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
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.
What a Year what a year what a year! This was probably my most focused year to date! When I established the production calendar for 2014 I was a bit nervous to be honest, anxious in a healthy way though. I found myself saying "Holy shit can I really do this? Can I really handle this entire chain of events and stay sane with a job and my AA program and all in between?" But it was a healthy thought, a positive forward looking sort of nervousness, an affirmation that I was meant to take this challenge and push forward! And sure enough, it all happened, and more that came down the pipe out of the blue, and honestly I have to say I fucking rocked it (Hahaha)! I definitely hit my limit, and it is good to know ones limits for sure. Needless to say, I will be in NYC in 2015, and Coby Kennedy and I are coming for you (hahaha)! Blade Runner Steez!
As I grow and change and move and progress and love and live, coming to understand ones self and ones strengths, ones weaknesses, ones limitations and once fierce powerful drive, to find those things that keep us going, to find those things we need to let go of, to find those relationships that hurt and those that help and nurture us is really at this point in my development what life is all about. It is this process of seeking that is LIFE to me. It is not how many shows I can do, it is not how many instagram followers one has, it is not how many things one can pile on and accomplish, it is not praise, it is not critique, it is not money, it is not recognition, it is not affirmations of love and working through loss; it is all of those things, it is every piece of the cosmic puzzle, it is the SEEKING that all of those elements are a part of, that creates the road map and the experiences and signs and guides and milestones and failures and successes and insights that one can truly manifest and become knowing of their own energy so as to continue seeking as a part of all things. We are all a part of all things in the universe, we are all connected constantly whether we realize it our not. It is how when I seek, when I concentrate inward my spiritual center can be found amidst and working through all of these things. It is simply to be aware, to be positive, to be seeking, and simply BE.
I have to say, the spiritual practice that I have come to find as the cornerstone of my life has really expanded and been investigated, and really is what saw me through this year and made me come to find what true happiness is. I can honestly say, this year I found what happiness truly is to me at this point. I had an awesome partner in this journey, my friend Jen, that I was fortunate enough to have come along for what we ended up calling TTT or Transcendental Taco Tuesday, where we explored some new heights and complexities and simplicities in exploring the world within our selves that is a gateway to the universe and all of its different dimensions and planes of existence. Needless to say, I say some visions, saw intricacies and portals, guides and animal friends, pure energy and the elements of creation and destruction and all that is everything and nothing. We also ate some incredible tacos and talked about life and the universe and contemplated our places in it all to an extent I have never really experienced with another person.
I experienced pure love like I have never felt before as I grew and learned and felt and loved with Julie Moon (the illest Piano player ever btw) and saw another person in recovery climb up out of the ego and the fear that is addiction and alcoholism, through trauma and pain, to find herself and help me find myself, and in the process find ourselves together. We experienced new heights in understanding, compassion, exploration of ourselves and each other. We found what acceptance, patience, intimacy, chemistry, attraction, arousal, sexual exploration and openness, respect, willingness, compassion and an utter devotion to one another's creative evolution and freedom, to understanding that we have to be happy with ourselves in order to love one another, to what respecting and truly loving another human being for who they are on all levels truly means. She is in Korea right now living out her own dream of seeking, and playing music, and re-investigating her homeland and confronting so many things that she needs closure and clarity and growth from. She is a force of nature and continues to be a magnetic energy everywhere she goes.
I drove across the country with an amazingly talented young tattooer and artist name Carolyn. We shared an intimate two weeks that people do not often get to experience. Intimate in the fact that neither of us had ever driven cross country and we established some incredible memories and a real friendship in the process. We got to see some family in Austin Texas as we hung with Terry Addison, saw Bob MaCready in Houston, Nathaniel and his amazing restaurant Boucherie in NOLA, hung with my mom and ate BBQ in NC and more. We ate our way across the nation and brought an incredible happening to New York City, building with Superchief and making life long bonds! And a huge thanks to John and Lizz for their hospitality and friendship! We will never forget that damn trip, or South of the Border! I further got to know Joel and Rhea St. Julien and there amazing daughter Olive as Joel and I made soundscapes and connected our creative minds on multiple projects. I appreciate that I have such an amazing family everywhere I go now!
