Artist Bio

After I graduated from Columbia College in Chicago, I worked as a full time volunteer with Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers in Los Angeles. I created hand painted protest banners and signs. I organized a resurgence of the mural movement within the union, curating artist to create murals in Los Angeles with farmworker themes.

I returned back to Chicago and  started working in documentary film. My first independently produced documentary was a preservation piece called  Barkeep about old taverns in Chicago. One of the Characters was Joe Danno of the Bucket O Suds. It was a mixture of interview and Cinema verite. It screened at the JVC documentary festival in Japan.

After Barkeep I was working in Berlin and created a short film based on the text of Bertolt Brecht. It combined actors from Berlin and Chicago. It was my only experimental narrative projects. It was conceived as a pilot for German TV. It was not picked up, but it gave me experience working in Europe.

I co-founded the Chicago Underground Film Fest and then started my own film festival called Euro Underground which enabled me to curate work and travel to Berlin, Krakow, Sofia, Paris, London, Keiv, Bucharest and even Bangkok.

While in Krakow, Poland I curated the work of Lech Kowalski (DOA, Rock Soup, Boot Factory).  When we screened, DOA a documentary about the first and only American Sex Pistols tour, over 30 local punks showed up. After the screening I went on to co-shoot the Boot Factory with Kowalski, which is a hyper-realistic cinema vertie documentary focusing on a post soviet existence of three characters entering into a free market society. Their job of choice, making boots for the punks of Europe.

The Boot Factory has screened worldwide. It was shown on French and German TV and won top honors from the French Auteur Association for best documentary made for TV.

While I was in Keiv, Ukraine I creating a 3 channel video installation called ITTO ( In Through The Out).  Shot on Hi-8, Digital, 16mm and 35mm Russian Svema film stock. ITTO is an experimental piece exploring, re-birth, violence against man and nature. It was shown at the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin: New Cinema and Contemporary Arts Festival.

I also created a 30-minute 16mm piece called ZKV in Keiv, which is an expressionistic travel documentary of the Ukraine. ZKV screened at the Bangkok Experimental Film Festival.

I returned to Chicago and started working on historical significant documentary called Compass Cabaret 55, a documentary about the birth of American Improvisational Theatre. Compass Cabaret was created in Hyde Park, Chicago on 55th street in 1955. I would spend 7 years making Compass Cabaret 55. I interviewed over 25 people. I premiered the documentary at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago. It was the opening documentary for the documentary series called Stranger Than Fiction. Stranger Than Fiction is documentary series produced by the Gene Siskel Film Center that has been curating work since the 1980’s.

Exhibition History

The Gene Siskel Film Center: Chicago
Jewish Film Festival, Victory Gardens: Chicago
Cine Arts 6: Evanston
Tilsite Lichtspiele Kino: Berlin
Kino Mikro: Krakow
Recontres Internationales: Paris/ Berlin
Bangkok Experimental Film Fest
Love Unlimited: Antwerp
Leica Range Finder Gallery
Tamarkin Camera Heaven Gallery: Chicago
Margaret Mead Film Festival: NYC

 
Grants Awarded

Governors International Arts Exchange
Program Illinois Art Council
Soros Grant for Contemporary Art US Consulate Belgium
Stefan Batory Grant Poland Illinois Art Council
Community Arts Assistance Program Grant City of Chicago

 

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