The time remaining, 1982 until May of 1984, was productive for me. I exhibited in several shows and was creating some of my best work, free from the constraints of art school. I was happy to sell many of my 3-D figures and some paintings as well. I had even found a terrific buyer for 4 of my very large canvases — an entrepreneur who wanted them for his new restaurant that he was about to open in Chicago.
And then tragedy hit hard. AIDS. It became the plague of my generation. So many colleagues, especially those in the arts, were affected—either by developing the disease themselves, or having loved ones who did. I lost a beloved cousin and many childhood schoolmates.
The restaurant that was to be home to my large works never opened. They were rolled up and put in storage. To this day I think of them as shrouds for those who did not survive to celebrate their business adventure.
I left Chicago with the memory of an image that I had created when I had first arrived there 7 years before as a youth with goals and desires. My Nocturne in Black & White was now a visual elegy for those who had died — hope had gone full circle to meet up with sorrow.