Trip at the Brain

Near the border in Switzerland

Near the border in Switzerland

What a grand month it has been!!  This post will be packed with plenty of goodies to digest, so hold on tight as we cover what’s new on the art/travel front of yours truly.

First off, I wanted to showcase the commission pieces I completed last month, these were both for the Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office in downtown Phoenix, AZ.

trainingroomThe first commission was adding new pieces to an existing painting I had completed several years ago.  “Sacrament” was created during my heavy geometric phase, and was purchased by one of my co-workers.  The painting hung in her cubicle for some time and when the new training room needed some art to make the room more inviting, she volunteered to have the piece displayed in the room.  The county wanted to add more pieces for this room, and decided to offer the job to me to add more pieces to this painting to complement the piece.  The new pieces were fun and offered a little bit of a challenge, since I had to remember which colors and methods I had used in creating the older piece. The completed works meshed with the original piece and these now hang proudly in the County Admin building.

jetsThe next piece to be completed for this job involved creating a pair of jets that were inconspicuous, and yet painted directly on the wall.  The location for this painting is also in one of the conference rooms, and in this case, I had to deal with a couple factors.  First off the wall was heavily textured, which became interesting when I started doing line work for the fine detail. Next, while I have done technical art before, I hadn’t really done any reproductions of mechanical art, and this was a great opportunity to take what I had learned in graphic design school and drafting and apply it in a real world application.

Overall, I’m pleased with the results and was happy to do these new pieces.  The next exciting event that happened occurred during my trip to Germany (more on that later), where I was provided the opportunity to show a couple of my pieces on the big screen in Times Square.

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The vehicle that set this showing up was See.Me, an creative support/sharing site that gives different artist the opportunities to show their work on a national scale.  The event occurred on July 24th, from 8pm to 9pm, and was attended by many artists as well as the creators of the site.  “Mea Culpa” received the bulk of the promotion as it was displayed across all the screens that were used for this event.  “Leather Wistfulness” was also displayed, but I haven’t been able to find a picture of that piece yet.  While I was not able to attend, the organizers were kind enough to photograph the whole event and the album is available on Facebook if your interested in viewing it.  A big thank you to See.Me and to my supporters who were able to vote and help make my art visible in New York for one night.

While this show was happening I was in Germany!  Thanks to my girlfriend, we had just flown into Frankfurt a couple days before, and were in Phorzheim when all this was happening.  The 10 day trip was well too short, but we packed in a lot of museums, castles, cuisine, churches, and walking while we were there.

photoOne of the highlights of the trip came during the first few days of the trip in the form of Pretzel bread.  The Pretzel bread from Pforzheim is well known, and I could see why.  During our trip, we never came across another variety that came close to the dough texture, taste, and experience that came with each bun.  A truly worthwhile experience I will have to repeat some day, but for now it will remain a favorite memory of my tastebuds.  We ate many breads during the trip, but this roll was hands down, the winner of all of them.

gigerWe also made our way down to the Giger Museum in Switzerland, and it was a mind blowing experience.  The size of some of his works, the layers, and the immaculate attention to detail made each painting a joy to behold.  Unfortunately, photography wasn’t allowed inside the museum, and I only have a few photos from the retail side, as well as a few pictures of the bullet baby and staircase outside.  The man was truly gifted and his museum pays homage to not only his talent, but also to his intense creativity and ability to present his vicious imagination onto canvas.  The trip was well worth it, although if you do go, stay away from the food in Switzerland, it’s way too overpriced and if you want to get get good cuisine, you have to pay a lot of money for it.

paradigmI stayed busy while on the road, and completed 3 new paintings, and started a new painting as well.  The first piece I completed was “The New Paradigm“, a new digital painting that I will have available as a digital print.  I really took the time to add a more highlights and shadows to this painting, while breaking up the monotone backgrounds with light splashes of color to accentuate certain features of the painting.  The quote in the painting comes from Richard Henry Pratt, an officer in the U.S. Army who also helped to develop the ideology and structure for Carlisle Indian School.  The model he used for Carlisle, was later adapted by other schools for cultural immersion and assimilation of native kids.

new1The next piece I completed on the road was “Arachne Rising“. A spray paint, acrylic, pen, pencil, commission piece for a new friend in Mannheim, Germany.  We actually had to find several stores in Heidelberg to complete this project.  We had to find a store that sold spray paints, check, we had to find a store that sold skate board decks, check, and last of all a store that sold art supplies, check!  The concept is based on a previous painting of Spider Woman I had done, and this version is referenced as the Greek goddess version, hence the name Arachne.  I chose to have my vicious smileys coming from her basket along with the swirlys and Spider Woman crosses.  This project was fun and it also showed me that I could paint anywhere, just give me the supplies that are present and I can make you a painting!

