Eric Millikin

About Me

Biography

I am an activist artist in Detroit, using techniques like video projection, artificial intelligence, vegetative tissue culture cloning, and occult experiments to address topics like police brutality, economic injustice, species extinction, and historic recurrence. My work is designed to create social change; I was highly influenced by Suzanne Lacy when she was a visiting lecturer while I studied sculpture, installation and performance at Michigan State University.  

To create social change, I strive to reach wide audiences. I just finished 20 exhibitions in a year’s time, including in Dubai and South Korea. I also recently exhibited part of my “Made of Money” series inside the widely-visited ArtPrize festival in Grand Rapids, Mich., and reached an even wider audience when The New York Times Arts section wrote about my installation in the Sept. 17, 2017, article, “Mixing Art, Water and Politics: How a Quirky Art Contest Went Political.”

I also use social and mass media as exhibition venues. I have over 50,000 Instagram followers, and I publish my activist art through major news organizations, including as the artist and art director on a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for helping send Detroit’s mayor to jail. However, the failures of mainstream journalism are becoming more apparent in America’s current political climate. 

My latest interactive video installations use motion detection to react to the audience, so images change based on how they are viewed, or move to create distance from the viewer, or follow viewers when they walk away. For these videos, I’ve created custom methods of digital imaging and artificial intelligence to build large-scale portraits based on many smaller items, which is sort of a classic resistance-organizing metaphor for how smaller parts can come together to make great change happen. I also use digital printmaking as part of these projects, and install these as public art.



Curriculum Vitae

EDUCATION
Michigan State University, BFA in Art Education, 1998
• Minor in English (creative writing).
• Attended school on National Merit Scholarship.
• Member of MSU’s Honors College.
• Graduated with Honors. 
• Won Sculpture/Installation/Performance award, MSU Undergraduate Art Exhibition, 1996 and 1997
• Co-winner, Best of Show, second place, MSU Undergraduate Art Exhibition, 1995

SELECTED AWARDS

2018 Singer Editions Award, “Boston Printmakers Biennial,” Lesley University, Cambridge, MA

2017 Best of show, 1st place, “Canvas Pontiac,” Pontiac, MI

2017 Purchase Award, “Works on Paper Exhibition,” McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA

2017 Printmaking Award, “Order & Chaos” exhibition, Eastern Kentucky University

2016 Best of show, “Endangered” exhibition, The Studio Door gallery, San Diego, CA

2009 Co-winner, Pulitzer Prize, Art Director and Artist, Local Reporting, staff portfolio

SELECTED EXHIBITONS

2018 “Boston Printmakers Biennial,” Lunder Arts Center, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA (Juror: Judith Brodie, Curator and Head of American and Modern Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art)

2017 “Artist Statement,” CICA Museum, Gimpo, South Korea

2017 “Woven Heritage,” A4 Gallery, Al Serkal Arts District, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

2017 “19th Annual Works on Paper Exhibition,” Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences, Long Beach Township, NJ (Juror: Jane Panetta, Associate Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art)

2017 “Wheaton Biennial: Printmaking Reimagined,“ Beard and Weil Galleries, Wheaton College, Norton, MA (Juror: Andrew Stein Raftery, Professor of Printmaking, Rhode Island School of Design)

2017 “30th Annual McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition,” Shearman Fine Arts Center Annex, Grand Gallery, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA

2017 “Order & Chaos,” Fred Parker Giles Gallery, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY

2017 “Collage and Digital Madness,” Las Laguna Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA

2017 “Witch Hunt,” outdoor installation, Salem, MA

2017 “Trump Won't Stop Us,” Thumbprint Gallery, San Diego, CA

2017 “Urban Collage: Art of Resistance, Art of Resilience,” Feral Factory/The Crash, Denver, CO

2017 “Greetings From the Anthropocene,” Gallery 110, Seattle, WA

2017 “Canvas Pontiac,” outdoor installation, Pontiac, MI (Juror: Barbara Heller, Director and Conservator, Special Projects, Detroit Institute of Arts) 

2017 “Michigan Fine Arts Competition,” Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham, MI (Juror: Noel W. Anderson, Assistant Professor, New York University, Art and Art Professions, Print Media)

2017 “Art Now: Printmaking,” 117 Gallery, Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor, MI (Juror: Tyanna Buie, Assistant Professor/ Section Chair, Printmaking, College for Creative Studies, Detroit)

2017 “ArtPrize,” Grand Rapids, MI

2017 “DAMNED X,” Tangent Gallery, Detroit, MI

2017 “Black Words: I Have A Dream," outdoor installation, Dearborn Heights, MI

2016 “Three Rings and Two Parties: the Election Circus,” Wiseman Gallery, Rogue Community College, Grants Pass, OR

2016 “Chasing Ghosts,” Verum Ultimum Art Gallery, Portland, OR

2016 “DAMNED IX,” Tangent Gallery, Detroit, MI

2016 “Little Free Libraries,” Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, MI

2016 “Visual Task Force Auction,” National Association of Black Journalists Convention, Washington, DC

2016 “Endangered,” The Studio Door, San Diego, CA

2016 “Art Explored,” outdoor installation, Royal Oak, MI

2015 “Fire Sale II,” Tangent Gallery, Detroit, MI

2015 “Damned VIII,” Tangent Gallery, Detroit, MI

2015 “Living in the City,” Start Gallery, Detroit, MI

2014 “Mercy for the Misunderstood,” Start Gallery, Detroit MI

2013 “Pride, Prejudice and Frankenstein,” guerrilla installation, Metro Detroit, MI

2012 “The Monkey Day Show,” Ice Cream Gallery, Grand Rapids, MI

2010 “Covered,” Headspace Gallery, Dearborn, MI

2009 “Out of Sequence,” Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery, Keene State College, Keene, NH

2009 “Monsters of Webcomics,” Cartoon Art Museum, San Fransisco, CA

2009 “Out of Sequence,” The Laboratory of Art and Ideas (The Lab)/Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, CO

2008 “Monkey Day,” Basement 414 Gallery, Lansing, MI

2008 “Out of Sequence,” Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL

2002 “Independent Arts Festival,” OJC Kompas vzw, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Jeff Karoub, “Winners Announced in Annual Michigan Art Competition,” Associated Press, Oct. 6, 2017. (Published by The Washington Post, U.S News & World Report, New York Daily NewsThe Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), CBS TV Detroit, etc.)

Steve Friess, “Mixing Art, Water and Politics: How a Quirky Art Contest Went Political,” The New York Times, Sept. 28, 2017, p. 1C.

Matthew Scheidel, “Made of Money,” The Collegiate Live, Sept. 28, 2017.

Troy Reimink, “ArtPrize 2017: Metro Detroit artists shine at massive competition in Grand Rapids,” Detroit Free Press, Sept. 25, 2017.

Jojo Girard, “Enough With The Big — Here’s The Smallest Venue At ArtPrize, A Post Office Box,” 98.7 WFGR, Sept. 22, 2017.

Natalie Broda, “Pontiac art competition to be held this weekend,” The Oakland Press, June 16, 2017.

