Since its opening I have also jusssttt about finished the big commission I have been working for Manley Tantuico, which is now out of my studio and residing in his living room in Millbrae. Taking the idea of a family portrait to a new level...
Now its time to start cleaning out my studio and my apartment and heading back to the Big Apple for the next stage of this life I have been given. But first, this Saturday at FFDG at 2277 Mission St. in SF, we are having a closing for my solo show "No Destination" featuring an artist talk by Joel St. Julien and myself and a live PA by Joel (my sound collaborator) from 6 to 8pm. Should be an awesome time and a great way to begin my exit from life in the Bay. Much Love!!!! Do what you feel and remember to #makeworkson!
Hello hello! First off : "Pilgrimage" is up for ONE MORE WEEK! Until this Saturday June 7th! So if you haven't seen it go check it out. I have been so wrapped up in life since the show opened that I haven't had a chance to sit down and be in touch with you all, my apologies. I went to LA this past weekend to begin connecting and to see some old NYC friends that I work with and have known for some time, that are doing great things. The future is shaping up nicely! I am grateful for this life of mine for sure, and LA and I have some things to look forward to.
So about three weeks ago we saw the opening of my solo show "Pilgrimage" at San Francisco's famous Shooting Gallery on Geary street. The opening was a success, and we have been fortunate enough to get some amazing press from it all! Press including my friend and awesome writer Goldmine Sachs over at Impose Magazine did a really fun interview with me, as did one of my favorite people Tracy Jones at the Microscopic Giant, the awesome and uber talented Lale' Shafaghi at Juxtapoz Magazine gave a great preview piece, Zach Tutor and his widely loved Supersonic Electronic blog gave us some support a Fecal Face round table interview will be coming out this week, and lastly Kimberly Chun from 96 Hours did a really awesome interview with me that came out in print as well as online in 96 Hours.
The response has been unbelievable, the opening was awesome, and I have been getting tons of inquiries and new conversations have blossomed out of it. Really proud of this one! I still have some photos to process and get from Shooting Gallery of some of the work but the majority of it is viewable in the PILGRIMAGE Section of the Portfolio on this site, as well as on the Shooting Gallery SF site (Where you can also find information on sales and purchasing).
So amidst all of the things that life brings, amidst the non stop flow of energy and thoughts and experiences, I am very very happy that this show was realized with Shooting Gallery. The space was simply perfect for it, the people there were a pleasure to work with, and this exhibition truly did embody a "Pilgrimage" for myself. The events that took place in its initial conceptualization, the journey I went through with life, love, pain, joy, progress, and time during its execution, and the final result have all brought me to a new place within myself and my relationship with all things around me.
A true sense of balance, fulfillment, acceptance and the yearning to continue seeking, to strive on and continue moving forward, has really overcome me. I am having really beautiful visions in my meditations, I happened upon a Koyasan temple at random in LA (Buddhist Twilight Zone Sounds haha), and my eyes are very open as is my being. I am excited to embark on everything from here on out. The past four years of making art in the Bay Area have really helped to shape my path and to bring me to center with an open mind and a watchful eye to see where my next guide may be. Fecal Face Gallery solo is in the Fall, and then who knows, who knows where I will go. Maybe LA, maybe back to NC, maybe NYC for a reunion with my home. But the one thing I can take away from this experience is this, I am doing exactly what I was put on this earth and in this universe in this form to do, and I am overwhelmingly grateful for the path I am on. John Felix Arnold III 06/02/2014
I am beside my self. It has been about a years worth of a journey. Hot off of the heels of the "Excorrigia : The Scourge" Solo show at Superchief in NYC I just had with Superchief, I present to you the other side. The opposite side of existence and the journey forward. I present "Pilgrimage" at the uber famous San Francisco staple, Shooting Gallery! I have partnered with Paxton Gate on this amazing show.
They have supplied me with bones, skulls, and really awesome news, they have officially procured a taxidermy warthog that will be part of the central sculptural installation piece of the show! We are already getting all sorts of press for the show, including an awesome interview piece from Sjimon Gompers at Impose Magazine, Tracy Jones at The Microscopic Giant, and the show is in print as part of the hot picks of the week in the SFWeekly as well as on their website.
The opening is going to be killer, there are other openings in the White Walls/Shooting Gallery complex the same night that are all going to be incredible. Here are some images of work to look forward to seeing in person in the show. I am in the home stretch and tomorrow will see the final realization of a lot of hard work and love for what I do.
New Astroknot drawing 2013, for Shooting Gallery solo show in 2014 Life is a trip you guys and gals. Three years ago pretty much to date I was sitting exactly where I am right now working on my website, getting ready for a couple big shows coming up in the spring exactly as I am right now. I was sober at the time, but a couple relapses away from real sobriety as some would say. I was digging my heels in and grinding my teeth and typing furiously at press emails and blog posts and copying and pasting show descriptions in art site calendars like FecalFace.com and Impose magazine.
