THE COLLECTION

My collection paints a portrait of the man I once was. If the walls could speak, they would have told you my secrets. A collection mirrors its collector, and I collected folk and outsider art. All spoke of a journey of self-discovery. Each touched an aspect of my hidden self.

Over the past 40 years, I amassed close to 300 pieces. My art gave voice to that I was too fearful to speak, and my collection defined my place in the world.

In 1998, I underwent what many would call a “midlife crisis.” As I slowly began to shed layer after layer of my persona, I found I no longer needed my collection to define me and sold all but 20 pieces.

A collector is always a collector. In no time, I was collecting again. This time I collected abandoned portraits that I obtained from antique stores and flea markets. I called them my “Lost Souls.” At dinner parties, I would invite guests to select a portrait and tell a story. The story they told almost always reflected their own.

Several years later, I gave the collection to a local church keeping only a few favorites. Today, my collection is an eclectic mixture of outsider art, portraiture, and my own art.