Eric Araujo, one of my best buds that I met in SF, connected me with the amazing people at BRIC arts in Brooklyn for the opportunity of a life time to work with some incredible people during the winter vortex! Julie Kim and the Littlefield crew flew me out yet again to paint on of the best large scale paintings I have ever done. There were the great people at the Shooting Gallery that helped me realize the biggest show I have ever done with "Pilgrimage". "Champagne Tigers" at LeQuivive, hanging out at Old Crow with Sean and Evan and Victor, talking about the world with Dre and Bleu Cheese with Chris Burch. I went on a couple trips to LA where I got hang out with Stephanie Inagaki, meet Andrew Kline from CMHHTD and Strife, and finally explore the city with an open mind and heart which made me finally love that place! Spent some killer times with Salem OFA! I reconnected with Joseph Gross, and was so incredibly happy to see him thriving and doing great things with his gallery. We have continued to build and I am super happy to announce that I have a solo show with Joseph Gross Gallery in October of 2015! Joey is a intensely positive force in this world and will continue to do amazing things!
I experienced the most amazing send off I could have ever had with Rachel Ralph and John Trippe at Fecal Face as I closed out 8 years of living in the Bay Area with my solo show at FFDG, "No Destination". Lale Shafaghi helped spread the word and vision of my artwork to the big world we are a part of as we built a friendship. As things wrapped up, I came to an end of over 4 years of working with the best people on earth at Clean Water Action, a place that showed me that people do care about others and have a desire to work hard for a cause that aims to help others and the world as a whole. We had a lot of fun, and that job helped me grow up into sobriety and work hard with a sense of purpose. It also goes without saying that every moment I spent with my AA peoples in Oakland and SF and my rad Sponsor Bucky were great and vital to my development as a human being. Timmy the Optimist kept popping up with a lot energy and a great vision of things to come. Manley Tantuico and his amazing family facilitated the biggest commission I have ever done. They showed me a lot of compassion, friendship, and treated me like family every step of the way (and we have some designs for some things to come in the next couple years!). Birthdays, break ups, hook ups, sign up sheets, late night calls, early morning flights, babies being born, people getting married, Fed EX, memories worked through, new pain, new pleasure, new love, old habits broken, new habits made, great food eaten, its all life, and it's all important and amazing!
I sit here in Durham, NC, in the house I grew up in writing this, seeking, living, and loving the fact that I have been given this time in this world on this planet with all of you to keep moving forward and to be grateful for all of it. The good the bad the ugly and amazing... Everything is everything. My friend Jen and I will be living in the same place again soon and will continue our TTT vision quest. May Julie Moon continue to make the world feel deeply with her music and build amazing new heights as a person and my partner. May Chris Burch keep climbing the way he is meant to, opening the eyes of all that come into contact with him. May Alfonso Cosio Monique Delauney keep tying the Bay Area art world together and supporting the arts passionately and with all the energy they put out there in the world. May Dana James keep moving up to the sky tattooing amazing work and being the prophetic voice and compassionate person he is. May Rachel Ralph keep bringing intricate and beautiful conversations that involve all of us with FFDG. And may I continue moving to NYC, one of the places that raised me up to the man I am today, and where I shall call home again and continue seeking. To all those I didn't mention, you know that you are as important as anyone else in this world! May everyone have a full 2015 and continue to grow and evolve and change!!! We All Do This Together! Thanks to everyone for making the Unstoppable Tomorrow one that I am incredibly happy to be a part of. -JFA III 12/31/2014
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.
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.
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
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!
Bright On Time
"Bright on Time" is a collaborative Residency Project from John Felix Arnold III (USA) and Koutaro Ooyama aka Mon (Japan). The opening of the exhibition is the culmination of three weeks of intense thinking, work and collaboration between the two artists. Transcending language and cultural barriers the two artists have created a beautiful, fully interactive, and multi disciplinary environmental installation.
The piece utilizes the entire gallery space, in which you are invited to sit, lounge, stretch out, and relax on the sculptural structure, floor, anywhere. Enjoy the collaborative painting that wraps around the whole room, and zone out to the atmospheric sound work that will fill the space. Viewers are invited and encouraged to enjoy the Moss (Koke') pillows that have been hand crafted, and enjoy a state of introspective calm and creative relaxation inside of a world that is inspired by Japan's Koyasan Mountain and the idea of the ancient meeting the future to create a multi layered present.
