What do you think of starting a HOMO OCCUPY movement?

A: Strictly speaking, as an artist, art is first on my agenda, but as a gay man in America, homophobia, bigotry and the social inequality of LGBTQ people are a concern for me.  Some people run marathons for breast cancer, others donate time and money to help starving children, LGBTQ is my cause.

As for a HOMO OCCUPY, I think history shows that smaller movements and groups can gain a lot of traction by joining larger political and social movements.  I think it would be a mistake to divide the movement and create something that resembles Occupy but just be for homosexuals and their supporters.  That said, there is definitely a time coming when a mass “sit-in” or series of flash mobs would get attention and help stimulate more debate. 

A: Who are some artists that you admire?

Q: Raymond Pettibon, Robbie Conal, Ai Weiwei, Shepard Fairey, Jamie Reid, Bruce La Bruce and Joe Coleman.

Q: We need more outspoken artists out there today to champion various social, political and environmental causes. What's the vibe like in LA presently?  Does anyone give a shit that we stand on the verge of self-destruction?

A: LA is always paying attention to social, political and environmental issues.  But this is a city that doesn’t take itself or anyone else too seriously.  There’s always a group of hardcore radicals in any big city.  But this is Hollywood after all.  We create hype, so we can be a pretty cynical bunch.   

"I can really only speak for myself when I say that I “give a shit” that our planet is being raped by a bunch of giant, soulless corporations.  And I care that the corporate minions and ©hristian “do-gooders” are attacking liberty and freedom in the name of profit and morality.  I’m doing what I can to shove a giant middle finger up their asses."


Since childhood, Spinello used every kind of material to make art even if he was unaware of the definition of art.


From the beginning, he cultivated his passion to make artworks purely with the mission to please his viewers and detach himself from what is trendy and would make more profit.

His skills were noticed by professors and police officers to draw criminal’s profiles, but the most important event in Spinello's childhood was the approach of the famous Venetian artist Sergio Spanio.


"Il Maestro," meaning the teacher, belonged to the "Group of Five" of Venice, Italy when he took Spinello under his wing. It was Spanio that influenced the artistic career of Spinello, in his words:"If this kid continues on this road, someday, I guarantee he will become a great artist."


During the years of high school, he became an entrepreneur and began to create custom stickers for the motorcycles of his classmates and also did paintings on t-shirts.

Spinello first attended Pima Community College in Tucson, AZ and finished his BA in Studio Art at the State University of New York.


Spinello uses oil paint on canvas, charcoal and graphite on paper. He lives and works in Rochester, NY and in Venice Italy.



"I have been a freelance illustrator for about three and a half years. I have one of those cliché kind of stories where I have always been interested in art from an early age. I have worked with some really interesting clients in my career and not  just flashy celebrities, but interesting people."


"I’m 27 and living back in my hometown of Buffalo, NY. I had been living in Pittsburgh, PA for five years and it was there I attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh."

"I took one year of animation at AIP and did rea well, but I didn't see really any big growth career wise in that aspect. I received a degree in graphic design, as I then wanted to move into the realm of illustration."

"I do tend to sometimes come off as a little macabre, but more in a Vincent Price sort of way, so you are not scared about what I have to offer."


"I think my greatest strength is character and visual appeal. I like to have more of a gut reaction for the viewer, rather them having to go through a Hugh thought process to know if they like the work or not."

"Grave Diggers"

"My greatest weakness career wise as an illustrator is not being able to stick with one style. I jump around from cartoon to fine art and all areas in-between when most illustrators and artist have one central main stay."

"My chosen medium is anything I can get my grubby little hands on."

"The art scene in Buffalo for me is really bad. I was living in Pittsburgh and did much better there, which is kind of funny because I was born and raised in Buffalo."

"In five years I see myself wanting to get louder artistically."


I started painting in high school and my imagination and zest for color has grown over the years. I was inspired by the pure essence of life, love, music and depression.

I feel like sadness is my happiness in life. Sadness is such a true feeling and creativity thrives there. In all sadness there is beauty, you just have to dig to find it.


I attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where I majored in graphic design and graduated in 2003. Right after college I moved to a small island in the gulf of Florida to relax and experience life on the beach. I am currently employed as a graphic designer.

