New huge interior painting from John Felix Arnold inside Littlefield's new Parklife Food and Beer hangout. Part of the new Littlefield expansion.Read More
I have been cleaning the hell out of my apartment and studio getting ready for my big move coming up on December 2nd back to the home front. Excited is the very least of it, really looking forward to this new phase in my life. Can't wait to see my family and make art as a sober adult in the places that really shaped me early on, well until I was 26, and even then through memories and constant revisiting and having a life still in those places, until today. Finding some awesome images on the internet from the past few years. Enjoy.
I am on my way back to Oakland form yet another awesome trip to New York City. The amazing people at Littlefield showing me love once more that they contracted me to fly out there and paint a massive 13'x12' three panel commissioned piece in there venue. We had been discussing this for sometime, and then boom, it happened. So excited to be in NYC more often this year... and before I get into the real news and the stories and photos and philosophical wanderings and such, I will leave you with this photo of the piece and yours truly as I get ready to board the last leg of my trip back to the Bay Area on this Virgin American Party Plane. 57, Peace to Ben Robey all day. Be back soon Brooklyn.
So I just realized as I am getting ready for the show at Superchief show that I never put up the final images from the BRIC Arts Media House show I created an Installation for in February... there is some great press coverage on it from Fecal Face and Juxtapoz from the show and the opening. Many thanks to the trio at BRIC of Jenny Gerow, Elizabeth Ferrer, and Eric Araujo for making it all happen, and Space Meow for performing live inside the piece at the opening. The Juggs Band with Kareem Bunton will be performing at the close on April 27th. Here are pics of the final product and the opening.
So tonight I am in a group show at an AMAZZZZIINNGGGG art institution called BRIC Arts Media House on Fulton Street in Brooklyn's Fort Greene (my favorite place in the world) neighborhood. I am so honored and feel so blessed to be a part of this show and to be given the opportunity to come back to NYC to give back to the city that raised me after a long journey of transformation and change. The piece I created is in fact called "Gratitude and Transformation(s)", fittingly enough as I have been hoping and praying for an opportunity to give back to this place, especially this area of Brooklyn where I spent so many important years, for a long time. Many thanks to Elizabeth Ferrer and Jenny Gerow at BRIC, and huge thanks to Eric Araujo, whom I have known through this art life struggle since 2006, for getting the ball rolling and getting me into this historic event at BRIC. I am one lucky cat and I went Hard. As they say in the Bay Area, I WENT HELLA HARD! Hahahahha. The piece took about a week to create. It is made with mostly reclaimed and repurposed materials from Brooklyn and Queens and truly is a living act of gratitude to this place.
Also a special performance by my friends Space Meow will occur on the stage built into the installation. I have been looking forward to working with Space Meow for some time now and it is going to be EPIC! They go on at 9pm. At the end of the show my good friend Kareem Bunton's awesome blues rock band The Juggs will also perform and they always throw down!
The Opening is tonight, Wednesday Feb. 19th, from 7-9:30 pm. BRIC is at 647 Fulton Street and will be awesome. We will be heading to Frank's Lounge afterward for an intimate after party with the artists and friends and such! Gonna be awesome so swing by. The show will run through April 27th so make sure to check it out if you are in the area. Here are some photos of the production of my site specific installation, I can't wait to drop the images with the Space Meow set up on the stage...also the press release is attached at the end of this blog post.
Also I got the chance to hang out with Ken South Rock's Ken Minami and Adam Amram last week as well as Matt Reilly from Japanther. Here are some photos of their forest cave in Bushwick with treehouses, mini ramp, silk screen set up, and all...It's been an amazing trip. I'll be back in a few days with a NYC wrap up!
Thanks for tuning in!- JFAIII
I am happily getting ready for three major happenings in my life right now. All are art exhibitions. First I will be a part of the BRIC Arts "Art Into Music" Exhibition in Brooklyn, NY opening February 19th. I will scavenging and materials and building a site specific installation in the exhibition space at the new museum complex that will incorporate a stage for performances and listening stations to listen to each of the contributing artists play lists that inspire them. Mega Cool!
Then its back to Oakland for three weeks as I prepare for my cross country trip to NYC and my solo exhibition Excorrigia / The Scourge at Superchief Gallery opening on April 3rd.
