Scooter, New York, New York
I had a difficult time growing up gay in New Mexico. There was a lot of bullying all through my school years. I felt really out of place and was consistently made fun of for being different. I contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. Coming out was very awkward. Even though I come from a very artistic family—my mother is an actress and a musician with many gay friends—they still had a hard time with my homosexuality initially. I kind of felt like Chaz Bono. Thankfully, today my whole family is very accepting of me and is proud that I’ve chosen to live my life exactly the way I want to—as a gay artist. Life is too short not to. I moved to New York and the opportunities started coming in. This city is where I should have been all along. The style of my art is a mixture of Golden Books meets the Dutch masters meets the abstract expressionists, with twists and turns along the way. I live every day with anxiety and try to explode it onto the canvas, out of my head and through my hands. Sometimes I have a very soft touch, and sometimes I paint very aggressively, depending on my mood. I paint in heavy, lush oil colors mixed with linseed oil and turpentine on canvas. I keep it simple. I make my art for myself. I don’t think about pushing anyone’s buttons, I think about what makes me excited and what I love and am inspired by. Sometimes I’m inspired by the sparkles in the sidewalk, by mold that grows on the walls, or by teddy bears I find on the street. Sometimes I’m inspired by the back room at a gay bar, my sexual experiences, and my sexual fantasies. If I can express this in a visually appealing, original way, and in my own language, then I am ecstatic. I work every single day, often into the early morning hours. I never take a day off. I try to exercise and do yoga every day as well. I don’t sleep that much, and I don’t eat a lot—very simple foods like black beans out of the can with tortillas, or a can of soup. I feel like putting all my energy into my artwork means having no regrets at the end of my life. I’ve had several relationships since I moved to NYC, all lasting for about a year, and all ending in disasters, but I’m learning and growing from each one and am currently in the healthiest and loving relationship I’ve been in thus far. I have a very supportive man in my life who I love very much and would do anything in the world for.