I love color and bright art work. I consider my paintings to be dreams on canvas and this can be explained in two ways. One is each painting tells a story, some more abstract then others, but my beliefs, or dreams for a better future are portrayed in the paintings. Second, the abstract dance that the colors create on canvas entice the viewers mind to wander in a dream like state.


My latest series is titled "Expendible Soldiers." What "Expendible Soldiers" means to me is disposable, meaningless, no value for human life. Tribes in Africa steal children, brainwash them and make them fight wars for them. In wars where children are the soldiers and adults are in control of death does not matter. When one child is killed in battle there is always another to take his place. These paintings were inspired from the movie “Invisible Children” and the struggle to stop genocide in Africa. I paint to raise awareness of the hard times that many Africans face every day. My goal is to raise enough money for myself to go visit Africa and help save these people from this devastation. I started painting this series in 2006 and it has become an obsession for me.

The military symbol is my tag, or signature for each painting. I still sign the back of each piece and date the work, but I always sign the front with this symbol.


UPCOMING SHOW: September 25th, 2010, 5-10 pm

Bellus Lux Lucis Fine Art Gallery, 1050 Main St.,

Clarence, NY 14031

Much Love to:,



When did you start painting?

It’s hard to say when I started painting. I have been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil, and I’m sure I was painting shortly after. In school, I did art instead of sports. I am about 6’2” and 250 pounds, so as you can imagine, the high school football coaches tried to convince me to steer my energy elsewhere. I have loved painting/drawing ever since I can remember.


Subject matter?

Whatever creeps into my head. Often times my imagery comes from dreams that I have. I very much like focusing on the human figure, and exaggerating it. I also am very drawn (no pun intended) to trees. I think trees and branches are fun to draw, and their symbolism can be taken in a million different directions.


My inspiration generally feeds off whatever mood I’m in. I like for my art to take a viewer through a range of emotions; however, I don’t really think it is important for the viewer to know what exactly was going through my head when I was painting or drawing. I think it is much more important for them to take away their own story, or their own emotions. Who gives a shit was I was thinking



CLAUDIO PARENTELA was first profiled on Eclectic Ink back in 2004. Scroll further down on the 'VIZ ARTS' page to read the interview from '04 to compare past and present PARENTELA.

Claudio's work is truly unique in that he has taken to introducing collages into his visual repertoire. As you can see, all of his images are bright, lively, slightly raunchy, and vibrant.

A few remind me of Toulouse Lautrec, and his artwork inspired by many a drunken night at the Moulin Rouge.

Born in Cantanzaro, Italy in 1962, CLAUDIO PARENTELA is an accomplished artist, illustrator, and freelance journalist. Parentela has been active for many years in the international underground scene.

Q: What inspired you to begin work on collage?

A: I don't know really...Maybe I was inspired by years of black and white, or maybe it's a natural evolution, or both things.

Q: What are some of your greatest influences? What inspires you?

A: The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Kabbalah, Tarots, Alchemy, Underground Comics, weird fashion. I am inspired by all I see and hear around me.

Q: What is life like in Cantanzaro?

A: Cantanzaro is a small, quiet city. I don't participate much to the social life of my city, so I do not know what happens. In my spare time, I go to the mountains of Cantanzaro and all the other days I draw in my studio. I travel often however. 

Q: How is the weather, the wine, the women, etc?

A: Oh, the women are wonderful here, as always. Naturally! I'm very democratic in this. The wine is strong. I like strong wines.

DONNY DANGER - "Draw, Saw, and Sit Back in Awe"

Johnny Cash

How long have you been doing wood carvings and how did it become your chosen medium?

I?ve been doing this wood carved type of art for about a year now, but the background for it coming together stems from many years of random interests including sculpting action figures, painting stencil work, and even jobs that required me to do woodworking and restoration work.

It?s a violent medium, kind of a destructive creation really, so that?s always fun. Also, for all the work that I put into a piece the images themselves are simplistic in nature. I enjoy creating the illusion that you are seeing something that isn?t really there. Plus it?s relatively cheap to get into. The cost of wood and some power tools is all you need.


Subject matter and why?

I try to recreate the things that I enjoy visually or even musically. They are all tributes to what?s in my head day to day. Mostly old school comic horror, women in peril motifs, and the requisite pop art portraits.

John Lennon

Where are you from? What?s it like?

I was born and raised in
Philadelphia, and just recently moved to Tennessee. If you?ve ever seen portrayals of either one on TV, that?s pretty much what they?re like. Just think ?Rocky Balboa? to ?Smokey and the Bandit.? It's all true.