Brian Goslow, “Printmaking Reimagined,” Artscope Magazine, March/April 2017, p. 72-75.

Jessica Firpi and Wendy A. Reynolds, Editors, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Unlock the Weird!, Ripley Publishing, 2016, p. 130.

“Every monkey has a day!” Daily Times, Lahore, Pakistan, Dec. 15, 2016.

“Kocaeli'de Dünya Maymunlar Günü (World Monkey Day in Kocaeli)” Özgür Kocaeli Gazetesi, Turkey, Dec. 15, 2016.

Victoria Mitchell, “Downtown bike tours featuring local artwork take place this week,” C&G Newspapers, Aug. 15, 2016.

Beth Dalbey, “Tours on Bicycle Built for Six Showcase Art Explored,” Patch, Aug. 12, 2016.

Mike McConnell, “Royal Oak to highlight public art with 6-seat bicycle tours,” Oakland Press, Aug. 11, 2016.

Jason Reed, “Eric Millikin: Soldier of Misfortune,” ZIPR Magazine, Issue 9, 2016, p. 39-44.

Melody Baetens, “Celebrations abound for Vernors’ 150th birthday: Pop art,” The Detroit News, June 1, 2016.

“Michigan Sports Icons: Players coaches and moments to hang on your wall,” Detroit Free Press, Battle Creek Enquirer, Port Huron Times Herald, and Livingston Daily, March 20, 2016, p. 1-15PE.

M. Keith Booker, Editor, Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas, Greenwood 2014, p. 1548.

“Celebrate Monkey Day in 3D with Eric Millikin,” Detroit Free Press, Dec. 14, 2014.

Jolie Lee, “Sweet or scary? See portraits made of Halloween candy,” USA TODAY, Oct. 10, 2014.

Clinton Kelly, Michael Symon, “Halloween in a Hurry," The Chew, Oct. 30, 2014. Season 4. Episode 39. ABC.

Leila Roelli, “Mosaïques sucrées,” Radio Télévision Suisse, Oct. 8, 2014.

Paul Gravett, “Comics Art,” Yale University Press, 2013, p.122,

“The Sweet Portraits of Eric Millikin,” Ovation TV, Nov. 1, 2013.

“De Halloween, dulciurile iau formă de monștri,” Neptun TV, Romania, Oct. 31, 2013. 

“ΔΕΙΤΕ ΤΑ ΠΟΡΤΡΕΤΑ απο τα πιο... ΓΛΥΚΑ ΤΕΡΑΤΑ φτιαγμένα απο τον Eric Millikin!!” Athens Magazine, Greece, Oct. 31, 2013.

“Eric Millikin, Artist, Creates The Sweetest Halloween Art You'll See All Year,” The Huffington Post, Oct. 30, 2013.

“What Else Can You Do with Halloween Candy? Make Amazing Portraits, of Course!” The Good News with The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Oct. 30, 2013.

Michael Cavna, “THE BEST WEBCOMIC: It's time to vote on your nominations...” The Washington Post, Jan, 22, 2010.

Danny Fingeroth, The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels, Rough Guides 2008, p. 276.

Betsi Freeman, “On-Hand and ‘Out of Sequence’: Comics and minority culture at the KAM,” Buzz Magazine, Oct. 29, 2008, p. 9.

Tom Crippen, “Small Successes, Big Futility,” The Comics Journal, Issue 279, Nov. 2006, p. 105-106,

Ted Rall, Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists, NBM Publishing 2006, p. 65.

Mariko Wood, “Good Comics and Baud Web Comics,” The Comics Journal, Issue 251, March 2003, p.38-40.

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

“A Year of Fear: A look back on 12 months that saw Islamophobia reach record levels in Michigan,” (Illustration), Detroit Metro Times, Dec. 13, 2017, p.1.

“Prince Rogers Nelson: Rest in Purple,” (Illustration), Detroit Free Press, April 24, 2016, p. 1F.

“Black History Month: Can you pass this ‘Literacy Test’? An artist’s perspective on a civil rights injustice,” Detroit Free Press, Feb. 16, 2014.

“Eric Millikin takes an unusual look at Martin Luther King Jr. and his 'I Have a Dream' speech,” Detroit Free Press, Jan. 20, 2014.

“‘Serious Paper Cuts’: Classic books cut up, remixed,” Detroit Free Press, Dec. 24, 2013.

“Eric Millikin sends Monkey Day cards to strangers,” Detroit Free Press, Dec. 10, 2013.

“The 12 Stars of Monkey Day,” USA Weekend, Dec. 12, 2012.

“Will Ohio count your vote?” (Illustration), The Cincinnati Enquirer, July 29, 2012, p. 1A.

Lore Sjoberg, “Alt Text: Going Undercover at an Unregulated Content Farm,” (Illustration), WIRED, March 4, 2011.

“Reading Works: Thousands in our communities can’t read this headline. We can help. Here’s how.” (Illustration), Detroit Free Press, Oct. 2, 2011, p. 1B.

“A Message to Washington: Invest in America,” (Illustration), Detroit Free Press, Dec. 5, 2008, p. 1A.

Ric Bohy, “Metro Times 25th Anniversary Issue,” (Illustration), Metro Times, Oct. 25, 2005.

 

COLLECTIONS

Zayed University Permanent Collection, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

McNeese State University Works On Paper Permanent Collection, Lake Charles, LA

National Action Network, Philadelphia Chapter, Philadelphia, PA

Michigan State University Library Special Collections, East Lansing, MI

Works held in private collections in the United States including in Baltimore, Denver, Detroit, New York, Portland (Oregon) and Tucson (Arizona), and in Australia, Canada, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

by .

Séance Affliction: Self-Portraits while Possessed by Ghosts

You may have heard of science fiction, but I am cursed with a Séance Affliction.

I am a descendent of Mary Eastey, one of the women killed during the Salem Witch Trials, and I create a series of "Séance Afflicition" self-portraits while possessed by ghosts as a reminder of how strongly the dead still influence the living. Each portrait is created in a trance-like state, with the help of a team of zombie computers, using machine learning, convolutional neural networks, reverse image recognition, DeepDreaming, and other home brew occult computer sciences. Each portrait shows roughly half of my face, half of the ghost of a dead historical figure, in the style of a dead artist, created on the anniversary of their death. 

The good news is now when someone asks you what your favorite artistic medium is, you can say "Eric Millikin is my favorite artistic medium."