Fuujin : Mixed Media on Wood Panel : 18"x24"
And then finally it is back to the Bay once again to finish up the Shooting Gallery solo Pilgrimage which I am happy to now announce will also mark the beginning of a new partnership with the amazing Paxton Gate. A number of pieces will feature bones and items sourced from Paxton Gate to help to realize the vision of Pilgrimage and continue to a partnership will into the future!!! This is going to be an amazing year!
See Through the Sun : Mixed Media on Found Object : 2014
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!
The work has really begun for Pilgrimage, a new green and orange color fusion that feels really amazing and new for me. Out of the darkness we see the light. Speaking of light, I recently got some shine of the Juxtapoz website for the Triangle Magic show at Littlefield (which is actually part of the Gowanus Open Studios art walk this weekend). It is a couple weeks belated to be posting on my blog but better late than never. Also soon I will be updating a press section to my website, and finally getting my online store together so there will be all sorts of goodies and things to be had from the world of Unstoppable Tomorrow. Here is a link from the Juxtapoz piece, just click on the image...
And while we are on the press hunt...here is a link to a Fecal Face post from this summer about the final chapter of the "Bright on Time" Japan adventure...
And for now Angie and I bid you farewell...
As I sit in my brother's apartment in the Prospect Park section of Flatbush in Brooklyn, NY I get to reflect on my trip and larger life in this city. Some places just tell stories and we are fortunate enough to add and blend stories with them. Yesterday I shot down the tracks of Q line tunnels, feeling the metal behemoth of a subway car bounce and shake and juke and jive and twist and undulate, eating track and time and space as it barreled into Union Square. Switching to the 4 train to shoot up to 86 and Lex so as to buy my pension of bagels to bring back to California (because lets be frank about it, in comparison Cali bagels suck, end of story) I embarked on my trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I hadn't been to the MET in over ten years and was ecstatic at the chance to walk into those huge, inspiring halls and view one of the most amazing collections of art assembled on this earth. Samurai Armor, Modern Painting, Tanguy, Giacometi, medieval weapons from the Middle East, African Masks, Tibetan Paintings and sculptures from long ago, absolutely amazing.
The show was awesome. Triangle Magic was received really well I thought. The reception was very successful I felt, and the conversations I experienced about the work were informative and really helpful. People dug the work and really felt that it was a good step, one that shows a lot of growth and change and forward movement. It was so good to see everyone who came through. Many generations of people in my life here came and hung out, and one of my NYC family spun great music all night long. The next day lunch with Littlefield owner Julie Kim and my Mom was absolutely awesome, and then a VIP comped trip to the New York City Ballet made for a truly mind blowing experience. Within two days I felt like I had experienced more life than I do in months on end sometimes. Life is good.
I lived in New York city for a long long time. I lived here as a child in the mid to late eighties and then from 1998-2006. There is something to be said for the ways in which this city communicates, the speed and agility with which the people negotiate every second with each other, the amount of activity and productivity that occurs, and the general attitude of "you tell me no, then you watch me make it happen". This place was a major hand in raising me. I learned how to the navigate the world from the 8 years of living here I embarked on at age 18. I went through hell and heaven here, and it was in fact a very, very different place when I resided here, but all the elements of how to navigate the hustle are still here and are not going anywhere. In short, New York will be here. To quote Kareem Bunton "New York ain't goin' no where Felix."
Now at 33, 7 years of living in the Bay Area, every time I come back to New York I can't help but feel that it is much more "home" than anywhere else in a lot of ways. I don't mean to come off sounding like one of those people who moves here and three years later says "I'm from New York." That drives me crazy. When asked where I am from it is hard to explain because I lived half my life here until the age of 26 so it is rather complex saga of growth and evolution. But it does still feel like home. When you spend your formative years in a place for a long time, it carries a sense of home with it. I learned how to think on my feet here, how to love, how to fight, how battle the world, how to negotiate, how find the good in bad situations, how to be hopefully, how to be realistic but remain optimistic out of necessity, how to accept, how to multi task, how to deal with life at a speed and an intensity that to many is unfathomable here. I was taught the ropes by some greats like Nature Boy Jim Kelly and Kareem Bunton. I had lovers, some rather older than me that taught me so much about love and life. And I was surrounded by a thriving art and creative culture that was specific to its place in time and what New York City was when I was here. I just don't see it in its full glory anymore when I come back, but I know it is there just below the surface and always (I hope) will be.