Jimi Hendrix

Do you believe in God, or a higher power?

I believe that in this generation there is arrogance in the intellect of those that will efficiently denounce a higher power, and that there is a lack of intellect in those for whom humility comes with blind hope. So it?s hard to give an answer to that question either way without being lumped in with assholes.

What?s your purpose in life? What do you hope to accomplish before you die?

My purpose day to day is to try to get people to enjoy life. We have the unique ability to be happy independently of any apparently adverse situation. Utilize that gift and share it. The only thing that I hope to accomplish before I die is to let everyone that I love know how much I love them back.

Joe Strummer

Favorite band/album?

Elvis Costello and the Attractions are a long time favorite of mine. Recently, I?ve been listening to the Dethklok album for the Metalocolypse TV show. It?s brutal.

Favorite book?

Physics and Math texts are always good. Kurt Vonnegut?s ?Man Without a Country? is a provocative quick read, so is Stephen King?s ?Insomnia.?

Hunter S. Thompson

Upcoming exhibits/shows?

You can always come by my house in
Tennessee to see the works up on my walls in the woodshop that are waiting to be shipped out.

Artist & Illustrator MARK COOPER

"I was a bright kid and I did well in school. I was always well behaved and did what I was told all through childhood. Then, once I became a teenager, I became restless and I was looking for a creative outlet and that's when I really started getting into the more extreme side of metal music. It wasn't long before I was playing metal on my drums and dedicating all of my time to listening and playing music. I became obsessed to the point that I didn't care about anything else. I didn't have any role models, so I looked up to metal drummers. I was in awe of how they could play and I wanted to be like them, so I began practicing for hours everyday. I lost all interest in everything else and just didn't care. All that I wanted to do was play metal. So, by the time I was 16, I was failing school and I had lost all communication with everyone around me that didn't share my interest in metal."

"I joined my first band when I was 17 and moved to Tampa when I was 20 and joined a death metal band called 'Execration.' By then, my entire existence was consumed by wanting to be the best musician that I could be. I was practicing alongside some of the best musicians on the scene (Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel), and when I started getting compliments from my contemporaries, I started to push my abilities even further--that wasn't the case with the other guys' in the band. They didn't even put in half of the effort that I did. It was at the point where I had to create a lot of the guitar parts myself just to have something to play my beats to. I was also frustrated because we were not going anywhere. The guys in my band were lazy and smoked a lot of weed. I didn't drink, or anything and it drove me to the point where I had a nervous breakdown."

"I started doing hard drugs and I went on a crime spree. I was wide open. I was lost. After I was sentenced to 7 years in prison, I considered myself finished. I went through a lot of mental anguish in prison."

"I racked my brain day and night about what I could have done differently, but I never saw myself as a victim. I was totally aware that it was my fault all along, so I put myself through mental hell for 7 years straight. I could no longer play drums, so I began drawing every day from prison. There wasn't a day that I didn't draw. I knew that I always had the talent, but I had never taken the time to develop it. The drawing became as much of an obsession as the drums. I would draw until I would literally cramp up. I didn't have money, so I would draw portraits and cards for the other inmates in exchange for things that I needed, like deodorant. In between, I would draw my own pictures that were partially influenced by metal music and childhood/adult fantasies and partly a reflection of my perception of the world."

"My view of things darkened as I got deeper into my sentence. Most of the people I knew abandoned me after they found out how much time I had. I watched the people I was locked up with and they made me sick. Day in and day out, they didn't do anything productive. They obviously didn't care and I knew that they weren't interested in making anything of themselves. I started formulating a plan to help me when I got out. I didn't want to end up like the multitudes of people stuck at jobs they hate for their entire lives. I wanted to enjoy life and do great work and to be taken seriously as an artist. There are so many losers in the world and I didn't/don't want to join them. I started reading fantasy books and drawing scenes from the books. I observed everything I could that would help me to improve my skills. I would sometimes just sit, and sketch people as they walked around me. Other times, I would try to capture people in motion by watching them play basketball. I never forgot about the drums though. I still wanted to play, but as time progressed my passion for drawing sort of surpassed my interest in the drums."