I was still a virgin to Hi-Fructose and Juxtapoz and was with my girlfriend (now ex-girl) at the time who lived a block from the cafe on Mason & Washington that I am typing from. I had opened Unstoppable Tomorrow Vol.1 at Old Crow with Chris Burch and D Young V not 20 days before, and was freaking out as my show Past From the Blast was coming up at Queens Nails in just two months. Life felt electric and on fire, and as I sit here typing this for you to read it still feels electric and on fire, a bit more so now to be honest. The intensity is different, the short term gratification has given way to long term hustle and a much bigger vision and state of mind, which coincidentally demands a much deeper, and fully sustaining sort of internal electric source and fuel for a much hotter and longer lasting fire.
The world and the gods have been good to me as I have continued to dig in my heels, hoist up my sleeves, make, write, draw, copulate, glue, talk, laugh, cry, hunker down, take little breaks, get excited and continue to explore this epic world we live in together. It really blows me away at how funny this moment is and how special it is as French lounge music plays in the background and the cable car dings and roars by with its San Francisco history soundtrack following it everywhere it moves.
I am really lucky and really grateful to have made it past that moment three years ago. It proved to be very much a major hurtle, a major proving ground for where my life would go. I had fought and surrendered my way to a new type of life so different than the one I had become accustomed to for so many years, and it really was those events in 2010 and 2011 and the people who remained in my life and the new ones who became a part of it that shaped the path for where I am going now.
I have never had disdain for the holidays, and I am lucky for that. So as I sit here and sun is going down and I can here the kids outside and the parents in the Chinatown meets Jackson Heights area of San Francisco, I can only imagine how many stories I am surrounded by. All those stories give me energy. All those stories to build the fabric of what so many of us create from. Bus drivers, business women, art school kids, swaggy street kids, skateboarders, old chinese ladies with 20 plastic produce and dim sum filled bags, the crazy man on the block with the cart of hoarded newspapers, yuppies, tourists, wanna be thugs, real gangsters sitting in their blacked out Mercedes' with the windows down dragon tattoos wrapping around their arms with cigarettes in their mouths, new parents pushing strollers, old parents of every race with their grown up kids in town for the Holidays, they all pass through leaving freeze frames of motion and character in my mind.
This post goes out to the ether. To the powers at work outside of our tangible vision that make the movements of the universe ebb and flow. To all the artists in the Bay and New York and Japan, to the South, Europe and beyond. The world is happening all over all the time. I am glad this moment in the massive fabric of time has happened for me where I can suddenly have a sort of deja vu memory trip. A moment where I can sit in the same place I was three years ago fighting for my life in a very different pair of shoes, and where I gathered my energy for a great Hadouken and went for it.
Makenzi James from a modeling shoot for painting reference images 2013
It feels good to sit here right now and look back on all that has happened in the last three years and be thankful as Christmas is approaching that I have the capacity to work hard and stay creative and dig deep within myself to contribute what I can to this world of ours. Much love to everyone! IPD, 57, RTS, The Basement, Screwed Arts, Doppel, and every one that is busting that ass and making it happen. #makeworkson
It's been a minute since I have put in an update. Life has been moving along at a sometimes grinding, sometimes hyper, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly pace. I have been cranking the work along at really solid pace. I have been making amazing realizations and beautiful mistakes to grow from in my process. And this applies to life making art and life lived outside of making art. At almost 2 and a half years sober I have definitely learned and found so much of myself deep within and feel that I can walk confidently with humility and compassion through life as best I am able to this point. I hope this is being reflected in the work I have been creating and feel a deep connection with the new things I have been creating as well as ideas that been permeating my mind in anticipation of big installations and trips and adventures in art I am going to be taking on over the next six months. exploding innocence : 4'x3' : mixed media on fabricated found object wood panel
For starters, as I begin the mission to forward into my Superchief Show, I will be putting up an Indie A Go Go fundraiser to raise the proper necessities to go on a cross country guerilla artist adventure collecting bones and bullets, clothes and drift wood, rusty car fenders and window panes, to inevitably build a big and beautiful installation and performance piece setting/environment for the show in April. I am toying with names like "There Will Be Blood" and "Carnal Carnivorous Cannibalism". I will be offering prints and drawings and original artwork in my Indie A GoGo campaign so watch out for it! This trip will be epic, and documented thoroughly as I roll across the country kicking up dust.
hot war : 18"x24" : mixed media on wood panel
And the following month it will be time to really get grizzly with the environment I will be creating at Shooting Gallery for my solo exhibition that is thus far named "Pilgrimage". The name may be changing to "Spring Spots and Walkabouts" or "Grow On Up in the Light". Anyway, the work for this show is almost two thirds complete, as far as the paintings and drawings are concerned, which is a huge stress reliever because Shooting Gallery is a massive space and I was a bit nervous about filling it, but my tenacious, obsessive, insane work ethic and need to just #makeworkson has really helped my vision to explode into a journey through process and thinking. In short I am stoked about how the work has come together thus far.
So the end of this update caps off like this! I am incredibly grateful for everyone in my life thus far, everyone, friend and enemy that has helped shape and mold the person I have become. Everyone in the Bay Area, New York, NC, Japan, Everywhere! Seriously, as I walked to work today, in light of all of the recent things in my life that have happened and they are rather intense on every level without having to explain in detail here, I am so incredibly grateful for the shoes I walk in and the people that I get to experience and love daily! Thank you all for helping this man continue forward with integrity and passion. I am doing my damnedest!. MAKE WORK SON!