I have been in the studio when possible, working on a large interior project, planning out future endeavors, and seeking within and in new books and sources of information to continue to learn and grow The new year has arrived, a continuing moment in the narrative of every breath. I am stoked to have a few studio shots and share some more travel images with you. I have been discovering more about myself and my painting and am looking forward to embarking on some new drawings soon as well. Things are shifting, changing, and directions forming and beckoning. Pretty happy to have closed the door on a successful 2018 and be able to look back at one of the best years of my life.
Hey everyone! Since my last update I have busted my ass to get some work to Art Basel with Superchief Gallery for their insane Art Fair infiltration. In the process of creating this piece in a short turn around between coming back to the states with a trip to LA and then back to the Bay to finish a project and paint this piece for Basel, I had very intense conversation with a super close friend and fellow artist about process and truly making art from within. The subsequent painting that went to Basel came from this and is titled A State of Reflection (Armor Studies) as I began to uncover what hides under the surface of my own armor needing to get out and let my real inner power resonate. I feel invigorated in my painting now and have panels lined up and an assemblage installation under way currently.
Literally the day I sent this painting to the East Coast I had to high tail it to the Airport to catch a flight to Hong Kong. For what reason do you ask? Not to work, for once in a long long time. I embarked on a trip to East Asia, HK then to Japan, where the entire purpose was to simply be, travel, experience, learn, eat, and enjoy life. But tbh by the end of it a very close fellow artist and friend had attained an interior wall in Tokyo for me to paint and I welcomed the opportunity to get down. But before any of this happened, and entire trip to Hong Kong and then southern Japan occurred. The food my travel partner and I ate was beyond delicious, beyond soulful. The chilly night air of Fukuoka was amazing. The sites and sounds of Hong Kong were exhaustingly intriguing and down right futuristic, yet firmly planted on a gritty foundation of the past. Blade Runner shit to be sure. Here are some photos to get you started on the journey. In the next installment I will go more in depth about the trip and details of it. Oh and before i forget, Hong Kong had some of the most amazing contemporary art I had seen in some time.
It has only been two a little bit more than two weeks since my show at Runaway in Durham, NC. Life moves in some seriously deep and intense spurts and I have been enjoying the wave of deep productivity and focus. Inevitably in every wave of this level of intention and follow through, a wave of exhaustion and then a wave of promise comes resounding through and must be heeded. Exhaustion is the beautiful harbinger of rest, and promise is the beautiful herald of things to come. So that is to say, I am retooling, letting myself and my mind wander aimlessly a bit, and starting tomorrow getting ready for some work headed to Art Basel and then a trip to Japan starting in a week. Big things coming up, more to come. Here are some images from the trip to East Coast.
My solo exhibition Anime Mixtape opened this past Friday in Durham, NC at the Runaway Flagship store. The reception was something else. I cranked with my friends and art installation assistant until the wee hours of Friday morning and sleeplessly went throughout the day finishing up the details and getting everything smoothed out. The reception was insane, so many good people came out to support and I saw old friends, new friends, family, and folks I had never before met that were fans of the work. I feel hella blessed right now and am about to hit the hay at my father’s house in Raleigh, NC. Here are some images
I’ll get be back wit more posts about the I Magnin commission soon, but I have had some poem ideas circulating in my head. I feel like no time better than the present to take action.
It’s this unrest,
Like the jackals nipping at your heels,
When all they want, short of tearing you from limb from limb from limb
Is a chance to turn you into one of them.
It’s this feeling of panic
In the morning with a bottle of seltzer water,
(I know I am killing the ocean, killing myself)
I ask for some grace,
And the Jackals find a steady pace.
It’s this walk to the door,
I think I’ll pile on another to do,
On a list of undones.
But I keep trying.
-Byron Slomotion IV
This summer I was asked to create a commissioned work for the lobby of the historic IMagnin Building in downtown Oakland. The building was erected in 1931 and designed by architecture firm Weeks and Day. It housed an upscale department store until it closed in 1995. It is an amazingly beautiful green marble art deco building and an official historic Oakland structure. It was recently renovated and as per the renovation I was asked to create a piece for its lobby. Having been a part of the Bay Area and specifically Oakland off and on for the last 12 years I was honored to be asked to do this. The only request was that the piece reflect a vision of Oakland by way of an intimate relationship with this city. I chose to explore this task with a style of found wood assemblage that at one point of my career I was very much known for. A style which I have been slowly re-immersing myself in, thus this was absolutely perfect timing. In this series of blog posts I will go more in depth and explain the project further, my process, my feelings on it, how it came together, the narrative behind, and its installation.