"I think that my artwork is really just now starting to truly reflect how much pain and frustration I not only see in myself, but in the entire human race. Just take a moment to look around you. Incarceration just forces you to be more aware of the human condition and its faults and frailties. Material things are all smoke and mirrors. Most relationships are fake and people are fake. They're not real with themselves, or with anyone else. I'm tired of subject/object conversations because all of that means nothing. I could care less what people think about me because they are in the same boat as I am and I have as much power over the shape of things as they do. That's all that anyone needs to know about me and where I stand." - Mark Cooper    


"KAVALA" Acrylic on canvas, 83x103 cm

Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Philip Shadbolt studied Graphic Design, Fine Art and Illustration before settling in the U.K. in 1993. Having been born in Australia and having travelled extensively throughout India, Phil's passion for nature and vibrant use of colour have manifested in his work. The artist draws inspiration from a wide variety of life experiences.

"DHARAMSALA" Acrylic on canvas, 120x150 cm

Shadbolt has exhibited successfully in Australia and the U.K. and has completed several large scale commissions for clients, which can be viewed in private collections. Some works have taken several months to complete (little wonder, since some pieces are so detailed and elaborate). The subtle, but controlled use of his chosen mediums have required many applications to achieve the exact finish and high standard of workmanship that goes into each of Shadbolt's creations.

"SHIVANOVA" Oil on canvas, 95x115 cm

His images range from more simplistic portraits, to incredibly detailed scenic works. Over the years he has experimented with a wide variety of techniques and mixed mediums and has perfected a style that is uniquely his own by using a combination of oil and acrylic paints on canvas.

"AVATAR" Oil and Acrylic on canvas, 150x115 cm

After moving to Europe in '93, Phil spent a year in Copenhagen where he worked as a vegetarian chef, but his passion has always been painting. After moving back to London in '96, he met his life partner and they've been together ever since, travelling between Brighton and India collecting resource material and inspiration.

Phil's main influences have been Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite art, although contemporary painters such as Alex Grey and Sadao Hasegawa have also been influential. India opened up a whole new world to Phil with its rich cultural heritage, traditions, use of colour and symbolic imagery. After this exposure, his style changed slightly.

Feeling constricted by modern day religions and their views on homosexuality, he began to explore the connection between the physical and the divine in his work. Of course, homo-eroticism and religion in art is nothing new, but in this modern age we have become so focused on the physical being that we often neglect the soul, or inner spirit. Shadbolt says that some spiritual teachers believe that gay men are the spiritual conduits between the flesh and the spirit. "Perhaps between continuous and systematic repression through the ages we've lost touch with our own inherent power," Shadbolt says. "By embracing your inner voice you can reconnect with that vast power source that resides within."

"EMERGENCE" Acrylic on canvas, 100x120 cm

For now, Shadbolt's focus is on completing several new large scale works in oil. He plans on having an exhibition later this year, but is still taking private commissions.

Phil's ambition was always to make his images accessible to a wider audience. His dream has been realized with the release of limited edition prints. Also available for the cost conscious art collector--Shadbolt's fantastic selection of sumptuous images printed on durable, high grade canvas. To purchase originals, limited edition and digital prints by Philip Shadbolt, contact [email protected]

Michael Krasowitz

All images are available for sale through  


"I wanted to explore parts of my consciousness beyond the appropriated imagery, which I created with photographs. I wanted to use art to transcend this reality, and to go deeper in order to find a more honest manifestation of myself."


Oil on canvas, H: 36"x W: 48"

Price $4,500.00

"I thought of the idea that chance relationships could be my way to subvert the conscious self, and let my subconscious express itself. So, I began a series of drawings where I drewdirectly on the paper with no pre-conceptions, and let the work evolve naturally. I worked on these pen and ink drawings for about 10 years, from 1982-1992. Around 1989, I began printmaking again. The pen and ink style was extremely rigid. I used a pen and ruler, all straight lines. The prints gave me the opportunity to open up a bit, and my style became looser without the use of a ruler, or lines drawn by hand."

"Up to this point, I was only working in black and white. I guess I was working in black and white for around 15 years. Around 1995 or so, I started working in acrylic; continuing with the ideas of direct painting from a spontaneous drawing. After an initial series of works I returned to printmaking in black and white, using the aquatint technique. In 1998, I startedto study drawing from the figure and studying oil painting technique. I wasn't happy with acrylic because of the tendency for the color to dry differently from the color while wet. This was frustrating to me, and I felt that oil painting would solve that problem."

