The Robot Invasion was a series of painting exhibitions that took place in Winston-Salem, NC, Queens, NY, and Chapel Hill, NC from 2004-2007. Each show was composed of about twenty paintings of vintage toy robots along with a few others thrown in for variety that generally still worked with the theme.
Shortly after becoming a super fan of Robert Anton Wilson, I found a book that Wilson wrote the preface to, called “Angel Tech” written by Antero Alli. In the book, Alli used robots as a metaphor to illustrate how the mind can be changed and reprogrammed at will. This book found it’s way to me at a crucial time; a time/place that Wilson referred to in Prometheus Rising as “Chapel Perilous.” Astrologically speaking, it was a time that I would later come to recognize as my Saturn Return.
All at once, I was unexpectedly laid off from my job, girlfriend dumped me, and I found refuge in a small apartment downtown. A string of disastrous “firsts” happened to me all at once and I was alone, angry, confused, and hurt. During this time, I felt I had to switch to crisis mode to do all the things that had to be done, like finding an apartment, filing for unemployment and looking for new work. In the process, I put painting on the back burner for a while. It was sadder still for me to realize that I’d already had painting back-burnered for several years. If there was a stove with three rows of burners on it, painting would have been on the extreme back row.
Through the process of filing for unemployment and updating my resumé, I began soul-searching and thinking about the some of the larger questions in life (you know the ones). I didn’t necessarily come up with any answers, but made the decision that “I am an artist and I should be painting.”
The vast majority of the chasm between “putting painting on the back burner” and starting to paint again had been filled with the renewed enthusiasm and zeal for getting back to work on paintings, but I still had to decide what I would paint. Deciding on a subject allowed me to focus on the act of painting and explore techniques more freely. I chose to paint robots, continuing with the metaphors I read about in “Angel Tech,” and also in appreciation for this and other books that had inspired me to begin work on myself. Finally, I found myself in a head space where I could relax, and I began to work on paintings again.