It has been almost three months since my last writing. Since the temper of the times showed me what it means to come to a moment of intense reflection and an almost forced departure from beating my drum or marching orders dictated by self. A moment to glow instead of shine, to appreciate the shadow and wander with intention back into the warmth after a long period of time wrought in that chaotic yet dutiful darkness that surrounds and stretches out like quicksand sometimes. A celebration of blood and intimacy, along familial lines that are not bound to genetic connections but spiritual ones as well. It is the lines in the sand that are meant to be blurred, the fixed ratios that change when the path of life's necessities informs us to broaden our concepts of what is possible and admit what is in fact destroying us. When the reality of tasks found in limitation become a beacon for hopeful presence after the affirmation of their lesson to not be repeated, morphing into a water slide of mobility in the soul. Allied with a sense of what can be after admitting what cannot is, I feel, one of the great cornerstones of the adaptable, the progressive spirit, and beyond politics or business but able to pay heed to their inner workings within the society we must deal with in all of its maladjusted, subject to human error difficulty. We are not here to herd ourselves into oblivion, actually I think many are. I watched the election while painting and experiencing a perpetual anxiety attack in my deepest breathes. Now I breath deep of the spirit of presence, I see a path that is not found in my insecure notions of a lack there of, but in an open minded acceptance of abundance and responsibility. The training is life, never deny it and never run from it.
I write a year in review post at this time annually, usually on New Years Eve. This year I am going to change it up a bit. I myself need a little time to reflect and prioritize some things before I can truly go all in and let loose the words that need to be present on the page so this blog. So much hurt and suffering in the world and even in my personal life this year, so much change and growth, so much re positioning. It was a tremendously jagged and unexpected ride, but definitely shook some things loose and I am now able to retune. The great things were great though I must say. Working with Superchief, going to Osaka to work with Mon at BakiBaki's studio in Juso, being home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, sending support to Oakland in the wake of Ara's death, reconnecting with old souls. A lot of good has happened. But alas, I need some time to digest and work through this residency in Durham NC before I can fully immerse myself in it all. Good tings gowan, stay true, keep it moving, be yourself, embrace change, we all do this together.
I have been in the studio for the last 13 days working on some expansions and digging into the history of dance in NC that I am a product of by way of my parents lives in the 1980s and 90s. I have been doing some new studies, just exploring depth and fluidity, drawing, color, building small pieces up as I discover how to bring this into my larger work flow. The work going on in my residency has been slowly bubbling up to the surface for quite some and. It is liberating to explore something far beyond the graphic and abstract, and then see how it can come full circle as part of the whole language I have developed thus far. The content is tied to a very deep point of resonance for me, something I have only in the past few years truly acknowledged that I need to investigate and feel come out due to the way in which it shaped my experience in life to this day. I be painting.
So all good things must come to an end. On the flip side, this year of our lord, 2016, has been a tidal wave of terror and insanity, so I am quite happy that it is coming to an end. As a sign of hope, celebration and creative strength, Language of Memory, that has graced the walls, floors, and open space of Superchief Gallery LA is up until the end of tomorrow night. So tomorrow Saturday, December 10th our buddy Bill Dunleavy, along with Dana, Mickey, Oscar, Taylor, Maddy and the Butter That Bread Crew will be hosting a closing party for what has been an awesome show. It is from 7-10 or later, I wish I could be there but I am in Durham, NC doing a residency right now. We recently received a great write up from CHPTR Media via Phil Nacionales. He really nailed the scope of the show, the influences, the background, the purpose, intention, everything, and gave us a really positive review. you can peep it here...
It was seriously an amazing experience being in LA and working on this while the world continued to explode and rip it's own guts our of it's mouth and ass and just generally go ape shit all around us. I was painting the large black and white amoebic Astroknot on the wall while Trump was being elected president. In light of recent events in Oakland I am dedicating this show to Ara Jo and the all those lost in the tragedy at the Ghostship, and to all the artists in our community that face even more diversity now as the eyes of the system and developers see a further way in to force us into their maze. Language of Memory is for all of us that evolve and move forward to love and try to make the world a more interesting, shared place. I hope you go and experience it in it's last day. Here are some photos of production, the show, and the opening that happened on November 12th and more. Big thanks to Bill and Marcella, Erica, Dana, Nathan from Boston, Travis, Oscar, Mickey, Maddison, and Chloe for helping make this happen!
I am in North Carolina, getting settled in before the Residency I am about to partake in at Spectre Arts in Durham. I have a lot of photo editing to do but here are some images from the finished Language of Memory exhibition at Superchief LA. The show is up until December 10th so I advise ye go see it if you are in the LA area. We put it in big time on this... A fully immersive experience...
It's here! Tomorrow night at Superchief Gallery in DTLA, 739 Kohler St., LA, CA 90021, from 7-11pm we are having the opening reception for Language of Memory. It is a solo art effort by myself with amazing sound work by Andrew Kline (Strife, World Be Free), and new immersive installation work that I am very very proud of!!! If you are in LA please come and support and experience the show and Superchief.
Zach Tutor at Supersonic Art just dropped this awesome piece of press on his blog for our show today! http://supersonicart.com/post/153041964017/john-felix-arnold-iii-andrew-klines-language
“Language of Memory” is akin to the worlds of Kirby, Lichtenstein, Kienholz, Duchamp, and the RZA swirling and colliding into one moment, but only as Arnold and Kline could realize. The exhibition is a highly conceptual vision of a post-apocalyptic future in which iconic characters and reference from our current world take on a larger presence and meaning within a new society. This is a time in which humanity’s obsession with power and dominance led to the creation of living war machines that turned on their creators, having destroyed the world as we know it. In this reality concepts of survival, spirituality, memory, and existence have taken on new meanings."