"I found that contemporary techniques in oil painting did not satisfy my aesthetic needs. I wanted to learn old master techniques to create the luminosity and depth that I saw in those paintings. My first lesson in this search was to study fresco techniques. This involved working and learning about historical pigments and their uses. I also studied egg tempra techniques; learned to make gesso and learned about the importance of transparent pigments."


Oil on Linen, H: 48"x W: 36"


Price $4,000.00

"I began seriously painting in the last 7 years. I am constantly refining my paintings, and often revisit early pieces, applying what I have learned to these works as well as creating new work."

"My philosophy of art came from an experiment I created in college. I was thinking of the idea of time and whether a non linear sense of time could reveal truths about what I was experiencing as a young man. I created images in the dark where I would fire the flash on the camera at different times as a multiple exposure. What was created was a single moment made of different moments and I found this image opened new doorways to my perception of reality."

"I became intrigued with the idea of transcending this reality, time and space constraints. On the most simple level, I wanted to get in touch with my "true self," to see if the influences of my life up to that point changed or altered the personality I was born with to become trained to think or to perceive in a certain way. I began to notice differences between ways of seeing that I experienced on a daily basis."


Oil on Linen, H: 41"x W: 30"


Price $3,000.00

"I have continued to expand and grow from the experience of creating art over the last 25 years. The initial idea evolved from using the camera, to immediately drawing the image; always trying to create a state of consiousness where the image would emerge naturally from a "self" which acts somewhat independent of my conscious existence, which guides me in the creation of something new. Of course, I recognize that I influence the work and use my experience to create a language which creates art that can be accessible by myself and the viewer."

"I understand that there are conflicting paradoxes in my ideas, and that what I think is both irrelevant to the finished piece as well as extremely relevant. I try to have a sense of humor about this, and try to keep my self importance to a minimum."

"This idea of reducing self importance, allowing the artist to be a vehicle for the creation is what I believe most of all. I was very influenced by Carlos Casteneda, and this idea is of unconditional importance to his search for truth as well I feel."

"I have been painting almost exclusively in the last year. I continue to work with computer drawing and am creating a series of t-shirts from drawings on the computer. I have been showing at such events as Artists and Fleas, an outdoor market in Williamsburg, as well as the Howl Festival in the East Village. I enjoy selling the shirts, it is a direct way to bring my artwork out of the virtual world and it's nice to see people wearing my images. I have had a lot of success with my printmaking work. This May, I will be in a group show at Concepto Gallery in Brooklyn with 3 other printmakers, and have been in many printmaking biennials."

"I find it interesting that each media seems to have its own subject matter and direction. With the computer I like clean line, narrative work. With the printmaking I tend to get more complicated, lots of forms interacting. I have noticed with my paintings that there seems to be a bridge between the computer work and the printmaking, drawing from both forms."

"Lately, I have decided to create contextual space for my painting work. What I mean by that is that I create an environment first, then create characters and situations based on the environment. I am not sure if this is the right direction, because of the idea that it contradicts the basic tenent of immideate drawing. But again, I try to break rules that I have set up, to see what comes of it."


Oil on Linen, H: 48"x W: 36"


Price $4,500.00

M.M.: We are commemorating the 10th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death in this issue. Would you care to share any thoughts on the man and his music?

M.K.: "I remember when the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" came out. It blew me away. I think he and the band saved rock and in a way saved a piece of me, which I had held in doubt for a while before they came on the scene. I remember running to everyone I knew and saying, "Did you see the video?" "Rock is back!" I know it sounds a bit weird, but before Nirvana I cannot remember what music was around. I think Cobain brought about the return of the heart in music, as well as in the arts in general. The post modern ironic, everything had been done before schtick was just a cynical bunch of nonsense as far as I was concerned, the stuff had no individuality and no soul. Here was music with passion and an energy created by a true artist."

"You can see how much talent was there. Foo Fighters and the Hole albums are still the best out there as far as I am concerned. I was really angry when he died. I felt he represented so much hope for the future and he lost it.

"We lost out on the leadership his music drove our culture to confront and deal with. The wave of commercial product music still permeates our cultural zeitgeist. A true artist was lost and didn't get help, which may have prevented his death."

"I still think that if John Lennon were alive the world would have been led by his music and ideas. I think that Nirvana had that potential and that they opened many doors and created the atmosphere for all the fine bands out there today and gave kids the sense that anything was possible."