 "Séance Affliction:  Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Sharon Tate and Vito Acconci"  2018

"Séance Affliction:  Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Sharon Tate and Vito Acconci"

2018

 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Sylvia Plath and Mike Kelley"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Sylvia Plath and Mike Kelley"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Jim Henson and Mark Rothko"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Jim Henson and Mark Rothko"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of El Santo and Louise Nevelson"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of El Santo and Louise Nevelson"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Zsa Zsa Gabor and H. R. Giger"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Zsa Zsa Gabor and H. R. Giger"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Ingrid Bergman and Jack Kirby  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Ingrid Bergman and Jack Kirby

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Lucille Ball and Andy Warhol"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Lucille Ball and Andy Warhol"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Marcel Duchamp  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Marcel Duchamp

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Gustav Klimt and Ginger Rogers  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Gustav Klimt and Ginger Rogers

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Benazir Bhutto and Henry Ossawa Tanner"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Benazir Bhutto and Henry Ossawa Tanner"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Tupac Shakur and M. C. Escher"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Tupac Shakur and M. C. Escher"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Judy Garland and Gustave Courbet"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Judy Garland and Gustave Courbet"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Prince Rogers Nelson and Paul Gauguin"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Prince Rogers Nelson and Paul Gauguin"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Josephine Baker and Franz Kline"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Josephine Baker and Franz Kline"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Marilyn Monroe and Henri Rousseau"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Marilyn Monroe and Henri Rousseau"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Biggie Smalls and Mary Cassatt"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Biggie Smalls and Mary Cassatt"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of George Carlin and Joseph Beuys"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of George Carlin and Joseph Beuys"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Chang and Eng Bunker and Salvador Dalí"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Chang and Eng Bunker and Salvador Dalí"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Audrey Hepburn and Keith Haring"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Audrey Hepburn and Keith Haring"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of William Shakespeare and Yves Klein"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of William Shakespeare and Yves Klein"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Vladimir Lenin and Salvador Dali"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Vladimir Lenin and Salvador Dali"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Jayne Mansfield and Vincent van Gogh"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Jayne Mansfield and Vincent van Gogh"

2017


 "Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Leonardo da Vinci"  2017

"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Leonardo da Vinci"

2017


 "Séance Affliction:  Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Vincent van Gogh"  2017

"Séance Affliction:  Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Vincent van Gogh"

2017


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Harry Houdini and Vincent van Gogh: Iris" 

2017


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Joan Crawford and Vincent van Gogh"

2017


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Harry Houdini and Vincent van Gogh"

2017


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Salvador Dalí"

2017


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Albert Einstein and Piet Mondrian"

2017


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of Piet Mondrian and Tammy Faye Bakker"

2017


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghosts of "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Painter Georgia O'Keefe"  

2016


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Remedios Varo"  

2016


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Roy Lichtenstein"  

2016


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Frieda Kahlo"  

2016


My "Séance AfflictionSelf-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Frida Kahlo" was included in the CHASING GHOSTS Exhibition at the Verum Ultimum Art Gallery in Portland Oregon, and in the DAMNED Art Show at the Tangent Gallery in Detroit, Michigan.


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Marcel Duchamp"  

2016


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Claude Monet"  

2016


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Salvador Dali"  

2016


"Séance Affliction: Self-Portrait While Possessed by the Ghost of Jackson Pollock"  

2016

by .

Danger Beasts

Danger beasts is a series of portraits of endangered animals created with endangered plants.  The plants I am using are from my venus flytrap breeding program and tissue culture lab.

 


 "Danger Beast: Koko"  2017  I am pleased to introduce you to my portrait of "Koko," the 46-year-old female western lowland gorilla who has learned about 1,000 sign-language hand signs.

"Danger Beast: Koko"

2017

I am pleased to introduce you to my portrait of "Koko," the 46-year-old female western lowland gorilla who has learned about 1,000 sign-language hand signs.


 "Danger Beast: Lucy"  2017  I am pleased to introduce you my portrait of "Lucy," the 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis whose 40% complete fossilized skeletal remains were discovered in Hadar, Ethiopia in 1974. Lucy was nicknamed the night she was discovered while the excavation team celebrated to the Beatles’ hit “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

"Danger Beast: Lucy"

2017

I am pleased to introduce you my portrait of "Lucy," the 3.2-million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis whose 40% complete fossilized skeletal remains were discovered in Hadar, Ethiopia in 1974. Lucy was nicknamed the night she was discovered while the excavation team celebrated to the Beatles’ hit “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”


 "Danger Beast: Baha"  2017  Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, with fewer than 500 believed to exist in the wild. In the past century, four of nine tiger subspecies have gone extinct in their natural habitats. Baha successfully raised five tiger cubs while at the Sacramento Zoo before she died in February 2016 after a fight with another tiger, Mohan, a potential mate.

"Danger Beast: Baha"

2017

Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, with fewer than 500 believed to exist in the wild. In the past century, four of nine tiger subspecies have gone extinct in their natural habitats. Baha successfully raised five tiger cubs while at the Sacramento Zoo before she died in February 2016 after a fight with another tiger, Mohan, a potential mate.


 Big thanks to Canvas Pontiac and the Detroit Institute of Arts for helping me take my "Danger Beasts" to new heights.    "Danger Beast: Baha" won first place.

Big thanks to Canvas Pontiac and the Detroit Institute of Arts for helping me take my "Danger Beasts" to new heights.
 

"Danger Beast: Baha" won first place.


"Danger Beast: The Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey"

2016


"Danger Beast: Kimie"

2016

Kimie was one of the first rescued chimpanzees we collaborated with in creating artwork for Monkey Day. She died in 2011.


"Danger Beast: Harambe"

2016

Buy a print of "Danger Beast: Harambe"


Portrait of Harambe, the endangered gorilla shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo, made out of endangered Venus flytraps. This was shown at the Studio Door gallery in San Diego, with a portion of proceeds going to the San Diego Zoo for wildlife conservation.


"Danger Beast: Golden Lion Tamarin"

2016


"Danger Beast: Zahara"

2016

Public art installation in Royal Oak, MI.

by .

Awesome Editorial Artwork

A collection of editorial artwork that I have created.


 Portrait of sports journalist Jemele Hill.  Those of you who have been following me since art school may recall that Jemele was in journalism school at the same time and we were able to work on cool things together, and we criss-crossed paths doing some things with major media orgs in Detroit, and everything was always good times. She once referred to me as "the baddest white boy on the planet," which is one of the very highest honors I have ever received and should tell everyone that her opinions and analysis will always be pretty much 110% trustworthy.

Portrait of sports journalist Jemele Hill.

Those of you who have been following me since art school may recall that Jemele was in journalism school at the same time and we were able to work on cool things together, and we criss-crossed paths doing some things with major media orgs in Detroit, and everything was always good times. She once referred to me as "the baddest white boy on the planet," which is one of the very highest honors I have ever received and should tell everyone that her opinions and analysis will always be pretty much 110% trustworthy.


