Meet Sharkey, Artist and Author

by Lisa Juliot  (June 2012)

Color Chaos with One of Playa del Carmen's Most Colorful Personalities

Sharky is an American expat, originally from a small town in the high desert of Nevada. His outgoing personality, mischievous grin and colorful tales have made him a well-known personality here in Playa del Carmen over the past 16 years. Outside of Playa del Carmen, Sharky's fame is rising with his recent literary efforts and art show.

Sharky left Elko, Nevada after high school with dreams to become a surfer in Southern California. He says his surfing career fell short when he realized how much swimming was involved with surfing; swimming was apparently not among his many talents. I asked Sharky, how he ended up in Playa del Carmen. He responded, "I was attracted to the Caribbean since I was a kid looking at National Geographic photos. I've been all over the Caribbean but this is the place I like best, absolutely." He proceeded to regale me with his adventures of living on the small island of San Pedro, Belize and eventually feeling restless. He recounted how someone had told him about "this funky little town south of Cancún; a hippie little artist community." To Sharky, that sounded like the perfect remedy for his island fever, so he and his girlfriend went to check out Playa del Carmen. Upon his arrival, in the throes of a huge rain storm, he recounts, "I looked at her and I said, I am moving here; I have no idea, but I'm moving here."  Three weeks later he loaded up his little 26-foot panga boat and the rest is history.

When asked about his latest artistic endeavors, Sharky confessed with a laugh that this art show was born of a bar bet. He had commented on the art at Zenzi Beach Bar and Restaurant in Playa del Carmen and was challenged to create something better by a friend. Sharky, not one to turn his back on a dare, after 20 years of not painting picked up a brush and has produced 15 paintings in his Color Chaos series. The Artist Reception and opening night of the Color Chaos exposition was held at Zenzi, on the beach at 10th Street in Playa del Carmen at 7 p.m. on June 1. The paintings are for sale and will be on display for the next two months. Sharky confided in me, in his characteristic, slightly cocky tone, with a devious smile, that he had a feeling at least one painting would sell at his art opening.

When asked to comment on his art he said, "While I'm painting, it's an energy thing. When I'm done with a painting it's like, it's just done." Sharky is a long time art aficionado and painter. The artists which have most influenced him are Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. He says, "I love painting, I love color, I love abstract, therefore: Color Chaos. My canvases are wet when I am done with them; they are literally dripping with color."  Sharky feels, "These are the best paintings I have ever painted. After 20 years of not painting, they just kinda came out of me."

Sharky is the author of Playa Punch available at in paperback and Kindle versions. He explained to me that he had owned a bar, Beer Bucket, for many years in Playa del Carmen and when it all started to fall apart he said, "F@#$ it. I'm going to write a novel." That novel is Playa Punch, the first book in his Maya Trilogy. He has plans for other books after the trilogy is finished. He confided, "The novel was a struggle. At times I holed myself up for three or four days in a row and just wrote till I got a little crazy and had to go out, but the painting for me is better than drugs. When I see a blank canvas and I start to put color on it, it's a huge rush."

Sharky also has a documentary film in the works called Sharky's Playa. As he explains it, the documentary is " ... Playa the way I experience it and the way I way see it. My favorite place in the whole world, ya know. I love this town." Sharky says that he is going to continue to paint, make movies and write novels. In his words, "Basically, I'm an old guy and so I'm spending the rest of my time using my creativity."

Akumal Villas

Cabanas Tulum