A visual narrative of my trip to Japan... Osaka to Kyoto to Tokyo, May 2016. Thanks to Juso Paint Dojo, Keiko Hakozaki, and the city of Tokyo.
Japan Travels and Art Adventures, 2016 Osaka to Kyoto to Tokyo
A visual narrative of my trip to Japan... Osaka to Kyoto to Tokyo, May 2016. Thanks to Juso Paint Dojo, Keiko Hakozaki, and the city of Tokyo.
Japan Travels and Art Adventures, 2016 Osaka to Kyoto to Tokyo
The show in Denver was excellent. The guys at Black Book Gallery are awesome to work with and I had a great time. It was also great to see FFDG's Rachel Ralph and my buddy Max Kauffman who is also my studio mate at the show who were both in town from the Bay Area. Got that Bay Love! I will post photos of the show as soon as I edit them but for now I am going to give you some randoms.
So fall is upon us. And my big show at Joseph Gross Gallery this November is approaching fast. I want to give a big major shout out to my super close artist pal Jet Martinez who is actually showing there next month! He is prolific and if you haven't checked him out yet get into it! And moving forward my solo show with work that is so fucking raw is opening on November 5th and I am so excited. I am also flying to Ireland shortly after that to see my partner in crime who is currently living in Dublin. I have never been and am definitely looking forward to it. Also get ready for some store updates and some new work projects I have on the way... all good things are coming.
this is my partner in crime ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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 am sitting on a couch in Raleigh, North Carolina typing to you post Bojangles Chicken Fillet Biscuit Combo meal and watching Constantine on HBO. Not a bad life. Actually compared to how life was at one point, an extremely fortunate situation to be in. Anyway, I successfully made my way from California's SFO Airport, with the early morning, rain covered, traffic jammed help of my love Julie Moon, to Raleigh-Durham's RDU airport at the very beginning of this month of December 2014. 2014 has been amazing, a exhausting, and hard fought, and full of love and opportunity and forward movement. Anyway, I ate my last In N Out burger meal in Cali for a while on the night of December 1st, and got to NC, then got back on a plane to go to Miami, did Art Basel for the the first time, and just now finally had my inaugural Bojangles welcome home meal. To say the least, after 8 years in the Bay Area, it feels very good to be back on the East Coast indeed. I will soon journey back to NYC to live, and begin the next big chapter of life, sobriety, and art making.
Art Basel was, well, like nothing I have ever experienced nor seen before. I can't even really begin to explain it nor truly even gather the right analysis and stream of thoughts about it now for it was something that was so new to me that it will take some digestion. It was, above all things though, fun. An adventure. Here are some photos to satisfy the curiosities of those who have never been and would like to go or those just wondering what the hell my experience there was like. I am only going to post a few as I am working on a larger story for a media outlet and my own blog here, but rest assured the thoughts and memory will come at you full force soon. Call this a teaser...
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.
Yes the moment has come and the time is nigh. Come lose your mind with us at the opening of my newest solo exhibition... "Excorrigia / The Scourge" premiering at Superchief Gallery (@Culturefix, 9 Clinton Street at Houston, in New York City's Lower East Side). The opening, hosted by myself, Carolyn LeBourgeois (who made the cross country trek with me) the whole crew from Sueprchief, Ed Zipco, Billy, and Tricky Yooth aka Patrick, as well as the owners of Culturefix and their rad gallery manager Josh Allen, will commence at 6pm and go until 10pm, Thursday, April 3rd 2014. The work is hung and I am so proud of this one. The works themselves are ready to be experienced as a full on visual narrative following The Scourge in the world of Unstoppable Tomorrow, individually to be felt and walked around inside of with the eyes and minds of the audience, and they are very ready to find homes here in NYC and beyond. Also Joel St. Julien, one of my family from the Bay Area, has helped me co produce a sound piece of intensely demonic and frightening soundscapes and textures that will no doubt bring the whole thing together, finished by a (human) sacrificial altar piece installation in the 2nd floor street window of the gallery space. Needless to say, I feel really good about this one and cannot wait to see what kind of response we get! See you there!
I stand before you today to tell all of you how excited it makes me to say this. If you have been following my sparse internet presence as of late, you have heard hints here and there of the news that I am going to be featured in the SFMOMA in downtown San Francisco. The SFMOMA Artist Gallery (their more contemporary and larger artist representation wing located at Ft. Mason) is in charge of curating the windows that face Minna St. and Natoma St. on the sides of the Museum itself in Downtown San Francisco. After making a personal goal years ago to myself of getting my work featured in these windows someday, it is happening. I have them for a year, and the first installment in a four part saga that runs from June 2013-June 2014 begins this June 8th. Beyond my wildest dreams this has become a reality.
This above shot is from my Birthday Performance Art Show at LeQuivive Gallery in Oakland January 16, 2013.
I will be running my programming in the three window bay units on Minna St. and using the Natoma side here and there as a background for performance work and possibly for intimate special engagements and explorations in new installation environments from the world of Unstoppable Tomorrow. The three pieces for the first installment of the Minna St. windows are complete. I may add some smaller relics and mixed media pieces to the windows as the date moves closer, but for now, these are the pieces. Two are brand new, and both as of yet un-named fully, and the third is in fact from July 2011. It is called Event Elation and has only been shown once here in the Bay Area (it was out of my grasp for a year due to unforeseen issues with a curator but is now happily back in my hands). So without further adieux here are images of these 8'x4' Mixed Media on Wood Panel Pieces!!!!
So yes, for those of you who read the last post I say thank you. It felt good to get that out to the world. So to continue on, last night saw an amazing birthday celebration, and the Unstoppable Death Machines with Laughters played a killer show at Michael Broberg's LeQuivive for my B-Day! I am super blessed to have amazing friends all over the globe who are talented as hell! Immediately coming up I am working on some things for SFMOMA, specifically the last painting for the three windows to begin in June. It feels good to be pretty far ahead of the schedule and on the last one so that Japan can come and go off with out the stress of finishing the MOMA work when I get back. I recently met two very cool art models that happily and generously offered their time and modeling skills for me to use as reference for the upcoming work I am creating. I am choosing from the photo shoot I recently did with them the image I will use as reference for this third piece to go in the SFMOMA. They are very good folks and I will gladly pass on their reference material to anyone who would like to contact them! The images in this post are for reference for upcoming work and are not to be used by anyone but myself or the models herein without our permission.
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.
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!!!!!