I was born in 1975, in Co. Kildare, Ireland. I first learned of painting from a woman I considered my mother. She painted, had books on art and various subjects that enthralled me. I grew up in a working-class mentality family where books and art were frowned upon, I am alone. The family mantra being- "I did not need a fucking education, so why should you".
My first encounter with drawing was at the age 7, when we moved one hour away from my childhood home to Navan, Co. Meath. I drew portraits of the lady I considered my mother and her son, my brother. I never saw them again. I hid the portrait's under my bedroom floor. A sadness took hold of my body, and has kept me company ever since.
At the age of 10 I won first prize at school for a drawing, the prize was a black pencil case with shiny pencils, rubbers, a small 15 cm ruler and a scissors. My birth mother saw this pencil case in my school bag, did not believe I had won it, called me a thief, and demanded I return it to school. Later that evening I buried it under a tree, digging it up every now then to look at it.
I started my apprenticeship as a plumber in the winter of '95, following in the family footsteps.
I hated it.
At the age of 25 I saved up enough money to do a year's self-study in Florence, Italy. I would have applied to art school, but I did not know how. When I returned in 2002, I did my first art project, I painted a black trans, in a red ballroom dress over the course of a week in St. Stephens green, Dublin. If a trans could be accepted, maybe I could be too.
In 2006, I had my art performance "Suicide is sexy" exhibition, it was the most controversial art exhibition in Irelands history at the time. All hell broke loose in the media and a psychologist recommended to the minister for health, that the exhibition be banned. I started painting irish celebrities.
The financial crisis stuck in 2008, I went bankrupt, handed the keys of my four apartment's back to the bank and left Ireland penniless. By some weird coincidence, i ended up working as a plumber on an oil rig in Norway.
Today I work 4 months of the year offshore, to feed my art addiction. I make fuck you money, and paint only what is culturally relevant for me. Having a family of my own now, I am no longer alone, I am free.