Born and raised in California, CJ became interested in surfing and skateboarding culture from a young age. He graduated U.C. Santa Cruz where he majored in psychology. His close friend and roommate at the time, David Shull, was studying art and inspired him to begin painting himself.
After leaving Santa Cruz he relocated to New Orleans where he worked at a mental hospital as a counselor on the graveyard shift. His experiences there further inspired him to understand and connect with people from different walks of life.
The next fifteen years of his life were spent traveling and painting throughout Europe, Mexico, Japan, Vietnam, and the Untied States. Eventually his paintings caught the eyes of artists and local gallery owners, resulting in number of group and solo exhibitions in each location.
Much of CJ`s artwork focuses on connected yet contrasting elements of life; old versus new, life versus death, beauty versus grotesque, in attempt to convey a feeling of impermanence in the viewer. His work shows an appreciation of life`s inherent duality between these extremes. This duality is the commonthread of all life, yet seldom acknowledged in our busy daily life.
His paintings challenge western ideals of beauty and perfection by including evidence of aging; decay, struggle, and ultimately death. He is inspired by the Japanese idea, or cultural concept, of "ichi-go ichi-e", which translates roughly to "this time only," or "once in a lifetime". According to this concept, nothing is complete, nor permanent. It is often linked to Zen Buddhism, tea ceremony, and concepts of transiency.
His intent is for the viewer to tune out both past and future, surrendering entirely to the essence of the painting in the moment. Each painting is to be seen as a window, looking through and connecting with nature on a visceral level.