The one consistent thing about New York City is that it is always changing. That is what New York is, change. I left my jaded, grudge heavy, disdain for what the L.E.S., or Williamsburg, or the East Village "was and had become" behind a while ago. And so it is amazing to see my friends and family that live here, which are deep and expansive, getting married, moving into adulthood, all growing together, becoming important parts of the city itself. Who knows I may move back at some point.
Every time I come back here the salsa music blasting from the bodega, the Jamaican accents and voices overpowering all other sounds on the sidewalk, the rush of perfection in taste and texture from a slice of pizza, cars driving by booming the latest hit on Hot 97, the hipster fashion show that is Havemeyer on a Friday night, the sound of tattoo machines at Flyrite Tattoo, the old worldly sound of Hassidic conversations and singing walking down Willoughby Ave, the greetings from the staff at real deal Izakaya spot Yakitori Taisho, bring me back into a dialogue that I have been a part of since 1986. I love this city, I love many cities, but this city is forever woven into the fabric of my being. In addition it is a beautiful thing to see and know all these years later that I am woven in the fabric of its beings, that things I have been a part of and done here have had an effect on its history and its evolution. The generation of creatives that I am a part of from here has done a lot to shape and change the landscape of this place. Every time I come back as soon as I stop and smell the air, smell the burnt electricity of the subway and the smell of Gyro stands and the perfume of a fine ass woman passing by, I thank god for home.
So there is a lot coming up...first off I have some older and newer works going into a show at the Ian Ross Gallery which opens on the 27th. There will be a V.I.P. opening on the 26th that I will be attending, but I won't unfortunately be able to make the big opening on the 27th due to a trip to the East Coast for my cousins wedding...I will post the info about the show at Ian Ross Gallery soon.
In other news, Triangle Magic is looking great. I am almost finished with all the works, just doing the details at this point and getting ready for my week of insanity that will ensue in New York City. Expect a lot of photos from this trip as always. The show will also be Littlefield's representation for the Gowanus Open Studios. I am very, very proud to have been hand picked for this exhibition and to be representing Littlefield for the Gowanus Open Studios. Thanks Julie Kim! Here are some images and press info on the show (downloadable press release is at the bottom of the this post). It is at Littlefield (622 Degraw St.) in Brooklyn just at the foot of Park Slope. http://littlefieldnyc.com I am really excited...
The work for Triangle Magic is a very new a fresh direction for me. While it does completely exist within my world of Unstoppable Tomorrow, using signs and signifiers from my body of ammunition, the way in which the narrative aspect is portrayed, the idea of relics that are actually, or were actually used in ceremony, and the entire approach to the thinking and making of them shows a new turn and a new re-inventing of my process. I am very proud of them and feel that they are a great first step into a widening of my scope of creation, and an expansion of my intention and thought behind my art. The intention that lays within the making of them is a bit different from my hard hitting, figurative, representational work. I truly enjoy how the viewer really can continue to make their own experience out of them with more freedom (much like, and more so even, than the work in the SFMOMA) than the highly spoon fed narrative work seen in "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" and previous shows in that vein. This is a departure from representation, and an emergence into abstraction and chain of thought steeped in process and ceremony. See you there...more to come! IPD
For Downloadable Press Release Click the Link JFAIII Triangle Magic
So I haven't updated since July 4th weekend. A lot has occurred since. I am going to be in New York City on October 1st to do a show at one of my favorite places to show art, Littlefield NYC in Brooklyn's Gowanus neighborhood. The show will be called Traingle Magic and the opening is either going to be October 3rd or 4th...more concrete info coming next week with a press release. This will be my second show at Littlefield and I am incredibly happy that asked me back, especially since they asked me to be their representative artist for the Gowanus Open Studios weekend October 18th - 20th.
In other New York City news, I will be doing a Solo Show at the awesome Superchief Gallery in the Lower East Side in April, 2014! I am incredibly stoked about this and it will be a full on Unstoppable Tomorrow ragefest, bloodbath, Astroknot filled rad time! Okay so maybe not literally a bloodbath (or might be??? who knows), but getting to show at Superchief (who just did the Vice Magazine Photo Show which to me is a rather big deal and they showed one of my favorite artist homies who I respect a immensely Coby Kennedy recently) is pretty damn awesome to me! These guys show crazy, cutting edge, left field, fun, no holds barred, weird art that I really, really dig, so being part of it all is a blessing to me! Because of this and Littlefield I suddenly had a huge energetic rebirth into my studio and have been painting my ass of literally. Here are some studio images. Oh and SFMOMA is still running too...that makes me happy as hell!