The project provides the viewer a world in which you can have a moment away from the hyper activity of Tokyo to reflect and enjoy peace of mind and interaction with the artwork and one another. We encourage interaction, conversation, comfort, and any activities that one may feel inspired to enjoy in the space, so that you the viewer will become part of the artistic statement and larger piece rather than simply a "viewer". Please come and become part of our world. The artists will be at the event to entertain any dialogue and questions you may have and the night will be aurally graced by sound work made by "Felix" and "Mon". Drinks and snacks are also available and we anticipate a strong reception and party.
Reception and Party Begins at 7pm and goes until ?
Spes-Lab is located @ Mita 2-3-20 2F, Meguro-Ku, Tokyo, Japan 153-0062
Any press inquiries are welcome. This event is free.
So birthday was on January 16th, at which I celebrated 33 years on this planet earth. I had a blast. I was awarded a cake at 9:15 AM at my front door by my wonderful lady and proceeded to work hard at work, and then it was on to LeQuivive Gallery in downtown Oakland. My good friends the brothers Tucci, also known as the Unstoppable Death Machines, from New York City were in town and we had organized an awesome little intimate engagement with Guy Culver and Laughters, in the form of a rock show with myself doing a live painting performance on a strange found object installation format. We had an absolute blast and it was the best birthday of all time! Thanks to everyone who made it awesome!
So there are these things called "the promises" in this arena of study I am engaged in that are spoken of often and are a guideline that people work toward. Some may call "the promises" simply a better life in whatever way and shape it comes to you. A better life that one can be thankful for, can appreciate every atom of, and one that is fulfilling and enthralling because the one experiencing it is willing to put forth the work it takes to change things, be willing to accept the world as it comes, and do what it takes to better themselves and seek a future of productivity and appreciation for all things. At the age of 32 I am beginning to understand, or comprehend some semblance of this search, this journey for these promises.
2012 was the best year I have ever had, I mean that. I, for the first time in my life, felt what it meant to see years of hard work reach people, communicate on many platforms with people all over the world, create a better living situation for myself, and in turn afford me opportunities to continue to grow and learn and love the world I am a part of. Throughout 2012 I felt like a Phoenix finally exploding out of the grime and filth and sludge, the chaos and friction and anxiety and self hate, the self imposed fears and restrictions and bars that I had to evolve out of in order to get the perspective on my place in the world I have now. Suddenly things made sense, and the knowledge that so many things will never make sense became something I could swallow. I didn't have to wake up paralyzed by anxiety and fear of life everyday. The ability to be okay with the world no matter how one thinks it "should" be reconciled, to have ideas and opinions but be able to love life regardless of "if" those ideas and opinions matter or not and simply let life be what it is no matter the outcome is perhaps the biggest "promise" of all.
It is the difference between breathing or suffocating, loving or hating, being enveloped by fear of the unknown or embracing the unknown because it is what we are born from. And it took over a quarter of a century to have this way of seeing beaten, massaged, sliced, explained, recommended and finally born into my psyche. On the Wu-Tang albums I grew up listening to they call this "knowledge of self God". Thank you RZA and the rest for setting a young framework for generations to be influenced by.
So this all brings me here. It isn't even about me, but for intensive purposes I am the one writing this as I turn to a year further in the development of my spirit in the universe, as my body gets one year closer to its end. I really feel that the end of the physical will only be the beginning of a higher stage, but I will do the very best I can with this life as it is all I know and as I work toward a relationship with all things. I feel my physical being, every inch ounce hair fiber cell tingle. Getting older has been amazing thus far.
I have work up at the Shooting Gallery in SF right now as part of their Winter Group Show and I am honored to be a part of their movement in the art world as it helps to define, reinterpret, investigate, and communicate with the world we are a part of. I have work up at LOAKL Gallery in Oakland as well, and I am proud to be a part of the early stages of Ken Harman's new addition to the Bay Area art world as well as he will continue to thrive and spread amazing things to so many people. I will be in a group show at Ocean Avenue Tattoo in SF with my good friend SALEM on January 26th. In March I will be a part of a group show curated by Michael Cuffe who runs Warholian. Then it is off to Japan for a Month long residency at Spes-Lab in Tokyo.
