I create mixed media portraits of faces in realistic detail with paint and make additional features like hair, glasses, and clothing with collaged recycled objects. This contrast between painted realism and physical objects challenges the viewer to distinguish between the real and the realistic: igniting the imagination for the use of materials that seem to be ordinary, outdated, or disposable.  My subjects and repurposed materials are influenced by my New York City upbringing. Painting diverse Bronx natives and using familiar materials like Metrocards, denim, and paper towels in a personalized way has made my community feel seen, honestly and authentically.