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:
The recent full moon found me out in the desert with a family of friends I’ve been dancing with for the past 10 years. Years ago, in my early 20’s, I was out in California for the second time ever. I met a girl on the Venice Beach who suggested I come check out a weekly event at a club in Santa Monica: $2 Tuesdays (it’s still 2 bucks but held elsewhere). So I went and, from there, found myself on my way out to the desert for a Full Moon Gathering. Years later, through ups and downs, travels and life, people and places and things, I still find myself having as much fun as ever (if not more because I’m older, wiser, smarter, lighter….) under the same moon at the same time of the year with many of the same friends dancing to the crazy funky tribal techno everything all at once. Through it all this tight knit family has become such a lovely mirror of friends who dance and live and cry and love with one another. There are potlucks and baby showers and weddings and wakes and dinner parties and dance parties and cake parties. Honesty and heartache and laughter and ecstatic oneness. The earth keeps revolving around the sun and the moon keeps revolving around the earth and we keep showing up to do that sacred funky holy crazy lovely wild dance thing that we do, celebrating life.
That said and as an introduction to Moontribe for those of you who might not have heard of it, this past full moon found us once again… out in it. Surrounded by sloping mountains capped with snow, a winding river, a vastness, an epic sunrise. For this community of friends, loved ones, and people I’ve not met yet, I designed a dj booth/altar and built it with the help of some smart and gung-ho friends. Here are some pictures…
(By the way: this was Moontribe’s 18-year anniversary. That’s 18 year of not for profit non-promoted electronic music gatherings in Southern California. “not for profit” means that no one gets paid and we are all in it for the love. The DJs, the artists, the organizers… It really is all about the love.)
Live in Love.
Over the years I’ve compiled a collection of images of art that I find inspiring. I’m particularly interested in 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!
Below is a link to small online gallery 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. I’ll post a few other galleries soon as there are other visionaries who were creating at the turn of the century that often get lost in the annals of art history.
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.
I’ll be a featured artist at Harmony Festival in Santa Rosa on June 10 – 12. I’ll have a number of works featured in the gallery and I’ll be live painting during the late night event from 10 – 2am during Krishna Das. I hope to make something pretty :)
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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