 Here's my fist raised in support and solidarity with you and all the working people of the world as we head into Labor Day Weekend here in the US, and on today the 110th birthday of UAW leader Walter Reuther (Sept. 1, 1907 – May 9, 1970). My artwork here is based in part on the engines of the 1919 Ford Model T and the 1937 Ford Pickup Truck. Man, and I don't even like Ford vehicles. So, why? Here's why:  Why a 1937 Ford Pickup? 1937 is the year Henry Ford's private security forces tried to bust up the UAW and attacked workers at the "Battle of the Overpass." UAW members that were attacked included Walter Reuther who was picked up and slammed on the concrete at least seven times. The Detroit News described how police stood by as people were beaten: "A lone police officer, appalled at the scene, pleaded with the 'service' men to stop beating one woman: 'You'll kill her...' The Dearborn police did nothing else. They stood by and said the Ford men were protecting their private property." The brutal attack helped turn public opinion against the way Ford treated working people.  Why a 1919 Ford Model T? 1919 is the year Henry Ford bought "The Dearborn Independent" newspaper, which he used for about a decade to publish Nazi-inspiring Anti-Semitic articles like "The Scope of Jewish Dictatorship in the U.S.," "The Jewish Element in Bootlegging Evil," "Jewish Degradation of American Baseball," and "Jewish Jazz Becomes Our National Music." This lead to Henry Ford being the only American mentioned in Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf," where Hitler wrote: "Every year makes them [American Jews] more and more the controlling masters ... [In the U.S.] only a single great man, Ford, to their fury still maintains full independence." At the Nuremberg trial for war crimes, one Nazi leader stated how Ford's writings inspired them: "I read it and became anti-Semitic. [It] made such a deep impression on my friends and myself because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success ..."  So, yeah, this is for those of us who, today, still haven't given up the fight against wealthy business leaders who want to treat working people like punching bags, for those of us who still haven't given up the fight against Nazis and racists within and supported by the highest levels of power, and for those of us who still haven't given up the fight against those of our police who too often at best stand by just watching the brutality ...  This is me raising my fist with you, because, together, we will change this.  2017

Here's my fist raised in support and solidarity with you and all the working people of the world as we head into Labor Day Weekend here in the US, and on today the 110th birthday of UAW leader Walter Reuther (Sept. 1, 1907 – May 9, 1970). My artwork here is based in part on the engines of the 1919 Ford Model T and the 1937 Ford Pickup Truck. Man, and I don't even like Ford vehicles. So, why? Here's why:

Why a 1937 Ford Pickup? 1937 is the year Henry Ford's private security forces tried to bust up the UAW and attacked workers at the "Battle of the Overpass." UAW members that were attacked included Walter Reuther who was picked up and slammed on the concrete at least seven times. The Detroit News described how police stood by as people were beaten: "A lone police officer, appalled at the scene, pleaded with the 'service' men to stop beating one woman: 'You'll kill her...' The Dearborn police did nothing else. They stood by and said the Ford men were protecting their private property." The brutal attack helped turn public opinion against the way Ford treated working people.

Why a 1919 Ford Model T? 1919 is the year Henry Ford bought "The Dearborn Independent" newspaper, which he used for about a decade to publish Nazi-inspiring Anti-Semitic articles like "The Scope of Jewish Dictatorship in the U.S.," "The Jewish Element in Bootlegging Evil," "Jewish Degradation of American Baseball," and "Jewish Jazz Becomes Our National Music." This lead to Henry Ford being the only American mentioned in Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf," where Hitler wrote: "Every year makes them [American Jews] more and more the controlling masters ... [In the U.S.] only a single great man, Ford, to their fury still maintains full independence." At the Nuremberg trial for war crimes, one Nazi leader stated how Ford's writings inspired them: "I read it and became anti-Semitic. [It] made such a deep impression on my friends and myself because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success ..."

So, yeah, this is for those of us who, today, still haven't given up the fight against wealthy business leaders who want to treat working people like punching bags, for those of us who still haven't given up the fight against Nazis and racists within and supported by the highest levels of power, and for those of us who still haven't given up the fight against those of our police who too often at best stand by just watching the brutality ...

This is me raising my fist with you, because, together, we will change this.

2017


 I made this landscape painting where the soaring mountain peaks correspond to the soaring peaks of Donald Trump's sky-high 61% disapproval rating.   (Poll numbers from Dr. Brian Klaas and Gallup polls. Landscape based on John Mix Stanley's "Western Landscape" circa 1848, at the Detroit Institute of Arts.)  2017

I made this landscape painting where the soaring mountain peaks correspond to the soaring peaks of Donald Trump's sky-high 61% disapproval rating. 

(Poll numbers from Dr. Brian Klaas and Gallup polls. Landscape based on John Mix Stanley's "Western Landscape" circa 1848, at the Detroit Institute of Arts.)

2017


 Portrait of our President of the United States of America, powered by crowds of white supremacists, carrying torches for him.   (This artwork is probably technically an unfinished work in progress, but so is our fight against racism in America since about 1492.)  2017

Portrait of our President of the United States of America, powered by crowds of white supremacists, carrying torches for him. 

(This artwork is probably technically an unfinished work in progress, but so is our fight against racism in America since about 1492.)

2017


 I hear some people have negative things to say about Donald Trump and his tweets, but I think Donald Trump and his tweets are beautiful things, like newborn baby birds in their nests.  Like blind naked helpless babies, tweeting, tweeting, incessantly tweeting, starving for attention, too powerless and weak to actually do anything. Just beautiful things, like baby birds in their nests.  2017

I hear some people have negative things to say about Donald Trump and his tweets, but I think Donald Trump and his tweets are beautiful things, like newborn baby birds in their nests.

Like blind naked helpless babies, tweeting, tweeting, incessantly tweeting, starving for attention, too powerless and weak to actually do anything. Just beautiful things, like baby birds in their nests.

2017


 Portrait of Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, based on the melted weapons of her enemies she has defeated, in a style similar to the Iron Throne her father once sat upon.   2017

Portrait of Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, based on the melted weapons of her enemies she has defeated, in a style similar to the Iron Throne her father once sat upon. 

2017


 Portrait of the human mind made from melted bullets. Thinking about a lot of things while working on this, mostly what great things we could do if we used our brains more and our bullets less.   2017

Portrait of the human mind made from melted bullets. Thinking about a lot of things while working on this, mostly what great things we could do if we used our brains more and our bullets less. 

2017

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Made of Money

My series to remind us that our best people aren't always rewarded with wealth, and that our wealthiest people aren't always our best.


 "Made of Money: Edgar Allan Poe"  2017

"Made of Money: Edgar Allan Poe"

2017


 "Made of Money: Joe Louis"  2017

"Made of Money: Joe Louis"

2017


"Made of Money: Hedy Lamarr"

2017


 "Made of Money: Vincent Van Gogh"  2017

"Made of Money: Vincent Van Gogh"

2017


 "Made of Money: Nikola Tesla"  2017

"Made of Money: Nikola Tesla"

2017


 My 2017 ArtPrize entry featuring five "Made of Money" portraits. ArtPrize is "an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days each fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan." ArtPrize was created by billionaire Rick DeVos, who has contributed to many conservative political causes.   The New York Times covered my "Made of Money" artwork:  “Any artwork put into ArtPrize is going to be about ArtPrize, the DeVoses and Trump,” said Eric Millikin, an artist in Detroit whose entry, “Made of Money,” used a weave of actual dollar bills and digital manipulation to produce portraits of accomplished people who died poor. “I’ve always been conflicted about participating because of the DeVoses, but this year with Betsy DeVos in the federal government, it was a conflict I had to address.”  Full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/arts/design/artprize-michigan-betsy-devos-donald-trump.html

My 2017 ArtPrize entry featuring five "Made of Money" portraits. ArtPrize is "an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place for 19 days each fall in Grand Rapids, Michigan." ArtPrize was created by billionaire Rick DeVos, who has contributed to many conservative political causes. 

