Blog

: Unstoppable Tomorrow :

steady mobbin

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.

Steady Mobbin.


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

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I Magnin Historic Painting Commission Part 1 : Production

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.

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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.

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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.

Untitled October 4th 2018

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

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Photos

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.

 Portrait of Musician Julie Moon in the MIlls College Bathroom

Portrait of Musician Julie Moon in the MIlls College Bathroom

 American Tobacco, Durham NC

American Tobacco, Durham NC

 Photoshoot with Mackenzie James in Tenderloin Neighborhood Building Basement, SF

Photoshoot with Mackenzie James in Tenderloin Neighborhood Building Basement, SF

 Camping in the Sierras, California

Camping in the Sierras, California

 Camping in the Sierras, California

Camping in the Sierras, California

 Mutsumasa Hakozaki, Artists Studio in Kyoto, Japan

Mutsumasa Hakozaki, Artists Studio in Kyoto, Japan

Zine Life

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...

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A Recent Commission

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 

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06/01/2018 Superchief Gallery 6 Year Anniversary Show! NYC X LA X MIA

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.

 

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Traveling the Inseam of California

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.

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Drawn Into Space.

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.

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Fear of Everything Can Be Nothing, Anxiety be Damned

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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,

No destination,

Know destination,

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.

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Looking back, now, and forward.

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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.

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Of Deities

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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 Raijin from my solo exhibition "The Scourge" with Superchief Gallery NYC

Raijin from my solo exhibition "The Scourge" with Superchief Gallery NYC

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The Destination of Clarity

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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.

 

Print Release, Monday 03/19/2018, Noon, Light Power

I am releasing two prints with House of Roulx today at noon (eastern standard time). Two of my favorite works from my catalogue, Goddess and Grow Forward. There are 10 Hand Embellished Variants of Goddess, signed and numbered, 12 Standard Signed and Numbered prints of Grow Forward, and 3 more Hand Embellished Variants of Grow Forward also signed and numbered. These two pieces were both breakthrough works, and this print release is no different. I look forward to doing more and more of these as my work continues to grow. If you enjoy my work and are able, please do grab these prints as they are very limited and full of life and new energy.

The link to purchase at noon, 03/19/2018, est is ...

https://www.houseofroulx.com/collections/john-felix-arnold-iii

 

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Superchief New York Giant Group Show X Juxtapoz Issue Release Party

I am at the airport right now headed to NYC. When I booked this ticket it was for my partner's birthday and also to peep some of the Armory show, BUT, BOOM, Superchief is also having a massive group show and a Juxtapoz issue release party one night after the other starting tomorrow, Friday 03/09/2018! The Saturday 03/10/2018 is the official show opening! Going to be nuts. I have been working with these guys since 2013 and I have to say, they are the future of so much that is art in the US and abroad. We are a movement, a community, a powerhouse of ideas and forward motion and insanity and I am so grateful to have been a part for over 5 years now. We are living in strange times and they continue to carry a torch through the darkness, with a huge squad to support that fire.

 Please feel free to copy and paste this flyer and post.

Please feel free to copy and paste this flyer and post.

Superchief NY is located at 1628 Jefferson Ave, Ridgewood, NY 11385, 

Their website is http://superchiefgallery.com

The pieces I will be showing are below. I can't wait to get to the clubhouse.

 Hadouken, 9'x4', Painting on Found Wood Panel, 2017, $7000

Hadouken, 9'x4', Painting on Found Wood Panel, 2017, $7000

I painted the piece above, Hadouken, on a trip to NYC last year during a period of immense travel. It was one of my favorite moments of the 2017 and I am really happy to unveil it officially!

 Been Grimm, 16"x22", Painting on Paper, 2017, $800

Been Grimm, 16"x22", Painting on Paper, 2017, $800

And this piece from my older show in Chelsea in 2015, From Here is also going to be up and broadcasting live...

 Moment of Realization, 22"x22", Painting on Wood Panel, 2015 $800

Moment of Realization, 22"x22", Painting on Wood Panel, 2015 $800

Winter

 Belief In Continuity, 2017, Painting by John Felix Arnold III

Belief In Continuity, 2017, Painting by John Felix Arnold III

 

Winter Came,

Littered on the Concrete Floors as Light Peeked in from it's overcast hidey hole burnt by the suns wish to warm a frigid landscape,

Marking sticks marked territory and then marked new doorways to let rushing feeling overwhelm the barricades of the heart and let themselves Sprawl along the walls in a wrapped Beauty,

A soul made of the Universe's Particles of Time Space and Continuum and legend and intimate understanding guided My hands seeking strolls through the particulate of the East Coast air,

I washed up in a Warehouse of brilliance surrounded by powers of lightning and rhythms of purpose,

My bank Account looked like the carcass of a turtle left on the Road and not helped across, thunder struck by the wheels of a Nascar Sticker Bearing pick up, but it didn't phase me when the wind singed my ears with bitter frost and I knew I was alive,

I knew I was alive,

I knew I was alive,

I knew I was more than the sum of my parts and the sum of the parts of the possibilities that had surrounded me to drive to this moment of old meets new meets right now,

I knew it was a doorway, sculpting and carving a landscape from the flat high impact concrete floor with paint covered shoes and an invigorating series of morning breathes,

after prayer, and caffeine, and panic, and triumph,

I threw it all into that which was right in front of me, and I received it all as it was meant to be, 

Fulfilled until the next empty tank,

They Always See it, and They Always Guide me Through.

 

 A Durham Home on a Winter Night, John Felix Arnold III, 2017

A Durham Home on a Winter Night, John Felix Arnold III, 2017