Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Upcoming Show at The Lanning Gallery 2 of 2

I delivered the work for the show yesterday with my Step Dad and brother to the Lanning Gallery. I think the count was about 32 pieces maybe 34. I might bring a few more up Friday afternoon. I'm not sure what I would have done without their help. It was a lot of work to unload and I needed to replace the stretcher on one piece where the frame after a few years of temperature changes had warped a bit. Afterwards we headed up to Jerome to take photos and eat at Vaqueros - if you get a chance to eat there they have really good hot sauce and guacamole!

The opening will be this Friday June 2nd, 5-8pm with an artist talk at 6pm at the Lanning Gallery in Sedona, AZ.

Above is Dreams Only Go So Far, oil, acrylic, ink and collage on cradled panel, 24 x 12h inches. 

With this show I've been listening to a lot of ambient Post Rock and Post Metal/Death Drone with my normal diet of ambient electronica. I share that, because I feel it's important to the work in a lot of ways. The textures of the collaged materials are very much influenced by the echoed, distorted feedback circling guitar riffs contained within the music I've been listening to.

Above is Closing Credits, oil, acrylic, ink and collage on cradled panel, 24 x 12h inches.

Above is Memento oil, acrylic, ink and collage on cradled panel, 24 x 12h inches.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Upcoming Show At Lanning Gallery - Update 1 of 2

The State of Things Mr. Frank
oil, acrylic, ink and collaged materials on board,
10w x 8h inches.

I've been cranking out work getting ready for my show at the Lanning Gallery in June. The opening is June 2nd 6-8. I'll have to double check the times - it might run a little later.

The State of Things Mr. Frank (above) is my nod to Robert Frank who is famous for his book The Americans. https://www.lensculture.com/articles/robert-frank-the-americans 

His photography has been a huge influence on my work. When creating the piece I couldn't decide between naming it "Ode to Robert Frank" or "State of the Nation" and struck with a balance of the two. The work shows a flag windblown and twisted on it's pole. The extreme graphic quality of strong black elements against a collaged ground of gray speaks to the fact that we try to impose black or white solutions onto a world that is nothing, but shades of gray stained by history of what has come before. The end result is a tangled up country that's fractious state could readily lead to it's demise.

Ultimately, it's not really about one political side or another.  In fact, I think the partisan stuff is merely theater to move people to react on way or another. Essentially, manufactured. A means to an end and what that end is deeply concerns me.

Sum of All We Are
oil, acrylic, ink and collaged materials on board,
12w x 24h inches.

As an artist I can only create work that addresses my feeling and strike for a universality that will let the work speak outside of my times alone. In that I have chosen to really speak about loss. In my case a loss of a way of life and the country I have known. That being said the new work still addresses the universal sense of loss and can be applied to the loss of a loved one, career, or any other kind of loss that one may mourn.

Lesser Days
oil, acrylic, ink and collaged materials on board,
6w x 12h inches.

This new work is a return to my style of working between 2008-2012. I guess creatives are cyclical creatures by nature. For me a lot of it was simply exploring  oils for a while and after a while I really missed the textures and collage elements within my work. I've really come to realize that I don't paint with paint alone.

Gather Yourself
acrylic, ink and collaged materials on board,
5w x 5h inches.

Painting really isn't just about paint. In fact in my mind an artist could create an entire painting without a brush or without paint for that matter. Of course, I know the dictionary definition would beg to differ with that view.

That Moment of Doubt
oil, acrylic, ink and collaged materials on board,
12w x 9h inches.

The new body of work as many may have noticed in February at my two person show at Modified Arts is decidedly smaller and more intimate. My goal is to really scale the work down and make the viewer really look closely at all the different elements. I guess in a time of bombastic uproar it's nice to speak to people quietly.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

American Teenager

“Just Another American Teenager”, graphite on paper 26w X 18″.
Here’s the story on this piece. I was jumping in and off of trains in New York shooting. I decided to ride back to Brooklyn. The girl in the drawing was talking to her mother who was trying to console her. She was upset about firing in with the girls in school and the boy she had a crush on didn’t know she existed. At that moment it highlighted the fact that she wasn’t a Muslim girl, but just another American teenager in my mind. In short people are people. We divide ourselves over the color of our skins, our gender, gender identity, sexual preferences, religious views, social class and who our preferred Presidential candidate happens to be; but really we’re all just people. I can only hope one day that people realize that and drop the hate. 

#‎newyork‬‪#‎subway‬ ‪#‎graphite‬ ‪#‎drawing‬ ‪#‎artist‬ ‪#‎art‬ ‪#‎urban‬ ‪#‎monochromatic‬ ‪#‎pencil‬‪#‎brooklyn‬ ‪#‎dtrain‬ ‪#‎train‬ ‪#‎passenger‬ ‪#‎muslim‬

Monday, July 25, 2016

Street Pharaoh

Above is Street Pharaoh, graphite on paper 44w x 30h inches.  I've been busy knocking out drawings like crazy the last six months. A touch behind on the social media aspect I'm afraid.