In this first post, it is important to note that as the city of Oakland is developed at an extremely fast pace, as people are displaced and old dwellings torn down in the name of progress, I find it vital to work to save aspect of this physical come metaphysical history from being destroyed and forgotten or lost in the attention deficit short term memory of our accelerated culture. The beginning of this project was a practice in communicating, in listening to the street and letting the city guide me in the collection and discovery of cast away pieces of wood from many different areas. Thus creating a real time based narrative tapestry of tangible objects packed with stories, spirit, energy, and a vibrant history that will continue to transmit its truth from the lobby of the IMagnin building well into the future for Oaklanders new and old to reflect on and investigate. The act of gratitude and humility in turning to this living breathing place steeped in history accepting it’s direction and guidance is one of the most felt experience I get to have as an artist. It is a true conversation with time and my surroundings. To be set on a path to explore and give thanks for those things left behind that are there waiting to be repurposed and given a new place to continue to inspire us is really an honor and something that I do take as a gift. This city has so much to say and this process allows me to hear so much of it and honor that language.
In the next post I will speak more on the construction of the panels and the dialogue felt with the materials as well as how the studio came to be utilized and more of the intuitive and intellectual process of creating the work one step at a time… stay tuned and thank you for reading.
I like to randomly post photos I enjoy from my long running collection of personal photography that I have shot over the years. Landscapes, nudes, crumbling society, portraits, travel, art, moments of life behind the scenes.
There is a lot to be done on this evolving website. A lot of new changes to be made and projects to be reshot and new visions to be posted. A lot is on the horizon including a show in Durham, North Carolina in two weeks titled Anime Mixtape at Runaway. Here is some artwork that is in the show… we’ll catch up soon you and I. -Felix
Just met up with a local SF Artist and rad dude named Matthew Badja at Flywheel in the Haight. Much of his practice consists of Photography and some really cool social practice, street installation work. Anywho, I feel inspired myself to post some photos for you gals guys and gender benders. I hope you enjoy. Please contact me if you would like to have prints of any of these.
I am working on a new zine for an upcoming show this fall. I am pretty excited about it. It will be less direct theme based or hyper specific and be more of a stream of consciousness flow of ideas and creative inspiration and personal history. The may be a frame work into a larger narrative world as an over arching structure but we shall see where it goes thus far. Haven't made one in a long time and really want to create something new. Here are some sample page ideas...
Not long ago a great artist, business man, and friend commissioned me to create "literally whatever you want" as was explained by him. We share a love of anime and manga, a love of expressive painting and art that evokes narrative, feeling, and permits us to explore time and our own emotional content as tied to memory and to the way that certain pieces of our upbringings help us to channel our present and communicate with others. He is a painter as am I, but our languages aesthetically are very different, yet we find so much depth and connection in one another's language. So it was an honor to paint this for him with the freedom to just go in on it. I wanted to craft something that spoke to our mutual love of certain manga, to our mutual reality of facing adversity and through acceptance, hard work, dedication, surrender, passion, persistence, and the duality of chaos and thus finding the space to be still through the journey we call life. This is piece is very special too me. It is so personal and then upon it's delivery my friend Kent who commissioned said to me, "This painting is everything to me." Sometimes we have moments in this cosmic puzzle that really shed light on the fact that existence is so far beyond what we see and think on a daily basis. I am working on editing some better shots of this piece but here are images of this diptych for you to see. It is two panels, both 3'x4', house paint, spray paint, acrylic paint, tempera, pencil, oil pastel, acrylic lacquer, and more. 2018
That's right, the MEGA ANNUAL GROUP SHOW is here at the Tri Lateral Superchief Empire respective headquarters, aka LA NYC and MIAMI! I am so stoked to have been down since 2013 and the movement moves on. I am showing a new but classic piece called Beautiful Future! Sumi Ink on Paper at the LA gallery. And here are some flyers for ya'll as well.... Stay weird you freaks.
