Conceptual Art

Onward to Denver

More Than Just Time EFlyer 2 So I will be leaving for Denver Colorado tomorrow morning.  I have never been to Colorado, through Colorado, even really near Colorado, I have flown over Colorado many times, but I have so many friends from and who all love Colorado, so I am excited.  I just saw a woman off at the airport this past Thursday that I can honestly say has really affected my heart and my being in the most amazing way possible, and I really miss her now that she is back in Ireland so this trip is a welcome diversion from the routine of life I have here in Oakland that for the last month and half was punctuated by her presence and was insanely awesome with her being here.  The life of an artist, often alone with amazing moments of love and romance and excitement to punctuate the long periods of insane amounts of work and time alone and time put into being able to work and be alone so as to continue to make work.  Unless you are 100% inescapably wired to be an artist, and you can't not make art in a way that is obsessive and full of delirium and the excitement of the next creation over all, do yourself a favor and don't walk this path hahaha.  So anyway, I board a plane at 10 AM tomorrow and upon arrival I will be seeing my cousin whom I have not seen since I was probably 11 or 13 years old.  Needless to say, I am excited.

More Than Just Time EFlyer1

My reason for journeying to Denver is to have my first ever show with Black Book Gallery.  I have been watching Black Book for a while now, met Will and Tom at Art Basel last year, and have to say I am very proud to be showing with them.  I have a huge amount of respect for their programming and their interest in showing a range of different artists.  They really care about artists expanding their vision and thus far from my experience they are very supportive and very solid to work with.  We also seem to have a mutual love for BBQ so I definitely look forward to chowing down with them when I get there.

Sleeping Beauty Space Blanket (Framed low res))

This is a little preview of some selected works that I will have up in the show.  The main figure, except for one piece, in the exhibition is my incredibly close friend, meditation partner, fellow universal explorer, inter-dimensional traveler, and taco enthusiast Jen. She is a very Prime Gnome indeed.  We have had some amazing adventures together and her presence and energy in my life, including the moment we came into one another's lives as friends, have built a dynamic that has helped both of us grow immensely into the people we are today. Without her friendship in so many ways I would not be as clear and making the work I am today and I am definitely very grateful for this.

Passion and Void and Meditation (low res)

The narrative thread or journey through this show started when I finally came down from my intense soul crushing experience post New York City this winter.  I suddenly could really think calmly again and began to see and remember in my meditations so many places I have been in the past few years where I really felt deeply in the realm of the spirit, open to the soft voices of the universe guiding me in total acceptance of my path.  Punctuated by moments with Jen and by moments of intensity, the show sort of starts at where I was before meeting her and journey's through the places unseen I entered and explored throughout 2014.  A lot of it came from the culmination of a long term awakening in sobriety that I was able to reflect on and visualize in purely abstract work as well as figurative pieces to punctuate the timeline and different modes of experience the narrative.

Dissecting Planes (low res)

 

All in all this is going to be an awesome week. Zach Tutor at Supersonic Art did a killer studio visit recently you showed absolutely check out as well by clicking this link, Supersonic Studio Visit.  I may even be working on something large while there, but I also may just explore Colorado a bit and enjoy some time away from the chaos. This show continues to mark a time in my career where I am really breaking out of my conventions in a big ways and letting the art come out from deep within rather than pursuing a formulaic approach to certain modes of seeing or image building.  Regardless I am hopping on a plane in about 18 hours and I will update you from the road.

Peering into Everything (low res)

 

 

 

Climbing the Life Ladder Again.

Sleeping Beauty , Cosmic Blanket low res I am coming back to the light now, making work like seen above, wrapping shared experience in a cosmic blanket, finding love and compassion again. But...It got dark.  What you may ask?  The sky? The Earth? The water? All of it.  It became dark.  The inside of my spirit.  The inside of my spirit.  A rift in time space, the Yokai came into my chest, a host of demons, of Oni and miscreant beings and tearing cables of pain and dysfunction. The blossoming of ice in that black vortex of memory and fear.  It was too much for me.  I found the road back to the path. Someone I greatly respect told me that sometimes we have to get knocked off the path to realize there is a path that we are on in the first place. I found this place, its confusing corridors of obsessive insanity and debilitating fear.  No excellent pork chop would do.  No fine Pho this time.  The ice elbows of small being ribbed my cage and found me full of crazy.  Out of shear survival instinct I began to do everything I could to find the path again.  This experience which took place in the winter of 2015 will never be forgotten.

The Deep Darkness Come ah Creepin

My words in this short narrative have only scratched the surface. I have learned things about myself and the realities of life and the beauty of existence that I could have never fathomed previously I must say.  This is where my new work was born, this is where it grew and wrenched its way out of me onto paper helping me survive and grow and evolve.  This is where the work that suddenly finds color again now has been born of.  I am not a Giant Robot after all I reckon.  The black hole energy inside of me has turned back to light... or was it always light, just so powerful that it was devoid of anything I understood so as to force me to my foundation to accept that I am simply a being and my re-education is not always of my own creation. The universe guides me, and my story will continue to unfold here for you to see.  Thank you for being here.

Communicating Energies in Darkness

cannibal ox low

 

"Christopher Burch 'Somethings ..are (In) the Way of Things'" @ The Luggage Store Annex/ Tenderloin National Forest : SF : CA

Opening Reception Friday February 24th 7-10 pm and Saturday February 25th 4-6PM  The Luggage Store Annex/ Tenderloin National Forest : 509 Ellis St. SF : CA

Tonight is going to be pretty epic as I gather my spirits and do one last thing before leaving the Bay Area for two weeks.  A show that I have been waiting to see for years is happening here in San Francisco tonight.  Christopher Burch, long time friend, peer, and straight up amazing artist and personality, whom is coming to NYC to show with myself in a week, has a groundbreaking opening tonight here in San Francisco.  The culmination of two months in the Tenderloin National Forest Artist in Residence Program will be presented at the Luggage Store Annex with dance performances, and other festivities tonight and tomorrow night.  I am very fortunate to be heading back to the east coast later tonight and not have to miss this amazing happening.  Burch's art is a testament to the intellect, skill, creativity, craft, compassion, and inspiring nature of a historically explosive line of artists here in the Bay Area and I recommend to anyone that has not been following his work to begin doing so now.

