As a young Black man who has grown up in the lower class, I have seen and witnessed too much violence, poverty, and corruption. All my life I’ve been surrounded by the horrors of gang violence, under-funded public school institutions, racial discrimination, and I have met with institutional indifference. This is why I became an artist. These issues started to define my life and art gave me the opportunity to redefine it. I was one of the lucky ones who had a mother that wanted more for me and put me in situations where I was able to have opportunities that showed me there was more to life than the negatives that all too often defined the life of black people in contemporary society. Most people within our culture aren’t so lucky and live their whole lives believing that there is nothing beyond a world of violence and systemic failure, making it more important for me to create a voice for those who have been silenced. Art then becomes more than something I love to do. Rather it is something I have to do. As an artist I want my audience punctured by what they have experienced, leaving them with a feeling of connection and conversation with a world that may or may not be familiar.