Winding through the outpost of the corporate empires. Fueled by the batteries of human machine flesh rubber heat gravel tar amoebic bio morphs. Loved by all who ramble down it's soft rolling spaghetti western landscape. Truckers take part in breaths of the pure spirit. Cowboys sit down on the hot road to become monks in the blazing sun. The clouds create empires and civilizations in the blink of an eye lost by the hawk's wing swells. Turn an eye to time here, as it it stands still yet the traffic moves through the dimensions at hand.
A few photos from our recent trip down the 5 to LA, and a studio shot of a work in progress.
Here are a few recent studio shots. About to get really busy...
Just wanted to post some art. Drawings, ideas, things I don't always post. I have been teaching a drawing class to a really cool student lately and it has me very inspired to draw more and post more. The reality of that initial conversation with the paper and pencil or pen, the initial barrage of thought and energy revealing itself onto a surface is the glue of the process for me in many ways. I want some day to just do a whole show of random idea drawings, sketches, stream of consciousness stuff all over the walls of a gallery. I have been having a multi personality wall in the studio lately, a period where I have done so much in so many veins that it is hard to refine it all to one unique vision, so I am having to work through it and see what the coherent linear thread is. Drawing in its rawest form is really the architecture for this process and I am happy to be able to share it all with you. Some of this work is a part of, or preliminary drawings, for my upcoming show at Runaway in Durham NC.
No steps on the bus stop too heavy,
No weight inside of a word light enough,
No tendrils of paralysis left untethered,
No wind weak enough to burn the eyes from self conscious ego,
A timely decision to get involved,
A rugged terrain,
Through waves of anxious noxiousness,
Through dependence on outer limit circumstance for validation an verification,
Through a shrill note of absolute confusion,
Paying it forward,
With every step into Mummra's strange cave of scary ass shit,
Finding purpose in nothingness,
Untold stories of absolute strength and power sometimes come in packages you never knew,
We stand mighty,
Against times anarchic frenzy,
Making the way our own,
As best we can.
I have made a lot of art. I have made a lot of art that meant a lot to me and that I found to be next level, but has not really had much of a response amongst my audience. I have likewise made things that a lot of people seem to love and I myself am into but don't find that next level depth in and can just sort of enjoy as a pretty picture over time, nothing wrong with that. Then there are the pieces that seem to sync up with all of it. The universe surrounds excites and we all lift up in a movement from the connection.
Here are some works I haven't show a whole lot that seem to have done all three.
My whole life I have found deities, specifically Asian Religious deities and gods extremely fascinating. I have always had a spiritual and visionary connection, a feeling of power and universal energy when I see these epic characters in print or in person. The first experience I had in person was hilariously at a "Japanese" Steak House in Durham, NC as child. There were an assortment of buddhist statues, mainly sitting Buddhas and a set of Samurai Armor in the museumesque entrance way walking into the highly americanized corporate take on a Japanese experience. Nonetheless at the age of 6 I was astounded and completely transported to a surreal world of power, dynamism, energy, history, and feeling that I had before then not known.
In Taiwan and Singapore when I was 7, en route with my father's modern dance company Pilobolus at the time, I first time was able to see real larger than life statues of the buddha, of deities, of creatures from Asian folklore, of dragons, of tiger, fish, even the famous lion headed fish in Singapore. My mind swirled and I felt compelled to discover more.
Deities have played a major role in the evolution of my figurative abstraction works over time. Creating creatures larger than life and beyond human comprehension that eventually overtake the world that we live in under the illusion that we human's actually control any of it. Raijin and Fujin are two of my favorites that I continue to investigate in my personal work. My trips to Japan have really continued to compel me to connect with these two major figures of Japanese Mythology and Religious Iconography and I continue on to immerse myself deeper and learn more about this aspect of culture. I have to stop writing at this moment to continue on my day, but let this passage be an intro to an ongoing investigation into seeking the power of these deities and finding my own interpretations of them into my own work, mythology, and practice.
All the worlds a stage, A giant hot dog stand yelling forward to come get a deal, A 24 Hour Target milked to gills with red and white hallways of product juice,
All the world knows that our fundamental flaw is our own obsession with self destruction,
All the world also knows that we are creatures of emotion who's evolution has not caught up with our ignorance.
I like to focus on the clarity of the journey and admit my moments of blind ambition,
It's a power when ambition and right sized attitudes can keep creating things that don't fuck us up anymore than we already are. It's a deeper power when those things lead us through a life that works to elevate to a level of clarity that stimulates fulfillment.