This painting/combine recalls the story of when the artist was 4 years old at a 4th of July parade on 4th Avenue. Each color and brushstroke tells its own detail. This piece is one of a multi-piece story-telling presentation done by the artist in American Sign Language.
Oil, acrylic, pencil, oil pastel, wood, cardboard, note paper and train with gold leaf.
This sculpture was completed just before the 10th anniversary of 9-11. The left side depicts the remnant of the broken pieces of the building. The right side depicts a wing representing healing over time. The semi circle at top has 24 carat gold lining to represent God and Jesus Christ.
Fiberglass, wood, plaster and 24 karat gold lining.
This sculpture depicts the story from Matthew 16:26, Jesus said..."What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" The opening at top represents the head; the torso is filled with windows depicting earthy possessions. The colors suggest flames engulfing the body as they wrap around to the back of the piece.
This sculpture shows the torso with one window. For us human beings it takes a long while to get rid of the unnecessary things that we take on for ourselves. The window is lined with rough 24 carat lining. We can never be perfect until we get home to the Lord.
This painting/combine shows a cherished gift of NFL glasses received from the artist's father. During his childhood, his father was absent from home. The letter in the background is a request to his Dad for a bicycle. That gift was never received.
When the artist reunited with his father in later life, he realized what a colorful man his father was—depicted in the brush strokes under the hat rim.
The white paint dripping from the top represents the grace of God and forgiveness for what never was.
Acrylic, porcelain tiles, cardboard, steel rod, hat, wood, plaster and glass.
This painting/combine expresses the artist's experience moving New York to Ohio. It recalls the "turning point" moment near Buffalo NY, when heavy rains were threatening the trip. There was a moment of decision whether to press on or turn back for home. Michael saw the light streaming through the windshield, he felt the grace of God to keep moving forward. He has never regretted the choice.
Acrylic, map, cardboard, glass, and found objects.
This piece demonstrates the sign language motion for depression, with both hands splaying downward against the torso, from heart to gut. The black feather represents evil shielding the person from seeing the good things in life.
This painting/combine is expressing the artist's experience of hearing again at a young age. While swimming underwater he could hear the sounds of water and when he came out of the water he heard the sounds around him. He heard the kids yelling, water splashing, the sound of the diving board. As he ran home to tell his family, the sensation of sound weakened...and again disappeared. He has never experienced the window of the "hearing world" again.
This work shows the artist's experience with learning written and spoken English. At the top, white letters on green represent the green chalk board in kindergarten and reciting the abc's. The left part of the canvas is the sign language alphabet he had learned at home from his mother and sisters. In blue, at the bottom of the painting, are the vowels, prefixes and suffixes used during speech and audio training...a boring time! His 3D hands are most colorful as he expresses himself best through American sign language.
This work shows the artist experience of being isolated at times in the world. His deafness often leaves him feeling isolated among hearing peers. He feels bound up and his heart hardens.The words in the body are journal entry of his frustrations. He often takes walks where God reminds him He is near, by dropping feathers in his path.
Acrylic, personal journal pages, cardboard, magazine clippings, screen and feathers.
Portrait of the artist from his freshman year at high school. He had wanted to play football but the school board would not allow it (for fear of him becoming blind!). He was discouraged until one day his art teacher brought an album of violin music into class. The music had really empowered him with hopes for the future. The white drippings represents the grace of God.
Acrylic, cardboard, lenses, paint tubes, steel triangle, magazine and newspaper clippings, cotton shirt and violin.
This piece illustrates the concept of group negativity/discrimination toward a member of that group emerging from the status quo. The idea is that ridicule against personal success will drag the individual back into collective obscurity.
This painting/combine expresses the artist's first encounter with God while laying on his blue wagon, under a tree. White drippings on the wagon are the grace of God. This work shows the surrounding back yard and neighborhood. He still remembers the experience as if it happened yesterday.
Oil, acrylic, oil pastel, cardboard, wood, toy car, photo copy, tree bark, roof shingle and wagon.
This painting/combine expresses moments of time between the artist and his father when he was on earth and in heaven. It was at the gate in the backyard, when the artist was 3-years-old, where his father said goodbye to him before moving out. Many years later, after his father passed away, the artist had a vision during a worship service — where he saw his father reaching down from the sky signing "I Love You" to him. Then he saw someone touched his shoulder, and the vision of his father disappeared.
This painting/combine shows the reason for Christ's death on the cross. His right hand shows the universal sign language "I Love You." The small left hand represents child-like faith. Each hand has white interior representing purity. The right arm with the rope tells us to hang on and follow him. Behind the rope are words of the Lord's supper that Jesus spoke. You can see the words in red and also gold when viewed at different angles and lighting. The left arm shows partial scripture involving Pontius Pilate. The head of Christ shows blood-soaked hair, representing His blood flowing for many. The body shows brokeness, with the Cubist art influence.