The New York Times covered my "Made of Money" artwork:

“Any artwork put into ArtPrize is going to be about ArtPrize, the DeVoses and Trump,” said Eric Millikin, an artist in Detroit whose entry, “Made of Money,” used a weave of actual dollar bills and digital manipulation to produce portraits of accomplished people who died poor. “I’ve always been conflicted about participating because of the DeVoses, but this year with Betsy DeVos in the federal government, it was a conflict I had to address.”

Full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/arts/design/artprize-michigan-betsy-devos-donald-trump.html

 This was installed in the PO (Art)Box, curated by Sierra Cole. It also included artwork by Firth MacMillan, Barbara Lash, Denise Ardis, John Whipple, Lynn Whipple, Ed Brownlee, Jonathan D. Lopez, Howard Sheltraw and Sierra Cole.

This was installed in the PO (Art)Box, curated by Sierra Cole. It also included artwork by Firth MacMillan, Barbara Lash, Denise Ardis, John Whipple, Lynn Whipple, Ed Brownlee, Jonathan D. Lopez, Howard Sheltraw and Sierra Cole.

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Hottest Trending Self-Portraits

Series of self-portraits as "most popular fictional character, in a style inspired by the most popular artist, with most popular quote by most popular human being."


 "Self-Portrait as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, with quote from a Taylor Swift song, in the colors of a hurricane weather map"  2017

"Self-Portrait as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, with quote from a Taylor Swift song, in the colors of a hurricane weather map"

2017

September 2017

This data-driven self-portrait is based on my meticulous study into the most popular internet research trends, news consumption, music sales, airplay, and movie box office revenue of two weeks in September, and the results pretty much perfectly capture September 2017.


March 2016:

Self-Portrait as The Punisher, with quote from Donald Trump, in the style of the Unfinished portrait of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


 

February 2016:

Self-Portrait as Marvel Comics' Negasonic Teenage Warhead, in a style inspired by the chimpanzee artist Pierre Brassau who fooled art critics, with quote by Republican front-runner Donald Trump.


January 2016:

Self-Portrait as Deadpool, in a style inspired by Indian painter Amrita Sher-Gil, with quote from David Bowie.


December 2015:

Self-Portrait as Superman villain Doomsday, in a style inspired by performance artist Yoko Ono, with quote from Solomon Northup, author of 'Twelve Years a Slave.'


March 2015:

Self Portrait as Marvel Comics The Vision, in a style inspired by English botanist and photographer Anna Atkins, with a quote by award-winning-award-show-interrupter Kanye West.


January 2015:

Self-portrait as Marvel Comics Ant-Man, in a style inspired by "Big Eyes" painter Margaret Keane, with quote by 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle.

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Witch Hunt

I am a descendant of Salem Witches; my great-grandmother about 13 generations back, Mary Eastey, was executed Sept. 22, 1692 and her sister Rebecca Nurse was executed July 19, 1692. Their mother, Joanna Blessing Towne, had been accused of witchcraft years earlier.

For this year's 325th anniversary of the Salem Witch Trials, I've created Salem Witch-related artwork, based on flowers and leaves of the following plants: The "Bog Witch" Sarracenia pitcher plant, the "Witch's Wand" Iris, the "Green Wizard" Venus Flytrap, and the "Bewitching Eyes" and "Salem Witch" Hemerocallis.

I AM HERE TO HELP Donald Trump understand what a Witch Hunt actually is.


 Lock  2017  1) "Lock" as in "Warlock," a male witch. Prior to these five executed witches, six others had already been executed; all six were women. The five executed on this date were one woman (Martha Carrier) and four men (George Burroughs, George Jacobs Sr., John Proctor, and John Willard). John Willard was a law enforcement officer who brought many of the other accused to court. George Burroughs was a minister, who recited the Lord's Prayer while standing at the gallows waiting to die. John Proctor's wife Elizabeth was also among the accused. What do you do when law enforcement, ministers, and husbands of accused witches dare question the court system? Accuse them of being warlocks, and execute them, too.  2) "Lock" as in "Locked Away." Most of the focus of Salem Witch Trial history is on the 19 people who were executed by hanging, and one tortured to death. Sources say about 150 other accused witches were locked away in jail. The youngest, four-year-old Dorcas Good, was jailed for almost nine months, from March 24, 1692, to Dec. 10, 1692. At least four of the accused (Sarah Osbourn, Roger Toothaker, Ann Foster, and Lydia Dustin) died in prison.  3) "Lock" as in "Lock her up!" If you're in a top position of power, like say President of the United States, and you've ever lead an angry mob chanting "Lock her up!" then you're probably not the victim in the "Witch Hunt" metaphor.

Lock

2017

1) "Lock" as in "Warlock," a male witch. Prior to these five executed witches, six others had already been executed; all six were women. The five executed on this date were one woman (Martha Carrier) and four men (George Burroughs, George Jacobs Sr., John Proctor, and John Willard). John Willard was a law enforcement officer who brought many of the other accused to court. George Burroughs was a minister, who recited the Lord's Prayer while standing at the gallows waiting to die. John Proctor's wife Elizabeth was also among the accused. What do you do when law enforcement, ministers, and husbands of accused witches dare question the court system? Accuse them of being warlocks, and execute them, too.

2) "Lock" as in "Locked Away." Most of the focus of Salem Witch Trial history is on the 19 people who were executed by hanging, and one tortured to death. Sources say about 150 other accused witches were locked away in jail. The youngest, four-year-old Dorcas Good, was jailed for almost nine months, from March 24, 1692, to Dec. 10, 1692. At least four of the accused (Sarah Osbourn, Roger Toothaker, Ann Foster, and Lydia Dustin) died in prison.

3) "Lock" as in "Lock her up!" If you're in a top position of power, like say President of the United States, and you've ever lead an angry mob chanting "Lock her up!" then you're probably not the victim in the "Witch Hunt" metaphor.


Salem Witch riding on her broom stick.

2017

"18 July 1692. Ann Foster ... confesed that the devill in shape of a [black] man apeared to her ... she promised to serve the divill two yeares: upon w'ch the Divill promised her prosperity ... she & martha Carier did both ride on a stick or pole when they went to the witch meeting at Salem Village ..."

Ann Foster, after days of torture, confessed to witchcraft in an attempt to save her daughter and granddaughter who were also accused. She died in Salem jail in Dec. 1692.

 


 Large-scale outdoor installation in Salem, Massachusetts of the Salem witch riding her broomstick; July 19, 2017

Large-scale outdoor installation in Salem, Massachusetts of the Salem witch riding her broomstick; July 19, 2017


 In Salem, Massachusetts, at the memorial for Rebecca Towne Nurse, my great aunt from about 13 generations back, who was executed for witchcraft 325 years ago; July 19, 2017

In Salem, Massachusetts, at the memorial for Rebecca Towne Nurse, my great aunt from about 13 generations back, who was executed for witchcraft 325 years ago; July 19, 2017


Black Cat

2017

"Aug. the 11th, 1692 ... [seven-year-old accused witch Sarah Carrier] said her mother [Martha Carrier] carried her thither to afflict. Q. How did your mother carry you when she was in prison? A. She came like a black cat. Q. How did you know that it was your mother? A. The cat told me so that she was my mother."

