Artist Statement

Whether I am painting representational pictures or something purely abstract, I want the work to be provocative and stimulating. I want the surface to be active and full of energy, pulling each viewer closer like a magnet.

When I paint images my need to understand who I am as a person and the dynamics of the world around me is revealed in some expressive manner. I live every day wondering how I can improve what I see and do to make something wonderful emerge from my subconscious visions.

My inspiration comes from diverse artistic styles as well as social and environmental conditions. Many years have gone by since I first examined what motivated me to create art. I was always fascinated by history, like the Ancient World with all its mysteries, the Italian Renaissance where so many great artists lived and worked so close to one another, and the Twentieth Century where so many innovations and inventions have affected the way we live
our lives.

I draw from the Ancient World at times, and read mythology. I enjoy those myths of our creation. It is in these ancient arts and stories that I have found adventure.

I enjoy so many artists it is difficult to say who is a favorite. In the Italian Renaissance, I try to understand the order and color of artists like Giotto, the veiled emotion of Da Vinci, and the fervor of Michaelangelo.
The Twentieth Century to, has had such an influence on me with artists like Picasso, Kandinsky, DeKooning, Pollock, and so many others. In no other time could I have been exposed to such diversity which could generate such opportunities to create an iconography all my own.
When it comes time to answering my own question of what motivates me, I guess I would have to say: “I have always had a strong desire to create, prevail, and be a contributor to history in some fashion, to
empathize with the world, and find the essence of that experience in some painterly vision."
Gearilla Works
Gearilla Works is a humorous, but enigmatic reference to a body of work that uses gears as the main
design element. They were inspired by the contemporary notion that “A Machine” is behind all that is, that a device or mechanism is turning our world, be it mythical, magical, or simply implied. They are the unmasking of that suggested device.

Yet they are more than that. They are part of the abomination as well. Like King Kong or Frankenstein they remind us that man’s spirit is corrupted by an ever curious need to discover something at any expense, to make a monster out of something pure, to exaggerate the common place, to go beyond the surface, dig into the subconscious realm and find the apparatus that lies in the dark recesses of our mind, at the edge of our dreams, and at the edge of night.

They borrow from the Ancient World’s mysteries. They lay in wait. Waiting for us to discover their function.But they are devices without function, only the suggestion of it, only cogs that perform for our amusement, only part of a simple exercise in the futility to understand total consciousness in an absurd world, only pictures at an exhibition.

“Paint Skins” Developed by “Al Razza”

Simply stated a paint skin is dried acrylic paint. The paint is processed into large sheets, which are shredded and applied into the construction of each artwork. It is added to each artwork at various levels of development. Some works use the shredded pieces to accentuate the surface, creating a high relief of swirling color, while in other works the method is a more methodical cut and placement of individual flat pieces, which create a unique image or movement.

I discovered this process in 1982, and it has become a major part of my painting style. It has allowed me the freedom to exaggerate the surface of each painting in ways never before experienced. Whether I choose to have the paint stand off the surface like some rolling ribbon or merely accentuate the surface texture in some subtle manner, the process has given me the freedom to paint in a manner like no one else.

Read more of what I have written about paint skin on the following links:


Paint Skin Part 1: