Creativity is fundamental to being human. Without it, something inside us withers. I’ve spent the last 25 years on federal death row, refusing to wither – and my art has been key to not only surviving, but thriving in response to injustice. It’s one of the few ways I have to remind people of my innocence and share difficult truths about a deeply flawed justice system.
I use various artistic styles and techniques to bring an emotional rebellion to the canvas. For me, silence is not an option. Being wrongly convicted of a crime I didn’t commit, compels me to speak up and invite others to stand up in solidarity with me as I fight to prove my innocence. I work with my hands, brushes, pallet knives or anything I can find to reflect the landscape of my own mind. Sometimes this appears as turmoil, at other times courage, calmness or resilience – whatever the strength of feeling, art is how I represent my own experience of living in the shadow of death, despair, healing and hope.
My portfolio cuts across different themes, includes unorthodox techniques and mixes wildly contrasting colors. It’s intended to be provocative, passionate and raw, so that for me or anyone who engages with it, the prison walls come tumbling down. Within the confines of a tiny cell, where I spend 23 hours a day, art has the power to set me free.
I hope that when you see my work, it will move you to be more than a bystander in the death penalty debate. I hope it will encourage you to use your voice, your vote, your own creativity in calling out the inhumanity of a system that denies the preciousness of life and, too often, ignores those who are innocent.
I can’t fight for justice and freedom alone. I need my art - I need you - to help me bring the message home.