Born: Richmond Heights, Missouri, 1946 Served in Vietnam U.S. Army, Arillery
From the Artist (written in 2005):
When I am working the art takes over and I am lost in it. I do not feel personally responsible for what I make. When the art is good there is a visual energy there, and excitement which I enjoy and also enjoy sharing with the viewer. In the final analysis I believe art is God's apology for the horrors of life. The aesthetic experience communicated to the viewer by the artist through the work is the ultimate aim of any work of art and is also something I personally do not feel I am capable of creating on my own. Something else is in control when I am creating and it is good.
About the piece "The History of the Republic of South Vietnam":
All flags that represent nations become almost sacred symbols of places and peope. The yellow background with three straight horizontal red stripes first became the symbol of the Republic of Vietnam (commonly known as South Vietnam) in 1954. The three stripes represent North, Central and South Vietnam. The life of this flag was short lived through the terrible days of the Vietnam War until it was surrendered on April 30, 1975 and abolished by the North Vietnamese.
This painting is based on the Republic of Vietnam flag design. It expresses the violence of a specific nation during a specific time, and represents the artist's emotional response to the experience of having been a part of the sad history of that country. The faintly visible charcoal lines on the right side, now covered with paint, indicate the boundaries of what should be the three straight lines on the flag. In the red paint you may see burning tree lines, exploding napalm, reflections of combat on the water of rivers or rice paddies, or blurred puddles of human blood spilt by the incredible number of victims of that war.