Five of the 15 paintings of mine up currently at The Academy Theater. I gotta say I’m kind of stoked. I felt like an asshole writing a bio in the third person (which is why the one on this site is short and sweet), but I don’t know. A perfectly nice and considerate girl was interested in the work and sort of who I was and I had a slight anxiety attack and just abruptly stopped speaking to her, which you know. Par for the course.
Basically I have these paintings up now and people are going to read a dumb thing I wrote about myself at 6 in the morning, and see all this weird work and I guess that’s who I am to them now. This is the strangest combination of excitement and paranoid self-doubt ever.
(I would also really like a glass of champagne right now; this has to also be the worst part of not drinking.)
Achem. Here we go.
I told myself since 2013 was the year I blew most of my savings traveling the world, that this year I’d try and save money, or at least not leave the states. Looks like I’ll do one of those two things. I’m going all-in on this, and while the website is still temperamental and I’m working out some of the language, I figure it’s best to get the word out sooner rather than later. I told myself I’d start planning and promoting on March 1, so that’s what I’m doing.
A lot of people have already responded from various parts of the US to help me out on this; it means the world to me and if you’re one of them, be sure I’ll be replying personally as soon as I can. I’m taking this on as a personal venture on top of my real work is concerned. I’m adding to-do lists and caffeine to my life in place of sleep.
Anyway, share this link with your friends! If you know people who could help out, give me their info or give them mine. I try to do everything myself but networking is not my specialty and I appreciate each and every gesture. Thank you all.
Hmm. What could this be?
There’s no real way to describe a completed work, at least to my mind, other than a purge. Upon finishing Off The Grid, it almost felt like my soul hit the reset button. Whoever the person was that made this work, as minor and sort of cacophonous as it is even to me, is now gone. Exhaled.
I find this happens with each of my creative endeavors; the anxiety and rampant obsession with concept and detail, the complexity of narrative and the overall goal is an exhausting process. The only thing I can really relate to being an artist is being in love.
So far in my life I’ve attempted both major art projects and major relationships and have repeatedly failed at both. Some may wonder why I’d continue at either as an endeavor or even believe in one or the other as a concept. I suppose that’s the point, though; we all find meaning in life and reasons to live it in our own unique ways. Mine is hope. Idealism. Aspiration. Inspiration. These are qualities that transcend both art and love conceptually. (Chances are they’re also why I’m both a pain in the ass as a cultural critic as well as a boyfriend. Gotta have standards, man.)
And the purge remains after each failure. A hope that once burned bright returns to a dim, hibernating glow while the ruins of another attempt at simply existing seem to lay strewn about in piles of paint and unsent letters. Questions about Why Bother? come and go, but I think shit like that is for those who lack conviction. I still have to believe I can do something worthwhile in my efforts. I still have to believe there’s somebody who will endeavor that uncertainty by my side.
We must believe, whether as artists or just people, that we can bring some sort of positivity to the world. (I recognize there’s a certain irony in that Off The Grid is one of my most cynical works to date, but it also is dealing with a lot of issues from 2011-2012, which quite fractured me both personally and politically.)
Thus, the cycle repeats itself. Things will get better and things will get worse. I’ll get back to work, to try and contribute positively to the lives of others through any way I can, and retain a hope in a light that never goes out. Maybe one of these years will chalk up less failure. Maybe I’ll find a hand that never relents in its grip. Or maybe I am doomed to live through what time I have left cold and alone in some mid-level conceptual hell.
Maybe it’s a cautionary tale. But it’s better than being cautious.
I’m juggling two freelance gigs and prepping my upcoming show at The Academy Theater, which I’ll be hanging on Sunday. Keep on keepin’ on and all.
Among a few various old works I was showing at the Basement in January, I’ll be introducing my new series Love Songs for the Tone Deaf with this piece.
Love Songs is a title for a book I published about five years ago. Continuing on with my constant disappointment that I just am simply useless musically (while music has been such a consistently important aspect of my life), the book was released as a “concept album” of artworks and design specifically rendered to represent the visual idea of music.
I’ve decided to revisit this concept, however this time as a more intro- and retrospective series of portraits. Mainly, women who I’ve fallen for in one way or another over the years and the juxtaposition of both who I was at the time and who I am now as well as what my interpretation of them at the time versus what I think of them now.
Anyway, this is the first in the series; I currently have five other pieces in various stages of development. (I’m also continuing work on Art As A Real Threat, some of which will cross over into this series.) Regardless, this work has now been added to the gallery and will be on display through March.
(Note: The photograph may seem uneven in the blacks, but that’s intentional. I used black gesso for this work and layered black screenprinting ink on top, to give a sheen and depth to some aspects of the darks, while leaving others to simply exist as a blank, unused negative space. That probably has some meaning behind it.)
It’s not often that I wish I was in San Francisco, but Dolores Park is a great place to go and consider your life. I’ve been meditating on some ideas recently, some potential, some possibilities and some chances. It’s not often that I wish I was in San Francisco, but I really could use an afternoon of getting high and staring at the palm trees right about now.
This is a fantastic read, and goes on a theme that finally seems to be gaining ground in the discourse of our culture: now that we have all these devices and apps, are they actually worth anything? And, more importantly, what is the true cost?
This whole concept parallels that of an idea that crossed my mind while I was listening to the Marc Spitz interview on Maron’s WTF podcast. In it, Spitz declares with grim reluctance how he was attracted to New York’s drug scene because it was a scene; one that had the same notions as his heroes such as Hunter S Thompson. There’s a lot of tales told that were obviously times he lived in order to tell the story, instead of the opposite: telling the story about living a true life. (Ironically, that is what Hunter did.)
All this is to say it put me on this thought track of the motivations for people and why they do things, and specifically my own personal motivations these days. Some people do things out of conviction, such as Thompson’s unrelenting journalism. Some people do things out of concept, such as Spitz wanting to play a certain role. (Or, perhaps to better fit the New Yorker post, people who engross themselves in technology not due to relevance but just because they can.)
It comes down to what, if anything, people consider when approaching their own lives.
And I feel like I used to be part of the group that was driven by conviction, but I’ve gone astray and am lost in some sort of middle ground. I’m farther from the middle-road, box-store life that consumes most of America (or, rather, is consumed by); however I’m not at the edge. The edge, when I’ve been there or done things that have perhaps been intimidating or at least irresponsible, is where I feel most comfortable. But it also means a rather thorough detachment from just about any and every thing I could care about in the sense of a traditional life (close friends, proximity to anyone I care about, et cetera).
When I moved back to Portland in 2012, I accomplished something I set out to do in 2007. I did as I saw fit, I went back to school, I tried the ‘real’ world (a la a corporate job), and I was able to generally figure out what I was capable of as well as comfortable with. Now, Portland yet again seems poised to become a launch pad instead of an incubator; I can’t see myself here in two years, much less five. But as the world keeps turning toward this lazy, technology infused future, I can’t help but think that should be part of the force that drives me elsewhere. I’ve no real interest in any of what society deems valuable to discuss these days, other than the fact I enjoy designing things.
Thus, I arrive at the painful self-truth that is I used to be much more esteemed in my personal convictions. For whatever reasons, they have fallen by the wayside more than I am okay with. But I’ve already left Portland once with a free-for-all attitude; I want this time around to be something else. What that may be, I am not quite sure. But I know I don’t want to have stories because I tried to make them for myself; I want to tell stories because they are true. Because they happened, and are important. It’s a messy echo chamber in my head with all this, but maybe with a little meditation and some thought put into it, we will find our way.
Every night I come around. Do what I can to make a sound. But you never hear me when you are near me. Don’t know how long I’ll hang around.