So it is finished at last. (Full image gallery with details here) The painting has been framed beautifully and is on display at Temple of Visions Gallery (Downtown LA @ 719 S. Spring St. 90014, if you haven’t been). This is a painting I’ve worked on and poured my heart and soul into for many months. I took pictures throughout it’s development and put them together in a video. You can check that out here:
Over the years I’ve been compiling a collection of images of art I find inspiring. I’m particularly drawn to artwork that preceded this thing that people call “visionary art.” There was a moment around the late 1800’s when art took a turn from outwards representations to inwards exploration. This was the birth of Modern Art (which, incidentally, seems to have “ended” as a movement in the 50’s. So much for modernity!). Modern Art encompassed all number of motifs and approaches – Symbolism, Cubism, Futurism, Pointilism, Surrealism… So many ISMs!
And so many artists: Umberto Boccioni and Frantisek Kupka and Gustav Klimt, Max Ernst and Irving Norman, Robert Delauney and Jan Toroop, Golden Age Illustrators like Kay Nielsen and Arthur Rackham, and so many many more visionaries who sometimes get lost in the annals of art history.
Below is a link to a gallery on my Facebook page of some of this inspiring artwork. I’ve included some commentary with some of the pieces to share what it is about them that I love. Enjoy.
If you were at High Sierra Music Festival last year, you might have seen my giant lightboxes in the Jam House – one of the late night venues. Well, this year we went bigger. I’ll have some large banners of Birth of a Star on either side of the main stage and I’ve helped House & Garden design and decorate (with some nice mesh banners) the smaller acoustic stage they they’re sponsoring where Nathan Moore will be headlining. They, along with Summit Art Licensing of South Lake Tahoe, are also responsible for bringing my artwork there in front of so many people. Thanks guys! (I’ll also still have work in the Jam House and will be working with Jonathan Singer creating some lovely visuals for the late night events).
Here’s a (daytime) picture of one of the lightboxes from last year. It’s backlit, is about 18′ tall all together, and weighs a ton. And, yes, it hangs.
Yes, so, on a theme… I’ve been doing more live painting lately. I’ve called myself “The Reluctant Live Painter” although perhaps a more apropos title would be “The Distracted Live Painter”. What can I say: I like parties and sometimes I’d rather be dancing and playing than painting. I spend a lot of time listening to music and painting – completely absorbed by the nuances and colors. Admittedly, parties and events can be a tad noisy for the live painting thing. In any case – I decided on a new flow a while back for painting at events. I wanted to create larger pieces that focused more on rhythm, gesture, and style rather than detail. So much of my work is very detail oriented. It’s very precise and structured, even in it’s looseness. I enjoy flowing and spontaneous brushstrokes and the quick no-thought painting process. I have found that, if i set the space right on the canvas and have a general plan, then it goes really well. In a sense, it’s like jazz music: there is a general form in the beginning but then it’s riffing and exploring and tangentializing on different ideas and melodies. I just want it to end up in the seat of the Divine in the end.
So here is a painting I’ve worked on at a few different events in the past few months. I started it at a Greensector/Moontribe party in February at Area 33 in LA, worked on it at a couple of Artwalks in Downtown LA at Temple of Visions Gallery, and then last worked on it at a party up in Malibu. The painting is based on a drawing I made in 2003 @ my first Burning Man. The theme that year was Beyond Belief and, after I’d spent the night roaming and exploring, I sat down in Center Camp at sunrise to the beautiful sitar music of my friend Rik Shiraj, a master sitar player. I spent the morning drawing to his beautiful music. He passed onwards this past winter and I decided that it was time to finally paint this sketch…
Had a blast this past weekend at Lightning in a Bottle – a big art and music festival here in SoCal – in the mountains and valleys east of Orange County no less! It’s truly a special event that goes above and beyond the ordinary consumption and party fest that many festivals are. Not to say there isn’t a party. I think that the best dancing moment was with John Kelley, a good friend and old-school Moontriber, at the Woogie stage at midnight on Sunday.
I participated in Lightning in a Paintcan and created a painting over the weekend that was sold to a lucky person. It was a lot of fun to make and I think I’ll be making something similar for the upcoming show at Temple of Visions Gallery (Opening on June 25). It’ll be a nice accompaniment to the other piece I’ll be showing – The Glass Onion.
Here is a detail of the 5′ x 4′ painting (thanks Mario!):
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