Art Beats SF

I'll be showing with my friends at Loakal for the Bay Art Beats art and performance fair/event this Friday-Sunday, September 26th - 28th at Pier 70 in San Francisco. Come on out as the whole thing is free (excluding the Sat night afterparty) and includes talent from all the fine folks and galleries shown here, plus many more.

Loakal's booth will host Sam Grant, Lauren YS, Daryll Peirce, Shaun Roberts, Rian Dundon, Terry Furry, John Wentz, Clint Imboden, Plus live painting by Cameron Thompson.

Excited to hang with my Loakal, LeQuiVIve, Luna Rienne, Faultline, RPS and Zero Friends crews too whilst good jams fill the atmosphere. Thanks to Lauren Napolitano and team for organizing a new friendly art fair to our city.

The Pigeon Lover

Much of my recent work has been about the mysterious connections between us and our environments as well as the magical space that exists between science and phenomena. Nikolas Tesla lived in these spaces. A revolutionary genius, Tesla both discovered and harnessed then unknown and invisible energies already surrounding us and the resonate frequency of the earth itself. It was as if he could see the unseen and needed only to develop the instrumentation and concepts to share it with all the doubting dotes.

Tesla’s obsession for science was driven by a mania beyond passion all with the purpose of furthering man’s understanding of our world and finding peace through science and art. His head lived in the clouds while his hands worked diligently to interpret the dreams into realities.

His discoveries were rewarded with exploitation, insult, and slander from the greedy string-pulling powers of his era. Plagued by knowledge too advanced for his time along with financial struggles, this man that gave us our modern world as we know it lived out his remaining elder years as a reclusive pigeon lover slowly losing control of his extraordinary mind in a New York hotel room.

This is my interpretation of Tesla trying to see through his own fog of chaotic brilliance.

"Half the Story" is a portrait group show currently up at 63 Bluxome Street Gallery which includes artists Akira Beard, Ashley Hinceman, Brett Amory, Brian Canio, Buddy Nestor, Carrie Cottini, C.B. Canga, Cody Schibi, Daryll Peirce, Delphyne Veyrat D' Urbet, Goran Rajkovic, Joe Mur, John Casey, John Wentz, Jonathan Wayshak, Lauren YS, Leon Jay Loucheur, Mario Man, Max Kauffman, Mike Law, Monty Guy, Paul Bustamante, Ransom & Mitchell, Rine Boyer, Shaun Roberts, Ryan Napoli, Sheila C, and Visible Damage.

The show runs from 8/9/14 to 9/27/14.

Also, for those wanting a fun read and hilarious comic on Mr. Tesla, his inventions, his mind and that rat bastard Edison, check out this strip by The Oatmeal who is also behind the creation of the Tesla Museum in New York with the "Mr. Tesla, we're sorry humanity forgot about you for a little while. We still love you lots. Here's a Goddamn Museum" project.

Recent work and "Going Native

"Going Native" is a three-person show including Max KauffmanLarissa Grant and myself that opened last weekend at Campfire Gallery in San Francisco's Mission district.

Thank you to everyone who made it to the opening! I was very disappointed I couldn't be there in person as I would have loved seeing your faces and sharing my latest 14-piece series with ya'll. This was simply a moment where I needed to make the easy choice of family over career. Our family reunion in Kentucky only happens once every 5-7 years for us and this one had some extra significance. Thank you Max Kauffman for finally getting the band together, Larissa Grant for stepping in, and Craig and Rachel at Campfire for being such gracious and thorough hosts. Also thanks to Fecal Face, Hi FructoseBe-Street Paris and more for featuring the new work and show.

Because of my absence on the first go 'round we will be having a closing reception on Thursday evening, July 24th from 6-9pm. I'm looking forward to sharing with those who could not make the opening or would like to simply kick back with me and my work over some drinks, hugs and celebration. If you came out to the opening AND come out to the closing, well you might just get a big ol' beardy smooch.

A Momentary Quietus

Slack Tide

Work Statement:
We often find ourselves toeing the line between optimism and negativity in our lives interpreting events as either one way or the other. The smallest moment has the potential to lead us into fits of elation, to make us feel whole, worthy and possibly even bring on a sense of joy. Alternatively, we can also be tipped down the chasm into downward spirals of depression, anger, or anxiety. With this body of work I’m focusing on our extreme perspectives of white or black, positive or negative, tranquil or tense, perseverance or acceptance, organic or rigid, and so on. These magnetic pulls tug on us as we navigate through our daily lives. They alter the way we interpret ourselves, our relationships, our past, our future, etcetera.

More selfishly the work is my way of processing these daunting vantage points that consume our thoughts of everything from banal daily events to significant life-altering decisions. I know I can work myself up pretty damn good over-analyzing everything to the point of exhaustion and I imagine some of you can relate. “Analysis paralysis” is a buzz phrase that strikes a deep chord. Especially in this age of media-engulfed environments and technological appendages, sometimes it is difficult to filter the noise and focus on the self. We are all Atlases holding up our varying loads of cerebral baggage and just fighting to make it through the day. For me, this is where art making helps to quiet the mind. Though not by any means a stress-free practice, it does eventually help to process these overwhelming frantic thoughts of the day’s issues and the “what ifs.” As the seemingly large problems start to lose their dominance and the focus begins to reappear I can finally lose myself in the simple act of painting, mark making and just react the surface, colors and water blending together, and compositional shifts.