Based in part on this confession and testimony by her seven-year-old daughter, Martha Carrier was executed August 19, 1692.


 Outdoor installation of the Black Cat; July 17, 2017

Outdoor installation of the Black Cat; July 17, 2017


Salem Witch

2017

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BLACKWORDS: Great Words of Black History

Portraits of historical figures using their own words.


"John Lewis: Good Trouble"

2017

"Good Trouble," all-action portrait of John Lewis. For the last few years I've been drawing portraits of great black leaders entirely with their own words from their great speeches. I wanted to draw a portrait of John Lewis for this series, and while Lewis has given some great speeches, he's also been arrested at least 45 times for getting into "good trouble" in the nonviolent struggle for justice, from sit-ins at segregated lunch counters to Freedom Riders to protests against apartheid and genocide in Darfur. And then some fool went and called John Lewis "all talk," and so I made this portrait to honor John Lewis for having the courage to step up when necessary and being pretty much "all action."


"Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have a Dream" billboard

2017

Portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made entirely from the words to his "I Have A Dream" speech, 30 feet wide and 10 feet high, LED.


Metro Detroit at roughly 4539 S Telegraph Rd, headed North, between I-94 and Michigan Ave.

January 12 - January 19, 2017


"Barack Obama: Hope Over Fear"

2016

"Hope Over Fear" portrait of Barack Obama created using the words to his first inaugural address.
 


"Michelle Obama: American Dream"

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"American Dream" portrait of Michelle Obama created from the words to her speech at City College of New York, her last commencement address as First Lady of the United States.
 


"When they go low, we go high." - Michelle Obama
Here's my earlier "American Dream" portrait of Michelle Obama, which will be auctioned Aug. 6 in Washington DC by the National Association of Black Journalists to raise money for scholarships.


"Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary"

2015

"Any Means Necessary" portrait of Malcolm X.


"Martin Luther King, Jr.: I Have a Dream"

2015

"I Have a Dream" portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. 


"Harriet Tubman: Bound for the Promised Land"

2016

Portrait of Harriet Tubman created from the words to the song "Bound for the Promised Land," a version of which she sang as a code while escaping and rescuing other enslaved people along the Underground Railroad.


"Frederick Douglass: The Hypocrisy of American Slavery"

2016

Portrait of Frederick Douglass created from the words to his "The Hypocrisy of American Slavery" speech. 

 


"Sojourner Truth: And Ain't I a Woman"

2015

Portrait of Sojourner Truth drawn from the words to her "Ain't I a Woman?" speech.


"Ruby Bridges: Racism Has No Place"

2016

Portrait of Ruby Bridges, who was the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana during the 20th century, when she was escorted to school by U.S. Marshalls on Nov. 14, 1960.

Words here are from her quote "My message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds of our children," as well as the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, which declared "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."


"Viola Liuzzo: Change the World"

2016

Portrait of civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo using the words she had told a friend, "You and I are going to change the world," and from her FBI files, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Viola traveled from her home in Detroit, Michigan to Selma, Alabama to assist and participate in the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches. Afterward, she was shot dead by members of the Ku Klux Klan.


 


 One of my "Viola Liuzzo: Change the World" portraits was auctioned to raise money for Global Ties Detroit, the Detroit non-profit arm of the Department of State, dedicated to world-wide diplomacy.  

One of my "Viola Liuzzo: Change the World" portraits was auctioned to raise money for Global Ties Detroit, the Detroit non-profit arm of the Department of State, dedicated to world-wide diplomacy.
 


"Muhammad Ali: Sting Like a Bee"

2016

"Sting Like A Bee" portrait of Muhammad Ali, drawn from the some of his greatest words. Like:

"I done wrassled with an alligator
I done tussled with a whale
I done handcuffed lightnin', 
Throwed thunder in jail ...

Only last week I murdered a rock,
Injured a stone,
Hospitalized a brick.
I'm so mean I make medicine sick ..."


"Jimi Hendrix: Purple Haze"

2015

"Purple Haze" portrait of Jimi Hendrix.


"Miles Davis: Miles Ahead"

2016

Portrait of Miles Davis created from the titles of his songs.

“It's not about standing still and becoming safe. If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.” 

“Do not fear mistakes. There are none. ” 

“When you’re creating your own shit, man, even the sky ain’t the limit.”

"Miles Ahead" is the title of his 1957 album.


"Prince: Purple Rain"

2015

Portrait of Prince created with lyrics from the song "Purple Rain." 

 

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Street Portraits


Drawn in one continuous line


"Street Portrait: Jordan Edwards"

2017

Portrait of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, drawn in one continuous line through the streets around Dallas, starting in the suburb of Balch Springs where police fired three rifle rounds into the car Edwards was riding in while it was driving away, shooting Edwards in the head and killing him on April 29, 2017.


"Street Portrait: Aiyana Jones"

2017

Portrait of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones, drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Detroit, starting from where she was asleep on the couch after midnight May 16, 2010, and shot in the head during a no-knock SWAT raid being filmed for a reality TV show, over across town to the church where her funeral was held, to the cemetery where her body is buried, and to the court house where two trials for involuntary manslaughter both ended in mistrials.


 At the Michigan Fine Arts Competition exhibition, people are following the key points of my "Street Portraits: Philando Castile, Jordan Edwards, and Aiyana Jones," each drawn in one continuous line through the streets around St. Paul, Dallas and Detroit where they were killed.  

At the Michigan Fine Arts Competition exhibition, people are following the key points of my "Street Portraits: Philando Castile, Jordan Edwards, and Aiyana Jones," each drawn in one continuous line through the streets around St. Paul, Dallas and Detroit where they were killed.
 


 "Street Portrait: Renisha McBride"  2016

"Street Portrait: Renisha McBride"

2016

Portrait of Renisha McBride, drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Dearborn Heights west of Detroit, starting from where she crashed her car into a parked vehicle, over to where she knocked on someone's door asking for help, but the homeowner thought she might be trying to break in so he shot her in the face and killed her on November 3, 2013.


"Street Portrait: Terence Crutcher"

2016

Portrait of Terence Crutcher drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma, starting from Tulsa Community College where he was studying music appreciation, over across Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, and ending where his car broke down and he was shot and killed in the street, September 16, 2016.


"Street Portrait: Tamir Rice"

2015

Portrait of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Cleveland, through the spot where he was shot by police while playing with a toy gun in a park near his home, past where he died in the hospital, past about a half dozen cemeteries where he wasn't buried for 6 months because the medical examiner still had his body, and past the homes of many of the taxpayers who will pay the $6 million wrongful death settlement.

 


"Street Portrait: Michael Brown"

2015

Portrait of Michael Brown drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, starting from the high school he had recently graduated from, over to where he stole some smokes from a convenience store, down the street to where a police officer first thought unarmed Michael Brown "looks like a demon," then down that street where the officer hit Brown with about 6 of about 12 shots he fired, to where Michael Brown died in that street.