- Mike Krasowitz


All of Claudio's pen and ink illustrations on paper are available for sale through  Contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

"Untitled I" 2005, 21 cm  x 30 cm

"I was born in Catanzaro, Italy, where I live and work, in 1962. I’m an illustrator, painter, photographer, mail artist, cartoonist, collagist, journalist and all around freelancer. I’ve been active for many years in the international underground scene."

"Untitled II" 2005, 21 cm  x 30 cm

"I have collaborated with many, many zines; magazines of contemporary art, literature and comics in Italy and around the world; also, hardcopy."

"Untitled III" 2005, 21 cm  x 30 cm

"I do a lot of mail art and I’ve collaborated with many bands of industrial music; noise, experimental & electronic, harsh & death metal; also, gore punx."

"Untitled IV" 2005, 21 cm  x 30 cm

"My obscure & crazy artworks are present & shown in many, many art galleries on the  web including, but not limited to: "GIRASOLE" (Villa Basilica), at the "TABULA RASA" (Barcellona), at the "GALERIE SLAPHANGER" (Amsterdam), at "La Casa Di Tolleranza" (Milan), at "La Cueva-No Art Gallery" (Milan), in Turin with the association, "Mind The Gap," at the "Pina Gallery" (Koper), and the "Diesel Gallery" (NY)."

"Untitled V" 2005, 21 cm  x 30 cm


Featured Visual Artist, Matthew Cervenka

"I am a native New Yorker residing in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan. I studied at the School of Visual Arts, and S.U.N.Y. at Farmingdale. I'm a product of a multi-cultural Czech / Irish American household."

"I started to draw and paint at three years of age. My aunt introduced me to art by giving me art materials. The first piece that I completed was a portrait of Carmen Miranda."

"OBIDOS" (A Portuguese Town) 14"x17"

Framed at $500.00 Also available as a hand detailed print at $200.00

"I really do not have a preferred medium, but my collages excite me and require me to work in a totally different manner. Producing a collage takes much more time and demand and requires me to work in a much more spontaneous manner."

"My work expands, enlarges, distorts and abstracts the physical and emotional world as I experience it. It is representative of the geometric, abstract and bold color expressions of the subject matter (New York, Native American themes and scenes of cities and towns). Recent travel experiences in Mexico, the Southwest and the Iberian Peninsula have broadened the scope of my work to include new horizons and exciting subject matter."

"As a native New Yorker, I have integrated the social and spatial complexities as I perceive them. With the passage of time, I have developed and matured my technique and thematic approach into a unique and recognizable individual style. The bold sense of color illustrates the way I deal with the profoundly felt emotional impact of the thematic material. The color and composition in the city themes project the vibrancy of city living while the black and white pieces evoke the power, stress and emotions of city life."

"The strong sense and use of color in my work has become more powerful and vibrant since my experiences in the Southwest and Mexico. The Native American work, with its boldness in color, gives voice to the long needed recognition of that culture and its torment. In the interplay of figures, pottery and buildings, one sees movement, emotion and tension. In terms of  media, I use: pencil, ink, gouache (transparent and opaque), acrylic on canvas mixed media and collage. Most of my work is on paper. The work is labor intensive and complex in its detail."

As a native New Yorker, how did the events of 9-11 affect you and your work?

M.C.: I was deeply affected  by 9-11. I lost a friend who died in the first tower and was never found. I went to a memorial at St. Francis Church and was deeply saddened by the reality of her loss. The next day I had a severe accident to my arm which prevented me from working for 3-4 months. It was a very emotional experience to create my first piece after so many months! The first piece was my 9-11 memorial which I dedicated to my friend Carole La Plante. 9-11 also changed my work and I think has made it more exciting. I think it was the most difficult emotionally to create and the most successful since it was a catharsis for me about my accident and 9-11.


"Brooklyn Bridge" - Original has been sold, but can be reproduced as a print.

Artist's Organizations: O.I.A.- Organization of Independent Artists, Member of Hobart Member of The Visual Art League Hudson Artists of New Jersey, Award in juried show for Twin Towers Twilight (2001), My Visit to Giverny (2002).