Beyond some recurring themes like self progression, anxiety and internal conflict, I’ve intentionally kept these specific works fairly mysterious–even to myself. I’m experimenting with working in bursts of loose ideas that develop their own semi-subconscious overarching themes. I am I trying my best not to overanalyze (see above anxiety issues) before painting so as not to lose the excitement of the unknown future of the work. After all, you can overthink your way out of almost anything. The unknown, although scary and intimidating, is what makes it exciting and makes life worth living. Afterward (now) I can look back on the pieces and try to decipher what led me down this path and what was driving the symbology. I can now interpret general concepts like my ongoing interest in circular forms as a desire to represent the infinite, timeless, and cyclical themes. Elements consist of a cold outer shell with the ability to morph with change, but can only contain so much. Alternatively, the interwoven clusters of energy reference the “magic” that exists between matter and energy. It’s what connects us, what causes attraction or resistance and is a metaphor for the unexplainable phenomenons we’ve all lived, felt or dreamt. They’re perhaps part vascular, cerebral, intestinal, or other more peculiar vessels of life-fueling and universal energies. Like the sun, they keep our universe in order, but are unpredictable and have their occasional solar flares or irrational explosions throwing things off the balance.

And speaking of balance or attempting to go with the flow, let’s all try and accept that with all these opposites, we must have one side to understand and appreciate the other. We should be able to accept ups and downs as matter-of-fact and as life in constant flux. Although often difficult, there is much joy and satisfaction to be found in the struggle. So lets take a breath, sit back and enjoy the floating spaces in-between “moments.”

Perhaps I need to start telling myself that every morning. Or maybe I just need to drink less coffee.

Free Radicals

Covalent Bond (detail)

Negative Vacuum

Positive Expansion



Negative Sensory Cycle

Metamorphosis - Larissa Grant

Prone to Drift Away - Max Kauffman

The Neighborhood that Never Kept - Max Kauffman

Check out Campfire Gallery's site for all available work. 

Carpe. Diem-ed!

Thanks to all the folks who came out to Loakal for Carpe Diem and either watched our 24-hour dance with delirium or came to the opening the following week. Like last year, I managed to once again paint for the full 24 hours. Luckily this time I had company for most of the night to help mute the voices and hallucinations that accompany sleep deprivation.

Video by Sam Grant for Loakal.

Highly detailed 1.5" warm-up sketch. I had planned on filling up this page with ideas the night before, but the first idea looked fun to paint and this event was suppose to be about the spontaneity of creating in the moment right? So here we go...

Getting a little help from my friend.

Photo by Nastia Voynovskaya for Loakal 

Finished "Synapsthesia" at 8am the next day! Since my recent work has revolved around collective energies, Carpe Diem communal event was the perfect way to dive back into SF and art life after 7 months away overseas. 'Twas great to be painting with the homies again!

 I'm not the best at time management and could easily spend another 6-24 hours on this.

Max Kauffman caught mid-paint dancing.

Zoltron piece and Sam Grant shooting Lisa Pisa.

Mario Navasero with his daughter and Max. Big thanks to both these fine chaps for keeping it going to the wee morning hours and helping to keep me awake.

East Bay Express article with a photo from last year's work in progress.

Brett Amory painting and chatting it up with Jon Wentz.

Absolutely loved John Casey's preliminary sketch.

Finished crop of John Casey's work.

Marcos LaFarga giving us mixed blessings.

Ian Ross detail

Cameron Thompson's totem detail.

John Wentz detail.

Met up with this sausage party before the opening. Thanks John Casey for the photo.

Art Star.

Late nighters getting loose in front of Chris Granillo and Reggie Warlock's pieces.

One more photo thanks to Nastia Voynovskaya for Loakal  

Such a great time bonding with this talented crew. Cheers ya'll!

Check out Loakal Gallery's site for good shots of everyone's finished pieces and available work.

Carpe Diem press:

Hello 2014

I began 2013, as the Greeks would say, "with my left foot forward" by breaking my shoulder. The new year's mishap was followed with surgeries, rehab, a melted hand, personal and family woes, struggle and some difficult times. But all that fades away when I think about others going through much harder days throughout this crazy planet. Then I remember how I also got to marry an amazing gal, watch my daughter grow and become her own little person, celebrate family reunions, continue creating and enjoy the company of those we love. Our families and friends are in good places or pushing through. Our 16 and 14 year old dogs, 10 year old cat and year old chickens made it another happy year.

In August I cashed in on all my favors and karma to take my family on the epic Euro-adventure/honeymoon that we're still living. We've been fortunate enough to explore and experience Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Malta, Italy and Germany together as a family. It's been an extraordinary journey for us so far and although we wouldn't trade it for anything, we certainly miss many folks back home and get homesick at times (especially around the holidays). So, Happy New Years everyone from cold, but festive Berlin.

Thank you all for being a part of our lives! Hats off to your 2014 and hope its filled with big wiener smiles!