"Street Portrait: Philando Castile"

2016

Portrait of Philando Castile drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Falcon Heights, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul, starting from where he was shot and killed during a traffic stop.


"Street Portrait: Eric Garner"

2015

Portrait of Eric Garner, drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Staten Island, New York, starting from the point where he was put in a choke hold, where he repeated "I can't breathe" eleven times, past the hospital where he was pronounced dead an hour later, and past the homes of many of the taxpayers who will pay the $5.9 million wrongful death settlement. 


"Street Portrait: Sandra Bland"

2015

Portrait of Sandra Bland, drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Waller County, Texas, starting outside her new job at Prairie View A&M University, down University Drive where she was pulled over for failure to signal a lane change on July 10, across underneath Plantation Lake, and ending at Waller County Jail, where she was held alone in a cell, and where she died three days after being stopped over a turn signal, her death classified as a suicide.


"Street Portrait: Samuel DuBose"

2015

Portrait of Samuel DuBose, drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Cincinnati, starting from where he was stopped for driving without a front license plate, up Liberty St., up Freeman Ave, up Dr Martin Luther King Dr., to the Church of the Living God where they held his funeral because the police officer shot Samuel DuBose in the head.

 


"Street Portrait: Freddie Gray"

2015

Portrait of Freddie Gray, drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Baltimore, through the spots where he was stopped, put in a police van, and where he died, just a couple blocks away from MLK Blvd.


"Street Portrait: Alton Sterling"

2016

Portrait of Alton Sterling drawn in one continuous line through the streets of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, starting from the parking lot of Triple S Food Mart where he was fatally shot, through the streets where hundreds have protested, up Interstate 110, through the Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway.

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United Statements


 "United Statements: Lori Piestewa"  2017

"United Statements: Lori Piestewa"

2017

Portrait with stars and stripes  of Lori Piestewa (Dec. 14 1979 — March 23, 2003), the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving in the US military.
 

Piestewa was killed in action after coming under fire in an ambush in Nasiriyah, Iraq. She is survived by her son who was 4-years-old at the time of her death, her daughter who was 3-years-old at the time of her death, her mother who is Mexican-American, and her father who is a member of the Hopi tribe and who served in the Vietnam War. One of her grandfathers served in World War II. Lori Piestewa was awarded the Purple Heart and the Prisoner of War Medal, and posthumously promoted from Private First Class to the rank of Specialist.
According to the Army, Native Americans have served in the Army in every war in America's history, as well as during peacetime. 25 Native Americans have received the nation's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor.


"United Statements: American Woman"

2017


Portrait with stars and stripes.


No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here.

 


"United Statements: American Woman" is going to be exhibited during Dubai Art Week on March 12-18, 2017 at the A4 Gallery in Al Serkal Arts District, in a show organized by Zayed University, under the patronage of Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi.

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi is the United Arab Emirates' Minister of State for Tolerance, was previously the Minister of State for International Cooperation, and is listed as the 43rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.


 "United Statements: American Women"  2017

"United Statements: American Women"

2017

Painted during the Women's Marches weekend.


 "United Statements: Fight"  2017

"United Statements: Fight"

2017

"Fight." For every American who believes in fighting for what is right, even when we're not sure which way is up, even when we've got to fight in multiple directions, we've got this if we fight together, "Fight."

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Butterfly Effects 2017

Tribute portraits made of butterflies.

In chaos theory, "the butterfly effect" holds that the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly can change the outcome of a hurricane. If a butterfly can affect a hurricane, then imagine how great of an effect the life these people can have on the world, or that you or I can.


 Chris Cornell (July 20, 1964 – May 17, 2017)

Chris Cornell (July 20, 1964 – May 17, 2017)


 Don Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017)

Don Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017)


Chuck Berry (Oct. 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017)


Skip Williamson (Aug. 19, 1944 - March 16, 2017)


George "The Animal" Steele (April 16, 1937 – Feb. 16, 2017)


Mary Tyler Moore (Dec. 29, 1936 – Jan. 25, 2017) 


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Butterfly Effects

Tribute portraits made of butterflies.

In chaos theory, "the butterfly effect" holds that the flapping of the wings of a distant butterfly can change the outcome of a hurricane. If a butterfly can affect a hurricane, then imagine how great of an effect the life these people can have on the world, or that you or I can.



Debbie Reynolds (April 1, 1932 – Dec. 28, 2016)


Carrie Fisher (Oct. 21, 1956 – Dec. 27, 2016)


George Michael (June 25, 1963 – Dec. 25, 2016) 


Zsa Zsa Gabor (Feb. 6, 1917 – Dec. 18, 2016)


John Glenn (July 18, 1921 – Dec. 8, 2016)


Fidel Castro (Aug. 13, 1926 – Nov. 25, 2016)


Leonard Cohen  (Sept. 21, 1934 – Nov. 7, 2016)


Gene Wilder (June 11, 1933 – Aug. 29, 2016)


Muhammad Ali (Jan. 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) 


David Bowie (Jan. 8, 1947 - Jan. 10, 2016)


Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

Buy a print of "Butterfly Effect: Prince"


Alan Rickman (Feb. 21, 1946 - Jan. 14, 2016)


B.B. King (Sept. 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)


Natalie Cole (Feb. 6, 1950 – Dec. 31, 2015)


Mail art project I did with the Long Island Arts Alliance, shortly after the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris.




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Forgotten Atmospheres

Series of data-driven abstract art about people who are too often forgotten.


"Forgotten Atmosphere: Ajax"  

2016

Think of the largest area of this painting as the almost 8,035 veterans who die from suicide each year. That is 12 times the combined number who died each year in the wars in Iraq (513, the thick line at bottom) and Afghanistan (171, the thin line at bottom). That is about 22 per day.

If you spend about an hour thinking about this, in that time another veteran will have died from suicide.

A veteran is more than twice as likely to die from suicide than a member of the general population. 

 


"Forgotten Atmosphere: Thisbe"  

2016

This is a painting about people who were shot and killed, and too often forgotten. 

Think of the entire area of this painting as a year's worth of people killed by guns in the US. The smallish yellowish area, about a third of the painting toward the bottom, are the people killed in gun homicides, including the mass shootings, terrorist attacks and police shootings that seem to dominate our conversations. The thin yellowish line at the bottom is roughly the number of people killed by accident with a gun. All of these are tragedies.

But the largest area at the top, about 2/3s of the painting, is the roughly 2/3s of all gun deaths which are suicides. If we truly believe that "All Lives Matter," we would probably spend twice as much time talking about gun suicides as we do homicides.

If you spend just 25 minutes looking at this painting and thinking about this today, in that time someone in the US will have shot and killed themselves.

 


"Forgotten Atmosphere: Philomela"  

2016

This is a painting about people who are victims of rape and sexual assault who are too often forgotten.

Think of the entire area of this painting as every rape and sexual assault committed in America in a single year.

That small, thin blue/green line at the bottom -- only roughly a tiny .6% of this painting -- those are the only attacks where the perpetrator is ultimately sent to jail.