Tenderloin National Forest Luggage Store Annex

Christopher Burch “Somethings ..are (In) the Way of Things”

Christopher Burch’s visual works  combine drawing, painting, flocked damask wallpaper, hand painted silver serving trays, and sculpture to create a haughntinlgy surreal full scale site specific installations. The results are conflating landscapes in which historical, socio-economic and political forces that have shaped and continue to shape American racial geographies, teeter on the edge of madness.Something in the Way of Things, written by Amiri Baraka in 2008, is a disturbingly subtle and dark social commentary probing an existential crisis within the African American experience due to the inability to fully synthesize historical and contemporary racial tensions and realties .  Memory and testimony (ultimately language itself) become metaphors for seeing or the inability to see. Baraka exposes, that the borders between visibility (to see, to articulate ones experiences) and invisibility (to not see, to not be able to articulate ones experiences) are at times schizophrenic.

Burch’s project  for the TNF A.I.R residency is entitled “Somethings ..are (In) the Way of Things”. During the months of January 2012 and February 2012 Burch will build a full scale, on site,  installatioon/environment re-interpreting Amiris Baraka’s poem “Something in the Way of Things.”

Accompanying the installation of work within the Luggage Store Annex,  the residency will also incorporate  literary performances and dance pieces held in the Tenderloin National Forest itself. These performances and recitals will address various personal interpretations of the poem “Something In the Way of Things.”

(Hours: Daily 12-5, closed Mondays)

 

New Years, Mayans Running Amuck Taking Back the Spirits of the World, the Universe Spins at Infinitum and I Just Keep on Doing my Thing!

This is a repost from my piece for today on the http://artnowsf.com site, but I really can't think of anything to add off top, so I will get back atachya tomorrow, but until then... "So here we are.  One day until New Years Eve 2011.  We are about to enter what the Mayan Calendar deems to be the end of the world as we know it.  If anything 2011 has been a harbinger of drastic change, a platform from which “globalization” seems to be working for the iron fist of the wealthy elite as usual, but is starting to be a very powerful tool for the rest of us in the world to share ideas and develop tactics to fight “the man” so to speak.  We definitely exist in a world that is going through some very dramatic changes, hurtling forward technologically faster than ever before, and  increasingly  environmentally unsustainable (for us) due to our reliance on consumerism.  There is war everywhere, and the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow on a scale never before seen in history and we are all at the mercy of totally failed and rapidly disintegrating economic system. (Pretty soon we’ll be trading labor for crafts and goods again and making trade with things that are actually worth something, hrrmmmmmm, sounds like what America was like before the settlers got here)  All this being said, I for one am actually very excited about living in this time and seeing what 2012 will bring.  It could be a violent hurricane of revolution and mass destruction, it could become an even more sterile society of ownership and apathy, or it could erupt into one of the most beautiful eras of human history where people farm for themselves and each other, where a mass consciousness overtakes us and we can all break bread together.  Probably non of those things to that degree will happen, but 2012 will most definitely mark a series of sprouts to seeds that have been planted in 2011 in a broad range of societal changes.

We have seen some amazing steps in the past few years in terms of art, design, information technology, communication tools, food, music, creativity, and new creative ways of living as a whole.  We are truly starting to see the ability of art and artists to free themselves and those around them mentally and spiritually in the face the stifling hand of consumerism and the culture it has created.  To the same effect we are also seeing the commercialization of art like never before through a new generation of advertisers and marketers. We are seeing an influx of DIY culture resurging and growing larger than it has ever been to try to combat the ills and destructive nature and soullessness of mass production and an obviously failed economic system.  And still again on the same token we are seeing whole communities being owned by companies like Monsanto and WalMart, and are living in a time when the power of branding and "the Brand" has become one of the most important aspects of our lives.  Despots and violent dictators are being toppled but we are all concerned with who will replace them and who will actually control those replacements and for what reason.  While we don’t seem to have any Martin Luther King Jr.s or Ghandis at the moment, we are seeing groups of people coming together as one in larger numbers on a global scale and acting as a unified voice so that one person does not have to.  But damn it would be nice to have a leader that cannot be bought again, too bad Obama couldn’t seem to fit this part of the bill.

So I guess my point here in is this.  We are all just humans.  While we have evolved in so many ways, we really haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on what it takes to truly be highly evolved beings with an understanding of consciousness and can’t agree on the right ways to move forward, but within in this mess we find beauty.  Without pain there is no pleasure, and peace and serenity are only truly understood when one has been far far from them.  Without the world I live in I can’t make the art I make and send out a message of life as I know it.  So tomorrow night, spend it with people you love and love you, do something good for someone else, and don’t forget to laugh and make love, because according to the Mayans this is your last year to do any of it in this life.  Yep stay positive, it will pay off for you when the shit hits the fan!  While this era of civilization is on its way out, we definitely are moving quickly into the next chapter.  Be happy you are here to witness it.

In passing this photo below is of a new painting so far entitled "A Conversation With Coletrane About Spirituality...", it is in progress and is will face opposite the "Conversation With Charles Mingus..." piece in the Altar/ Installation at Queens Nails Projects on February 4th.

Text, Art, and Photos by John Felix Arnold III         Middle Photo By Shaun Roberts