Gallery Exhibitions: Gallery 402 - Pinned To The Wall (February 2004), Gallery 402 Artist Showcase (October 2003), Gallery 402 - Remembering 9-11 Tribeca, New York City (September 2003 Lincoln Center¹s Avery Fisher Hall at The Cork Gallery -  Pipe Dreams Exhibition -2003 The Jersey City Hall Rotunda - 2002 The Kotinsky Gallery -2003, The Upstairs Art Gallery Rima Fine Art Gallery - Scottsdale Arizona, The National Catholic Museum Of North America Rhoda Sande Gallery - New York City, Charles Mann Gallery - New York City, The Village Gallery - Croton, New York, Margo Feiden Gallery - New York City, The New Yorker Picture Gallery - New York City, Murray Hill Mews - New York City, Casalina - New York City

Jason Jenkins


"Times Square"


2005 "ArtWalk" One Man Show; Inland Heritage Winery – Riverside, California; 2005 "Outbreak" Group Exhibition; Art Hub – "The Underground Gallery"- Orange County, California; 2005 "ArtWalk" Group Exhibition; Pomona Arts Colony- Pomona, California; 2005 "Southwest Show" Group Exhibition; Redlands Art Gallery- Redlands, California; 2005 "ArtWalk " Group Exhibition; Tiffany Brooke’s Studio – Riverside, California

"Babe Ruth's Farewell 1948"


Jason Jenkins maintains the philosophy that the interior design of a room should be dominated by the artwork. Working out of his Abstract 10 Inc. studio in southern California, Jenkins has created artwork with styles reflecting Abstract Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism.

Jenkins founded Abstract 10 Inc. in 2000. Using found wood, Jenkins has created over 200 original paintings that are on exhibit in a variety of distribution outlets. "My mission is to service every distribution channel that relates to high-end abstract art. I specialize in artwork that recreates an environment and leaves a lasting impression on the viewer."

"David Hinds"

Jenkins is a self-taught artist, having a strong background in business and E-commerce ( Co-Founder, 1997, M.B.A., UOP 1999, Abstract 10 Inc. Founder 2000). This experience has afforded Jenkins the opportunity to develop a solid marketing plan that is rarely seen by emerging artists. The aforementioned plan ranges from open artist studio tours, and street team style advertising, to online peer to peer file sharing of his images.

Also, a new documentary film series entitled "Jason Jenkins: The Front and The Side at Once" is due to be released in January of 2006. The series will give an in-depth explanation about Jason Jenkins unique style of painting and go behind the scenes of Abstract 10, Inc.

"Stop Lyin'"

"My research and development is directed towards creating and marketing the next generation in large scale abstract paintings."

Jenkins is highly influenced by the abstract expressionist painters from the 1950’s New York School. Additional influences include Munch, Basquiat, Magritte, Van Gogh, and Degas.

Santa Barbara Tattoo Artist Extraordinaire, PAT FISH

What was the initial attraction to tattooing?


I wanted to change my occupation so that I could do art full-time, so I picked tattooing as the most honest form of art. I like it that the artist is in direct contact with the client, and that it isn't for "investment value" or resale.


The power tattoos hold is in their importance and relationship to the wearer. Every person is different, every commission tests my ability to listen to what  they say they want and then work with them to achieve that on skin.

So, I contacted Cliff Raven and got my first tattoo, and with total hubris showed him my portfolio and asked him to teach me, which he graciously agreed to do. 

How long have you been specializing in Celtic design?


I started tattooing in 1984 and working with the Celtic patterns was always my goal, although in the beginning years not many clients wanted it so it took a long time for me to slowly develop the style I prefer to work in now.


One of the most satisfying things about doing art for a living is that exposure to new techniques can open up whole new challenges, and in the past year I have been delighted to meet and befriend two artists whose styles are quite different from mine, and I am working now to test out incorporating some of their methods in my own work where appropriate.

How often do you visit the British Isles?


I am usually there at least once a year, the last time I went over I brought back two Irish Wolfhound pups from Dublin. I feel very much at home in Celtic lands. 

Tell me about the places you visit when over there and how they inspire you.


I spend a lot of time in graveyards, looking at the high crosses and memorial carvings. I also visit a lot of standing stones and sacred sites, and my maps are full of places I like to return to and experience at different times of the year.


Right now, I am working at developing a new pointillist style to more realistically portray the carving on the Pictish stones in a matrix of dots. It is a challenge, and every piece I do is getting closer to the way I want to see the depth and form lift up off the skin.

Recent Blog Entries

Recent Photos

Recent Videos

1320 views - 1 comment