Those are some incredibly small odds. And sometimes, after a victim somehow beats those odds, that rapist is only sent to jail for 6 months for raping an unconscious woman if the rapist is on the swim team at Stanford.

On average, there are 288,820 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault every year in the United States.

If you spend just 2 minutes looking at this painting and thinking about this today, in that time another person will be raped or sexually assaulted in America.


"Forgotten Atmosphere: Scheherazade"  

2016

This is a painting about people of the Muslim faith who are too often forgotten. 

Think of the entire area of this painting as the last 13 years. The large yellow/green area at the bottom, over half of the painting, that's the 7 of the last 13 years when a Nobel Peace Prize was given to a person of the Muslim faith. 

These are people we should be talking more about.

Notice that the colors of paint that I've used for the Muslims and non-Muslims in this painting, yellow/green and blue/green? They're really not that different from each other.

These are those Nobel Peace Prize winners: Shirin Ebadi of Iran (2003), Mohamed ElBaradei of Egypt (2005), Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh (2006), Tawakkol Karman of Yemen (2011), Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan (2014), and the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet (2015).


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Making History


2016

Every Republican and Democratic presidential nominee from every election year, by race and gender.


"Hillary Clinton: Sky's the Limit"

2016

Portrait of Hillary Clinton that I created from the words to her speech accepting her nomination at the Democratic National Convention.

"When there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit."

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Totally Sweet Halloween Candy Monsters

Monsters created with Halloween candy.


"Totally Sweet: The Bride"  

2016

The iconic bride of Frankenstein made out of Halloween candy.



"Totally Sweet: Vincent Price"  

2016

Vincent Price (May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993), shown here in a "Totally Sweet" portrait I made out of Halloween candy.


"Totally Sweet: They Live"  

2015

Here's a TOTALLY SWEET alien, from the movie "They Live," that I built out of Halloween candy.

"They Live" is a 1988 John Carpenter film.


"Totally Sweet: The Undertaker"  

2015

The Undertaker, in a totally sweet portrait I've made out of Halloween candy.


"Totally Sweet: Flying Monkey from Oz"  

2015

Here's a Wizard of Oz flying monkey portrait I've made out of Halloween candy.
 


"Totally Sweet: The Genie"  

2014

Last night, I was trying to get a head start on this year's Totally Sweet Halloween candy monster portraits, when I heard about Robin Williams. I wasn't exactly sure I'd show this to anyone, and I'm not exactly sure, and don't exactly care, where this fits on the official spectrum of acceptable expressions of facebox emotion.


"Totally Sweet: Cthulu"  

2014

Cthulu from H. P. Lovecraft's horror stories.

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Motor City Witch Trials

"Motor City Witch Trials" is based on some of the most bewitching people I've met here in Detroit, the city where everyone is always being judged.  

The quotes are from those who were executed during the Salem Witch Trials, including some from Mary Eastey, my grandmother from about 13 generations back, who was executed Sept. 22, 1692.


2016


The quote here is from my grandmother from about 13 generations back Mary Eastey, who was executed Sept. 22, 1692 during the Salem Witch Trials.
 

2016


2016


2016


2016

2016

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Election 2016 Endurance Painting Challenge

It took a great deal of endurance to paint all of the presidential candidates.



Hillary Clinton

Bernie Sanders

Donald Trump

Ted Cruz

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Hollywood Witch Trials

"Hollywood Witch Trials" is a series of portraits based on celebrity crime mug shots and excerpts from Salem Witch Trial transcripts.

About 72 people were accused and tried of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. My own grandmother from about 13 generations back, Mary Eastey, was among the last people executed for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.


"Hollywood Witch Trial: Andre the Giant"  

2015

Andre The Giant


This portrait of Andre the Giant is based on his mug shot after he was arrested for putting a TV cameraman in a headlock in Iowa in August 1989.

The quote here is from Giles Corey, who was pressed to death under heavy stones in an attempt to get him to enter a plea after being accused of witchcraft. He died after two days of torture 323 years ago on Sept. 19, 1692. His wife, Martha Corey was executed by hanging Sept. 22, 1692.


"Hollywood Witch Trial: Lindsay Lohan from Windsor"  

2016

Lindsay Lohan

This portrait of Lindsay Lohan is based on her LA County Sheriff's Department mug shot from October 2011 after a judge revoked her probation because she failed to perform court-ordered community service.

369 years ago, Alse Young (ca. 1600 – May 26, 1647) of Windsor, Connecticut was hanged in the first recorded instance of execution for witchcraft in America.

The quote, "One of Windsor was hanged," is taken from a journal of then Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop.


 


"Hollywood Witch Trial: Paris Hilton"  

2015

Paris Hilton

This portrait of Paris Hilton is based on her mug shot after she was arrested for a parole violation in 2007.

The quote here is from Martha Corey, who was executed for witchcraft about 323 years ago on Sept. 22, 1692.


"Hollywood Witch Trial: David Bowie the Witch"  

2016

David Bowie

This portrait of David Bowie is based on his March 1976 mugshot after he was arrested along with Iggy Pop in upstate New York on a felony pot possession charge.

Quote here is from Bridget Bishop, who 324 years ago (June 10, 1692) was the first person executed for witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. 

 


"Hollywood Witch Trial: Eminem"  

2015

Eminem

This portrait of Eminem is based on his mug shot after he was arrested in June 2000 for carrying a concealed weapon and for assault after he got into a fight with a man he saw kissing his wife.

The quote here is from James Willard, who was accused of witchcraft after refusing to arrest others who had been accused. He was hanged on August 19, 1692.

 


"Hollywood Witch Trial: Kid Rock"  

2015

Kid Rock

This portrait of Kid Rock is based on his mugshot after he was arrested for getting into a fight at a Waffle House in Georgia in Oct. 2007.

The quote here is from Giles Corey, who was pressed to death under heavy stones after he refused to plead (guilty or not guilty) after being accused of witchcraft. He died after two days of torture 323 years ago on Sept. 19, 1692. His wife, Martha Corey was executed by hanging Sept. 22, 1692.


"Hollywood Witch Trial: Lindsay Lohan"  

2015

Lindsay Lohan

This portrait of Lindsay Lohan is based on her mug shot after pleading no contest to reckless driving in March 2013.

Quote here is from my great grandmother about 13 generations or so back, Mary Eastey, who was executed for witchcraft 323 years ago Sept. 22, 1692.


"Hollywood Witch Trial: Bill Cosby"  

2016

Bill Cosby

This portrait of Bill Cosby is based on his 2015 mug shot when he was charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman 12 years earlier. He is 78 years old.

The quote here is from George Jacobs, Sr., who was found guilty of witchcraft and hanged on August 19, 1692. He was 72 years old. His granddaughter was also accused of witchcraft, and was one of his accusers.


"Hollywood Witch Trial: Paris Hilton the Devil"  

2016

Paris Hilton

This portrait of Paris Hilton is based on her 2010 mugshot when she was arrested for cocaine possession.

Quote here is from Rebecca Nurse, my great aunt from about 13 generations back, who was executed for witchcraft in Salem on July 19, 1692. 
 

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