I made it back in one piece (physically, emotionally, mentally) from Minneapolis as I was there for a month for work. I have more to post that will come soon, I have been very busy since I got back. Also I have been selling some older work to some great people and that always keeps the train moving down the track. So all in all things are great, and here are some photos to prove how epic the time in the studio has been! See you again soon!
So the picture of C-Rayz Walz is one of the first published Illustration gigs I ever did for Def Jux Records back in 2004. Where is that guy? It is the album art for his Black Samurai E.P.
The Dave Chappelle Block Party Movie was filmed in, and the Block Party itself, my old neighborhood on the edge of Bed Stuy and Clinton Hill in Brooklyn. This is one of the choice shots of Wycleff and Lauren Hill battling it out, getting reallllll emotional during the Fugees reunion bit. HISTORY was made! 2003 was a big and crazy year for a lot of things.
This is a drawing I did for the Babylon Falling Closing show "The End is Near" in 2009. It was called "KaliMonTen"... I really want to go back in this direction with some of the newer work, but as with all things it's about finding that opportune moment of balance where it is good to feel that initial discomfort to re-enter and idea from whence it becomes new and big and fun again and a totally fresh way.
Yes it is still true, at least to us, Japan is home to some of the most ridiculous English translations on clothing, but when you are there, they don't really give a shit what we think, which is awesome. They have literally taken our words and made them their own, so we get something out of it. The one that says curation really fucking cracks me up, I wonder what they were really getting at, it has to be a feeling or like a type of action they were trying to pinpoint but there probably just isn't an English word for it. HatLip is just, well HatLip. Like "Hey man what's that hat all about?" "You know homie, that's just that HatLip!!!!!!"
Something we do not have in the States, 5 century old castles with giant moats to repel all sorts of attackers from Samurai, to Ninja, to Ashigaru, to just crazy ass locals that are pissed at the government and tired of getting taxed. I think today's moats are called the Banking System, Credit Default Swaps, and Debt. I would kind of rather be a Ninja and swim across the water and scale the wall and kill the Lord and get the Princess to be honest, way more bad ass.
This woman came out of her house to talk to me, I don't think she had been outside for a long time. She was super cool.
I wish I had had a giant Kendo sword fighting cru when I was like ten years old.
And finally this is an awesome studio shot of the work I made for the SFMOMA taken by Megan Wolfe. I am going to miss Megan, she has been a bright light in the Bay Area art scene for a long time now! Thanks for all the years of hard work and being a bad ass! You will be missed. In other news I am going to New York for fourth of July weekend, expect a lot fo Graffiti pictures a lot of images of friends acting out in public....see you soon!-Felix
We have been working our tails off on the new ArtNowNY gallery opening at 548 West 28th Street in New York City's Chelsea Arts District this coming Thursday June 7th. Working around the clock on a list of tasks and deadlines and things that would make any persons head spin. Being in this new role as Creative Director of the gallery and the Co-curatorial Chair of our programming has been an honor, a pleasure, and one of the most amazing learning experiences of my life. Not to mention I get to bring people I love and respect into the New York City art scene, in Chelsea no doubt, and work with people that I have admired and looked up to for a very long time. Shit , I reconnected with Swoon today at the Bushwick Open Studios in Brooklyn, and just that simple interaction alone really made me see that I truly am in the channel of a higher power and living a life that I never dreamed of. Anyway, all the spiritual mushiness aside, I have really been working just as hard as creative director as I do on my own work, and the balance is creating some amazing programming and collaborative presence in New York. It feels good to be home. I created a video series that we will continue throughout the life of ArtNowNY that captures sections of New York life, culture and people. I filmed Unstoppable Death Machines in Bushwick at a raging show where my homie Ben Robey wild out harder than I have seen in ages (dude fell through the drum set off the bar and kept singing and screaming on the mic!!!!).
