Full disclosure, these are drawings I made for my friend who passed away in 2014. I’ve had a hard time coming to terms with the fact and the method of his passing, and have been incapable of creating anything that refers to him. 

I have been equally annoyed and ashamed of the clear morbidness of the subject matter and even had a stranger at a coffee shop ask me if I spend all day drawing skulls because, and I quote, “that’s who I am as a human being.” 

Strangers are funny in their ability to point out the absurd and the obvious with simultaneous coarseness, vulgarity and innocence. There is something crucial in what he said. My friend’s death has tainted my experience of living in ways I cannot express. It touches me at my very nerve endings. It makes me afraid to show my thoughts and ashamed of feelings that refuse, silently and cripplingly, to pass on themselves. 

These drawings are for Yoann because I think he would love them. I made them because the only way I know how to deal with his death is to make it beautiful. I cannot help but look, so I need to begin looking at it in a way that I can control and even manipulate. 

On top of everything else, my dear friend deserved a longer life than he had. So here, if only in the tiniest way, I am re-creating my friend, giving the world new experiences of him and doing what I can to celebrate his life while making pictures of his death. Strangers in cafes be damned, Yoann would have liked the skulls.