Acrylic, oil and spray on 30″ x 40″ canvas

Finn Balor personifies the idea of a world champion in the modern era. Fergal Devitt was born on July 25, 1981 in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. At the age of 18 he debuted as a professional wrestler for the National Wrestling Alliance UK Hammerlock promotion, soon winning the NWA British Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship. Two years later he opened NWA Ireland with Paul Tracey. At the 2005 NWA anniversary show in Nashville, TN he was invited to attend the New Japan Inoki Dojo in Santa Monica, CA to train, where his impressive skills impressed many and led to his being invited to New Japan’s main dojo in Japan. After losing the NWA British Commonwealth Championship to Karl Anderson, Devitt began working with New Japan as Prince Devitt.

In New Japan, Devitt started teaming with the Control Terrorism Unit in 2007, partnering with CTU’s leader Jushin Thunder Liger. After CTU’s folding, he began teaming with former stablemate Minoru as the team Prince Prince. On January 27, 2008 the duo won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, losing it a month later to Akira and Jushin Thunder Liger, regaining it again in July. They finally lost for the final time three months later to No Limit’s Tetsuya Naito and Yujiro. In 2009 he began teaming with Ryusuke Taguchi as Apollo 55, and together they defeated Alex Shelly and Chris Sabinto win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship on July 5, 2009. They held the titles until April 21, 2010 when they were stripped of them after not defending for 30 days.

On May 30, 2010 Prince Devitt entered the 2010 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, scoring enough wins to make it to the semifinals. On June 13 defeated Tajii Ishimori in the semifinals and Kota Ibushi in the finals to earn a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. On June 19th he defeated Naomichi Marufuji for the title. He successfully defended it against the likes of Atsushi Aolki, Davey Richards, Kota Ibushi, Taka Michinoku, and Low Ki before losing it to Kota Ibushi. He regained it on September 19, 2011. On March 14, 2012 he had his first tour of Mexico with CMLL, where he won the NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship from Volador Jr before losing the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship to Low Ki on May 3rd in Japan. In September he lost his other title to Dragon Rojo Jr in Mexico. He regained his IWGP title back from Low Ki in November. By 2013 he began to develop a more cocky and arrogant persona, turning heel. On May 3rd, teaming with Bad Luck Fale, he was joined by Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga to form the insanely popular Bullet Club. He began chasing Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, unable to beat him for the title. It was also around this time that Devitt began sporting body paint for the bigger events along with elaborate entrances to the ring. Prince Devitt left The Bullet Club and New Japan in early 2014.

Devitt debuted on WWE NXT on September 25, 2014 as Finn Balor, aiding Hideo Itami against The Ascension’s Konnor and Viktor. After feuding with Tyler Breeze and Rhino, Balor defeated Kevin Owens for the NXT Championship on July 4th, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. From Ireland to the United States to Japan to Mexico and all over again, whether he’s known as Fergal Devitt, Prince Devitt or Finn Balor, he has won championships, drawn crowds, and solidified his legacy as a world-traveler.

About the piece: I wanted to work with the cool factor that is Balor’s body paint, but do it in a way that I feel is fresh and new. Rather than do a shot of him wearing the paint, I first rendered his face without it with a palette knife. Once that was done, I came in with a Jackson Pollock-inspired dripping and swirling of red and black paint, creating the effect of this demonic persona attaching itself to him. I finished that off with the white ‘teeth’, and I think I ended up with one of my best pieces to date.

What many people do not know is that the use of standardized tests has its origins in the Eugenics movement, where basic tenets assert that certain races are inferior to others biologically and intellectually.

Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union

Standardized testing and the Eugenics movement >>

A MUST read by Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis. Standardized testing isn’t about improving education, it’s a way for the system to sort out which kids are meant to succeed and which are destined failure.

Today is a day of mourning for the children of Chicago. Their education has been hijacked by an unrepresentative, unelected corporate school board, acting at the behest of a mayor who has no vision for improving the education of our children. Closing schools is not an education plan. It is a scorched earth policy. Evidence shows that the underutilization crisis has been manufactured. Their own evidence also shows the school district will not garner any significant savings from closing these schools.

This is bad governance. CPS has consistently undermined school communities and sabotaged teachers and parents. Their actions have had a horrible domino effect. More than 40,000 students will lose at least three to six months of learning because of the Board’s actions. Because many of them will now have to travel into new neighborhoods to continue their schooling, some will be victims of bullying, physical assault and other forms of violence. Board members are wishing for a world that does not exist and have ignored the reality of the world we live in today. Who on the Board will be held responsible? Who at City Hall will be held responsible?

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis commenting on today’s news that the Board of Education has voted to close 50 Chicago public schools.

While only around 40 percent of children in Chicago are black are Latino, 90 percent of children whose schools will be shuttered are black or Latino.

Chicago’s School Closure Is The Largest In American History, Mainly Effects Black & Low Income Neighborhoods

Chicago school officials said Thursday that they plan to close dozens of schools in a bid to improve education and tackle a $1 billion deficit.

The move would shutter 61 school buildings, including 53 underused schools and one program. The cut represents roughly 10% of all elementary school facilities in Chicago Public Schools, the country’s third-largest school district.

CPS currently has 403,000 students, with seats for more than 511,000, and close to 140 of its 681 schools are more than half empty, according to the district. About 30,000 students will be affected by the plan, with about half that number moving into new schools.

According to WBEZ, 87 percent of schools that are being closed or having their buildings vacated are majority African-American. In total, 80 percent of kids affected by closures and other shakeups are black. About 42 percent of CPS students are African-American.

The Chicago Teachers Union opposes the closures, which it says would disproportionately affect African-American students. The union also warns the move would expose students to gang violence and turf wars, an apparent reference to neighborhood loyalties.