I filmed the amazing Alyssa Kazew in the Village dancing at New York's famous Grays Papaya. I captured Jose Santiago giving a cool patron a straight razor shave design in her hair at Well Connected in the Lower East Side, and I even was shot via Coby Kennedy at Fort Tilden doing what I do best, walking through the middle of nowhere collecting debris and wood to make art with. I am very, very happy with the videos, and I am truly blessed to be in a position to be able to create them right now and be paid for my work. Also I connected with old friend and amazing director Lenny Tso who edited the pieces, and I even got to put my own music as the soundtrack to three of the pieces under my music alias Tekkamaki. Boom, for real!!! Here they are, check them out, more to come, holla. ArtNowNY launches June 7th in Chelsea. The its back to Oakland to get ready for OLD CROW YOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
New York has been good to me thus far. We have been really getting a lot of work done having a blast and making some serious moves for the future. I got to see my homies from Unstoppable Death Machines the other night, and it was a pretty unforgettable performance. It was at a small bar in Buswhick, Brooklyn, it was packed, and Ben Robey aka Jah Jah Brown made a very memorable performance. Jah was truly off his rocker and the Death Machines went super hard! It was fucking awesome. More updates coming.
Thursday, March 1st, 2012 New Works by John Felix Arnold III & Christopher Burch : Live Performances by Ninjasonik & Ken South Rock Art Opening Reception 6-9 with Food and DJs Reverend McFly and Chaz-O : Free Performances from Ninjasonik and Ken South Rock : 9-12 : $10 Pre-sale/$12 at the Door : 21+ Art Show runs from March1st-31st Littlefield is located @ 622 Degraw St. btw 3rd & 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY : 11217 : ph (718) 855-3388 For more info and for tickets please visit http://littlefieldnyc.com
Thursday, March 1st, 2012 Littlefield is proud to present “Eat Peter to Feed Paul”, a two man show by Bay Area based artists John Felix Arnold III & Christopher Burch that will feature musical performances and collaborations from New York based bands Ninjasonik and Ken South Rock. It is the two visual artist’s first show in New York together and promises not to be forgotten. For Arnold this is a bit of a homecoming, marking his second time showing in New York since he moved to the Bay from Brooklyn in 2006, and for Burch, being from St. Louis originally, this a new opportunity to branch out closer to his roots. The two will be exhibiting new drawings and mixed media works in their respective styles. The works deal with the changing role of human beings within a high paced technology saturated society where we are rapidly losing our grasp of anything reflecting a spiritual way of being and many are quickly becoming “self sacrificing parasites” within their own circles of living without even realizing it. They will also be composing an installation within the art space to guide the viewers through the show reflecting the push and pull and intensity of the present world we live in, using found objects to cut the space up into different frequencies of comfort and un-comfortability while viewing the 2-D work. After the show reception musical cohorts and collaborators Ken South Rock and Ninjasonik will be performing live in Littlefield’s amazing theatre/music hall space with a live painting collaboration from the two Bay Area artists as a full on art and music explosion. These two amazing forces of musical energy will bring the audience to climactic celebration of being alive through their powerful styles and relentless sound. The subject matter of their audio tour de force is extremely relevant to our present day existence and inspires a lust for life that that really brings a conscious ear to an energy that society needs to be impregnated by.
So I am officially flying to New York on February 23rd to get ready for my latest artistic endeavor, "Eat Peter to Feed Paul". One of the sickest artists I know and have the privilege of working with and also being good friends with, namely Christopher Burch (who is currently doing a residency with the Luggage Store), is joining forces with me to storm my old stomping grounds of Brooklyn, NY. We are coming to the amazing venue known as Littlefield in the Gowanus neighborhood ot the Kings County Burrough, and we will be joined by amazing musical talent from long times friends and musical collaborators Ninjasonik and Ken South Rock (whom I am going on tour with in Japan in the summer) This is my first posting about this on my blog, so know that you will be seeing a lot more material and progress once I am on my way. Keep in touch;) Below is a link to the Official Press Release and a Brief Description of the show and concept behind it. I'm ready for Pizza, Pastrami, and Yakitori Taisho! It's on.
PRESS EVENT INFO
“Eat Peter to Feed Paul” @ Littlefield : Brooklyn : NY
Also Daylight Curfew did a really in depth interview with me for their artist spotlight article on their website. I really enjoyed the questions and it really gave me the opportunity to go into my mind very deeply in regards to work, process, and where I am going. Check it out. Click on the screen shot to link directly to the article. http://www.daylightcurfew.com/2012/01/13/artist-spotlight-john-felix-arnold-iii/