When I think of the meaning of my work, I think I'd rather talk about what fascinates me instead. I find that the more I try to find meaning as an artist the more elusive the attainment of that understanding becomes.  I also find that when I decide that a body of work will be "about this" it ends up feeling really contrived and mannered - two things I detest.

With that said I do realize the importance of speaking about your work and taking a moment to know what you're about as an artist. I'm in the process of reevaluating how I define myself.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Illusion of Paradise

Illusion of Paradise, oil on canvas 36h x 60 inches.  With the last post I wrote about the enigmatic way my paintings end up with meaning and how I'm sometimes oblivious even at the end of the full meaning of the piece. With this one, it definitely evolved, but I also know it's meaning.

This one started out with a source photo I took while in Honolulu, Hawaii on a mini-vacation.  I lived there for about a year when I was in 7th grade, so it was a sort of homecoming for me.  It was odd for it to still feel like home after all these years and really a small period of my childhood, but then again when I think of my childhood my year in Hawaii feels more like ten years.  I think the that moment of going from being twelve to thirteen is an very impressionable time.  

Needless to say, while in Hawaii in September I wanted to move back.  I was filled with this sense of "why on earth wasn't my Mom able to be happy here; it's so wonderful?"  That was while on the big Island and still how I felt the first day back on Oahu. After failed attempts of striking up conversations with a few locals though, it came back in focus how cold Hawaii was when we lived there.  

One person's paradise is another person's hell.  I can go into details, but really there's no point.

So, back to the meaning of this painting. I allowed the background to feel a touch stormy and abstract to address how our belief or what paradise is, is actually very abstract and merely an impression.  I also wanted to depict the disillusion of my perception. In Japanese woman's face, in roughly the center, I unconsciously placed all my conflicted feelings about Hawaii. My subconscious mind at work again.

How I feel about Hawaii is simply this.  It will always feel like home to me, I can and will visit it, but will never be able to call it home even though I love the islands dearly.  I also realize that paradise is merely an illusion and can never be attained.

Life Comes Too Quickly

Life Comes Too Quickly, oil on canvas 36h x 24 inches. The inspiration for this piece came from three places/events.  The photo was taken initially on a bike ride from Midtown to Downtown in Phoenix.  I was feeling a little bit frustrated with what was on the easel, so I decided to go for a ride and my habit now is to try to take a camera with me wherever I go. I was aimlessly cycling around with no real place to go or mission. I didn't even care how fast or how far. I still ended up doing a few sprints though. I was struck by the loneliness of this parking lot and wondered for a moment about the lives of the people who were still up around midnight and those who were fast asleep. The second piece of inspiration came from when I was flying home from attending the opening at Abend Gallery in Denver.  I was listening to Jesu and reading Sit Down and Shut Up by Brad Warner. One of the verses stuck in my head "Life Comes Too Quickly". I was feeling exhausted a combination of work and travel and it hit home. My life is flying past me at a million miles an hour it seems and I'm not actually being mindful of the moments I'm currently in.  Last, but not least as I was working on this painting there were a few days of rain and one of them I went for a ride despite the wet roads. I didn't go too crazy, but I passed by a few wet parking lots and decided that even though the source photo was of a dry parking lot didn't mean I couldn't paint a wet one.

This brings me to say something about art.  At the last openings I've encountered folks who want more meaning and some who want less within my works. For those who wanted more I didn't think of what to say to them until weeks afterwards, but I think I can say it here.  Art has it's own intrinsic meaning beyond what the artist feels or intends it to mean or at least this artist.  So much of my work is about process.  I have this initial concept and then the work morphs from that. I also can't help, but feel like my subconscious is trying to tell me something about how I feel about things in my life. In other words - my subconscious knows what's eating me long before my conscious mind is aware of it.  In the end after I complete a painting or drawing - I'm lucky if I know what it means, but understand that the work has meaning whether or not I know what that is.

I think these days artists are way too concerned about their work having meaning.  I don't know why this is really, but my guess is that when people watch a movie or read a book there's always a "point to it".  The thing is this, does the author always know what the book is going to be about when they start writing? Can it be that they just have a flash of a storyline pop in their head. An outline of the characters, scene and plot.  As all the puzzle pieces fit together and the characters are fleshed out the author then follows them through the story and their morality (the author's voice) is then imprinted upon the piece.

It's the same for me as I paint, but my stories are told visually.  The challenge is to verbally express what I've already stated visually without losing the nuance expressed within my brushwork. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Long Day's End

Long Day's End oil on canvas. 30w x 40h inches.  This is another painting for my solo show at Modified Arts this November the opening on the 3rd Friday November 20th.  It's based off of a photo I took on Market Street in San Francisco.

It's been a lot of fun returning to oils.  Over the summer with the studio just shy of 100 degrees with little humidity, it's been nice having a longer drying window.  Now that the Fall is finally here, I may need to switch over to faster drying mediums in order to get everything finished in time for the show.