And then in June the first installment of a year long program I have at the SFMOMA opens with three more series of work in the SFMOMA space going up each three months until June 2014. I will finally be having a huge solo show in the Fall of 2013 that will be my last big exhibition of the year and coincide with the second (fall) program I am installing at the SFMOMA. All of this is really happening now, and if not for every bit of life I have survived on this planet leading up to now, none of it would be happening. I am more grateful now for the life my parents created that I have become than I ever knew was possible. Many more updates to come very soon! -John Felix Arnold III, 01/15/2013 IPD FOR LIFE!
So first and foremost I would like to thank Kate Conger at SF Weekly for doing an awesome article and interview on yours truly and the world of "Unstoppable Tomorrow". It feels really good to open up about some of the finer and darker points of my life that has sculpted my art making to what it is today! She is a great writer, really made me dig deep and I do thank her for the opportunity to do this piece. It feels good to spill your guts sometimes in print. Here is a link, click on the image below...
Lastly, I have amazing news. I will be doing a residency at Spes-Lab in Tokyo in April of 2013, and then when I come back it is time to do my first installation of a year long program of the SFMOMA windows in downtown San Francisco. More on this to come!!! Things are looking good!
Christopher Burch and I descended on the new Book & Job Gallery on Wednesday, November 7th to begin our install of our Fall 2012 two man show "Found in Darkness". Exploring our own personal mythologies that comprise the focus of our work we embarked on this show in August of this year. Examining respective narrative architectures and linear framework, we began creating installations that reflect real environments within our imaginary worlds, both dealing with different reflections of contemporary issues of social problems, race, the environment, and a proposed future of humanity in our own tales.
We were able to create a conversation through our mixed media forays that not only blended and melded together well in the space but also pushed one another's practice to a new level of intricacy. Chris dealing with his modern day reinterpretation of the Br'er Rabbit Folk Mythos and myself dealing with all the legends and myths of the world of "Unstoppable Tomorrow" that I have created, we embraced the Book & Job Gallery with energy, drive, thought, and a sense of community and challenge. Our drawings and paintings spoke well with one another as our installation works tied the environment together into a dialogue of two strong minded individuals exploring their own tangible realities in this world together through imagination and practice.
Guy Culver also helped organize a wonderful show of musical talent. Chris Danko of Religious Girls performed an awesome piano solo. Then Guy Culver and his drummer Ringo performed their punk influenced, electronic, synth heavy, hard hitting electro fuck fest of beats, noise, and beautiful screamo moments of chaos as Laughters.
Carson Lancaster, the man behind Book & Job Gallery, did a great job of orchestrating the evening and the install and was a pleasure to work with as well!!! I recommend working with him to any other artist that may be interested in contacting Book & Job. All in all it has been a great experience. Thanks again to Chris for inviting me to be a part of Book & Job and creating yet another killer show with me. -Felix
So here it is. My last show of the year. And what a year it has been. In brief, Christopher Burch and myself will be exploring our own narrative mythologies that run through out our respective bodies of work, coming together at the Book & Job Gallery in San Francisco to allow them to create a conversation within the space. Paintings, drawings, sculpture, mixed media, and collaborative installation work will bring the viewer on a journey through the space that illustrates how past and present allow us to construct our own mythological tales that will continue to evolve well into the future. I am very excited to work with Chris again, especially after he just did a major project in St Louis and is in zone, exploring his vision. Myself coming back from a bit of downtime after "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" and then Japan, am really looking forward to finishing off the year on a strong, a bit smaller, and more refined tip. This is great way for me to put a solid and concise close on 2012, which has been a monumental year, and give a little bit of forecast for things to come! The show opens Friday, November 9th from 7-11pm at the Book & Job Gallery which is located at 831 Geary St. in San Francisco. See you there. - John Felix Arnold III
I ended up taking a great reel of great production and progress shots of "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" at Old Crow Tattoo & Gallery, and some good photos of the openings. Him Downstairs performed Saturday night and then Sunday was Unstoppable Death Machines and the Laughters. Count Z-Bop was even hanging out. It was spectacular! I hope you all enjoy seeing the install process and the final product. -Felix
Tools, Wood, things to make the magic with.