Language of Memory is one month out, and we are very excited about getting into the gallery in the beginning of November to get some Installations built and get to work for the final push.
In the Shinjuku Area.
I have finally been editing more photos from my trip to Japan this past May. Getting through them slowly but surely. Here are some shots. I am getting ready to start an in home commission project using a lot Ukiyo-E and Japanese imagery and subject matter... Brainstorming
I want to make a real shout out to LA and all of its amazing people, places, and things that have been so supportive and crucial in my time down here. I felt alone and sort of lost for a moment there the first week, but have been thrust into a world of real goodness down here. And some of the most delicious tacos of my life XP. Hopefully I will be getting out to some galleries this weekend and seeing some good art and meeting some new folks. But for now I am volunteering at the JACCC in Little Tokyo and really enjoying becoming a part of a thriving community. Good things are here now and good things are coming.
A visual narrative of my trip to Japan... Osaka to Kyoto to Tokyo, May 2016. Thanks to Juso Paint Dojo, Keiko Hakozaki, and the city of Tokyo.
Japan Travels and Art Adventures, 2016 Osaka to Kyoto to Tokyo
I made it down here five days ago to start working on my upcoming show with Andrew Kline, titled Language of Memory. I am astounded at how awesome this place is. I have been wanting to spend some time here for a while and now I actually get to do it before heading back to the NC in couple months for a residency with Spectre Arts Gallery in Durham. Onward... There was also a killer trip to Prague and Budapest and Croatia recently.. more of that to come as well.
Time has been flying by. I have some major announcements to make. First off, Andrew Kline and I have been working on a massive new show to debut at Superchief Gallery LA on November 12th, 2016. We have been working hard to bring you an immersive art, sound, and installation experience taking you through a future world where samples and visual reference from today have become the foundation of a society in the world of Unstoppable Tomorrow. It is also a conceptual exploration of shared reference creating a unifying but also very singular experience.
here are some works
Goddess 12"x12" House Paint, Oil Pastel, Pencil, Acrylic Lacquer on Wood Panel
Split Tales, 2'x4' House Paint, Acrylic Lacquer, Acrylic Paint, Soft Pastel, Oil Pastel, Pencil on Wood Panel
Time Signature 12"x12" House Paint, Spray Paint, Acrylic Lacquer, pencil on Wood Panel
Story of Life 24"x27" Spray Paint, House Paint, Acrylic Paint, Soft Pastel, Oil Pastel, Tempera, Pencil, Acrylic Lacquer on Wood Panel
I will be in LA living at Superchief for two months working on the installations leading up to the show. Get ready for some awesome documentation.
In other news, this website hosted by Bits & Bristles will unfortunately be coming down in October. I am working to get a new site up by then so please bare with me in the interim as I will be transferring the name over to a temporary blog style site due to time constraints.
Thank you for all your support. If you would like a preview of the show works and are interested in purchasing send me a comment or email to email@example.com and I will connect you with the good people at Superchief as well as supply you with any info you need from my end.
Much Love and thank you to all for your support!
I have been in Japan for the last ten days, and it has been a whirlwind! I have learned so much about a city that is somewhat new to me, Osaka, and about painting huge pieces as well. It has been a beautiful, sometimes chaotic and tough learning curve, but now (that also my wifi card on my computer started magically working again) it is just moving forward with an amazing positive force and I am able to look at the whole last two weeks as a real journey of growth and newness and change. Yeahhhhhhh.
So finally I can share some photos of my adventures with you. I have only edited a few so far so the majority will continue to come. Enjoy
I will be going to Japan in a few days, another trip to one of the most amazing places on earth. I am so excited to be painting with Koutaro Ooyama again, this time in Osaka. I will be updating as regularly as possible while I am working with him on a massive painting. Feeling good to be feeling connected and getting ready to be on the other side of the world for a while.
And here we are, standing in the soup of air, the humid entrance to a changing weather front, the thunder rumbling in translucent sound deep in the distance. The hum of crickets and the trickle of raindrops fill open ears. The glow of a Waffle House sign and the blinding nature of gas station LED lights offsetting it in a strange dichotomy of dimensional travel, of transparency between times. The loving lurch forward, the hating speed up to slow down, the laws swirl through air made of judgmental and righteous feelings. The mosquitos interface with gods original bizzaro land, one where the logic of the universe and all that occurs become a mesh of communication, a confusion of steadfast eyes and closed ears and open mouths screaming for the inevitable to halt and let their hearts congeal into stopping position before they change. Yet the change is the only constant no matter how hard they fight.
A young man asks me "Is that a Nikon or a Cannon?" with a limber slight drawl, or rather an airy relaxed almost classy slowed down accent, in no rush to then tell me how he has a Cannon rebel. He likes the Nikon's sensor and the overall image size, but he still loves the Cannon and the action and the way she moves. Then he says my waitress will be right with me and I proceed to say thank you and order a meal of proportions fit for Thor and Odin and all the warriors at the God's temple of Waffle House. North Carolina you are a strange mistress, an old soul full of sickness and beauty. You will forever be captivating to me in your slow yet unrelenting humid gusts of evolution. I'll enjoy this coffee, and then go outside in the the hot tub that is the spring night.