This city cannot destroy that many schools at one time, and we contend that no school should be closed in the city of Chicago. These actions will not only put our students’ safety and academic careers at risk but also further destabilize our neighborhoods,” said Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.

Teacher X: Why I'm Striking, JCB

When you make me cram 30-50 kids in my classroom with no air conditioning so that temperatures hit 96 degrees, that hurts our kids.

When you lock down our schools with metal detectors and arrest brothers for play fighting in the halls, that hurts our kids.

When you take 18-25 days out of the school year for high stakes testing that is not even scientifically applicable for many of our students, that hurts our kids.

When you spend millions on your pet programs, but there’s no money for school level repairs, so the roof leaks on my students at their desks when it rains, that hurts our kids.

When you unilaterally institute a longer school day, insult us by calling it a “full school day” and then provide no implementation support, throwing our schools into chaos, that hurts our kids.

When you support Mayor Emanuel’s TIF program in diverting hundreds of millions of dollars of school funds into to the pockets of wealthy developers like billionaire member of your school board, Penny Pritzker so she can build more hotels, that not only hurts kids, but somebody should be going to jail.

24: A Summary
  • Jack Bauer:You have to listen to me or there's going to be another attack
  • Chloe O'Brian:Of course. Even if we didn't have a long personal history of working together I'd still help you because you've always been right in the past
  • CTU:No
  • FBI:No
  • CIA:No
  • Cabinet Members:No
  • Foreign Officials:No
  • Presidential Advisers:No
  • President:No
  • Terrorist:*launches another attack*
  • Everyone:Give Bauer whatever he needs to stop this
  • Jack Bauer:So you'll listen to me in the future?
  • Everyone:Probably not

Chicago Teachers Flood Daley Plaza To Rally For Contract

With a potential strike looming, hundreds of Chicago teachers are flooding Daley Plaza this Labor Day afternoon to rally for a new contract.

The 10:30 a.m. rally comes a week before more than 26,000 teachers and other school workers could hit the street, disrupting what would be just the second week of school for hundreds of thousands of Chicago public schoolchildren.

Teachers at Daley Plaza are being joined by members of other unions. Many of them are wearing red. The Chicago Teachers Union promised a “sea of red.”

When will there be an honest conversation about poverty and racism and inequality that hinders the delivery of an education product in our school system? When will we address the fact that rich white people think they know what’s in the best interest of children of African-Americans and Latinos, no matter what the parents’ income or education level?
—  Karen Lewis, Chicago Teacher’s Union president on the school closure crisis in Chicago.
We could use you here
  • On my last day on the internal medicine service, I spoke privately with my attending, who is a highly respected member of the residency program.
  • Me:Dr. Appleseed, I was wondering if I could ask you a quick..
  • Doctor:Yes, you may. Fire when ready.
  • Me:I am considering applying towards internal medicine...
  • Doctor:As you should.
  • Me:...And I was wondering if you would be willing...
  • Doctor:Yes, I would.
  • Me:...to write me a strong reference letter?
  • Doctor:Of course. You are good, Tom. We could use you here. You would be a great addition to the program.
Diane Ravitch: Why The Chicago Teachers Union Deserves support

I support the union in taking this stand for the following reasos

1. Closing schools, many of which have been a bulwark of neighborhoods for generations, has been a complete disaster. It has destroyed one point of stability in the lives of young people who have precious little. It removes teachers who have been a part of students lives. It is not an accident that Chicago has seen a serious uptick of violence since Emmanuel became mayor. Young people in distressed neighborhoods need to see community institutions strengthened and teacher mentors protected. School closings and staff turnover take away needed anchors

2. Rating teachers and schools on the basis of student test scores, and threatening to close schools and fire teachers if the proper results aren’t achieved have not only ratcheted up stress levels in schools, they have led to the elimination of art music, sports, school trips and even recess for test prep. The result is that more and more teachers hate teaching and more and more young people hate school, increasing the drop out rate in neighborhoods which desperately need schools to become community centers where young people want to go. The union wants to make schools welcoming places where students want to come by reducing class size, and bringing back sports and the arts, and strengtheining struggling schools rather than closing them. That makes a lot of sense to me

3. Favoring charter schools over public schools has resulted in the systematic creaming off of high performing students by the charters and the warehousing of ELL and special needs students, along with students who have behavior issues, in the remaining public schools. The result is that overall academic performance in the district has not improved

4. Removing teacher tenure and job protections has resulted in the most talented teachers leaving the city system or trying to move from low performing schools to high performing ones where they are less likely to be fired. The result is an accentuation of racial and economic gaps in performance


On May 17, 18 & 19 hundreds of people including parents, students and teachers have taken to the streets in Chicago, US, to protest against local education authority’s plan to close public schools
May 19, 2013

The protest, organized by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), started on Saturday and is set to last until Monday evening.  This comes after the Chicago Central District released a list of 54 elementary and middle schools to be closed before the next school year. The Chicago Board of Education is planning to vote on the closures in the coming days. 

City officials say the closures are needed in order to deal with a one-billion-dollar annual deficit. In March, thousands of activists, union leaders, teachers, parents, and students participated in a similar protest in the city.

The closures involve the highest number of schools to be closed down in a single year in any city in the United States. The plan will shift about 50,000 students to different schools, while threatening the careers of more than 1,000 teachers.  Over the past decade, at least 70 cities in the US have closed down public schools. 


Capitalism’s austerity is diminishing our education infrastructure. I desperately hope to see an escalation of education activism in this country – from unsustainable student loan debt to busted teachers’ unions to mass school closures & the school-to-prison-pipeline. We need a movement to demand massive, drastic, radical reform to the way we address education in this country. I think it’s obvious that people’s frustration is growing.