Motocycle piece "The Great Debate" just finished moments ago.
The organ was a good find, thank you urban ore.
Viking Ben lending a hand.
Arial view compliments of Terry Addison.
"In Memory of..." series.
Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet Relic Remix.
D Young V looking wild!
Nadia and I flossin!
D Young V and I representing.
We all love to see ZeeZee!
The most amazing couple alive.
Joel Tarman back from Palesien with Rhea St. Julien.
Fuckin New Yorkers!
"The Great Debate"
Joel and Rhea St. Julien aka Him Downstairs.
Ara Christina Jo being awesome as usual.
How did everyone at Old Crow become so damn cool? Dana James looking tough on the bike piece!
Dana James fully suited up for the world of Unstoppable Tomorrow.
The lovely Chloe Crossman with the coolest hair dew of all time.
Eric Araujo is one of the most solid individuals I have ever met. I don't say that lightly. He is highly intelligent, driven, has his feet planted firmly on the ground, and makes incredibly well executed, thought provoking, and interesting art. I met him at SFAI during my one year of grad school there, and we immediately became friends due to our mutual inability to understand the West Coast given our native East Coast upbringings (LOL). We have remained friends and peers in this crazy art world, and he was instrumental in helping orchestrate the show "Eat Peter to Feed Paul" with Christopher Burch in myself in Brooklyn this past March 1st. So with that being said, he has a brilliant show opening tonight at one of my favorite Brooklyn destinations, Julie Kim's Littlefield venue and art space. Big congrats goes out to Eric for this show and I look forward to seeing it unveiled this evening. Eric is going to go many places in lands afar with his no bullshit work ethic, forward moving attitude, and incredible bubbling talent. And just as a heads up about the guy, I don't usually say this but its important to me, the dude can draw his ass off!!! I am not sure if he is going to have drawings in this show, but for the record, dude can truly use a pencil and paper! Good luck with all of your future endeavors sir. All the info for the show is explained and listed int he press release below. Also check out his site at http://ericaraujo.com/archivesite/home.html
Sometimes I haveta use this blog to just speak my damn mind, cause its like a bubblin pot of gumbo ready get eating and savored and shit, and analyzed and rethought. This has been a pretty amazing ride in a short amount of time entering 2012. I haveta say life has thrown more at me, good and bad, than almost any other time in my life, but the amazing part seems to be this new found ability to cope, handle, stay on task, and move forward positively instead of falling back into old habits.
Sometimes I agree with the phrase youth is wasted on the young, but right now I don't because I am not that old and because I am glad I did all (almost all lol still have those selective "what ifs" for sure that I know I will hold onto for a long time) the things I have done and walked through all of the fire as well as ice cream cake I have in my life. This show coming up in New York (Eat Peter to Feed Paul @ Littlefield) and the show I just had in SF (The Love of All Above @ Queens Nails) are really a grounds for me to give appreciation to both places for really nurturing me through some of the best and hardest times I have ever known. SF was a good foundation for me to lose it, in everyway (shit got dark yo lol) then rebuild, and New York was a beautiful pot luck of inspiration, temptation, and trial and error that I get to thankfully go give back to now with a good head, and right fit mind on my shoulders. In other words I am ready to fucking rock this show in New York, not in a overblown big headed way, in a thoughtful, right step, calm and collected, do it well and go hard sort of way. I asked God (my god at least) to please help me get back there someday when I first moved to the Bay, and now after years of becoming a much more "fit to live" person, it is all happening.
I know a lot of people who are very close to me right now that are going through some tough times, very tough times, myself included to a certain degree, and I want to make this trip and this show an experience that demonstrates how appreciative I am for my life and those around me that make it amazing. We are all in this together, and we have to do all of this together, there is no other way to truly make things amazing. Self will only gets one so far. Building with others and living in love, or at least appreciating the little things and the big ones and always trying to make others know they are appreciated is what makes movements and creates change on a massive scale. I am coming home New York, get ready because it is a whole different approach to getting on that tar mac this time. Much Love to Everyone, they know who they are! NGO! John Felix Arnold III
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.
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)