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The next painting I completed was in Gross-Gerau, Germany.  The surface I painted on a was an heirloom wood table for another friend.  She wanted a piece that was positive, and yet showed my existing art themes.  The project was completed in one day, and despite some problems with the humidity and running paint, I was able to complete “A Shared Thought“, using spray paint, acrylic and pen.  The final piece was then varnished to protect it and came out beautifully!

All in all the trip was way too short, and having coffee at small cafes, checking out all the killer graffiti in every city, to hiking up tons of stairs to see all the cool architecture, to walking actual castles, and soaking up the culture, land, and cuisine.  The Germany trip was awesome!!!  And now onto Santa Fe in a few weeks, I hope to see you there, and if your an artist, ask me about the collaborative show in March!!

Here are a few more panoramic pics, one of Heidelberg Palace, and the other Gruyere, Switzerland at the Giger Museum, enjoy and thank you to my girlfriend Katja, her parents, all her generous friends, Brotzinger Art Gallery, and my supporters for the event in New York!

heidelberg

gruyere

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Mid Season Round Up

The summer heat is here in Phoenix, and with that heat comes the summer break for 1Spot Gallery.  The first 6 months of this year have been hectic and rewarding at the same time.  We started the year with an all female show that showcased the talents of our local talent pool.  Our next show was a monumental exhibition that featured some of the hottest indigenous abstract artists in the Southwest. And we finished off with an amazing installation and show featuring my work, in an updated retelling of a story that spans many continents.  The Journey of Two Swords & Lotus, featured layered mixed media work on canvas, and features female heroines who undertake a journey for salvation and independence.

This first half of the year also included taking the first steps towards a book project I had on the back burner.  The momentum for this project was created when Katja Lehmann, asked to help me in this undertaking.  With her help we started the open dialogue with Twin Rocks Trading Post, and started photographing their archive of supporting materials.  It had been a while since I had last seen the original pencil drawings that started this evolution in my work as well as contemporary Navajo basketry.

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The project will culminate in a show next year, and more details will be forthcoming, but I’m glad to share the beginning stages of this endeavor with my readers.

I’m also proud to announce 2 new single run prints that will be available to my collectors.  These two prints will be limited to a single run, and will be displayed on alternate materials in archival quality.  Check them out and let me know if your interested in these new prints.

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“Root”

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“Techtonic Lover”

I’m also working on new digital works that will be available in the Fall, and am currently working on new commission pieces for the Maricopa County Treasurer and I will share photos of these as I finish them.

I will be posting new work as it becomes available via here, on 1Spotgallery.com, and on Facebook.  Thank you for your support and keep creating!!!

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The Journey of Two Swords and Lotus, debuting tonight at 1Spot Gallery

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The Journey of Two Swords and Lotus

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The first half of this year has been exciting, with plenty of shows and opportunities to explore indigenous art.  I’ve been pulling more gallery duty, and painting away when I can.  Hence my work weeks have lately been 7 day work weeks, sometimes I’ll take a Sunday, or a Saturday off, but for the most part I’m consistently busy doing projects that keep my life full and happy.

With our summer break approaching, and my gallery co-owner away visiting her sister, I decided to make it easy on myself for our May – June show.  My history with culture and mythology started at a young age, listening to my elders talking about Coyote stories in the winter, or playing string games with my cousins, the stories were ingrained with the activity and thus, the message was more meaningful to me.  Gradually as I grew older, my interest expanded into the current society driven entertainment and the cultural stories ended up being a winter phenomenon.

Fast forward to 1995, and I find myself in a small room, lined with books on Navajo mythology, the chantways, different ethnological books related to the Navajo universe.  The experience was akin to a tech nerd, taking apart his new purchase, and exploring what “was under the hood,” so to speak.  The Coyote stories we had been told were but a small part of the whole saga that is our creation story.

From the books, I found references to other cultures around the world and how their stories and myths mirrored ours.  These commonalities between people living continents apart always fascinated me, and I started doing more research on why cultures feel the need to have stories that inspire faith, to create a primer on living your life, and to maintain a balance with everything around you.

The Hero’s Journey was written by mythologist Joseph Campbell discussing this time honored method of storytelling.  A story could have 7 archetypes that would be common. 

1. A Hero

2. A Herald

3. A Mentor

4. Threshold Guardians

5. Trickster

6. Shape-Shifter

7. Shadow

The Journey of Two Swords and Lotus, will explore this theme, with 8 paintings that show a snippet of a pivotal moment from the story.  The pieces are all mixed media, with my signature layering style incorporated into the painting process.  Please join me as we unveil the show this Friday, May 2, at 1Spot Gallery in Downtown Phoenix.  The official opening will be on 3rd Friday in May (5/16/2014), we will have the show up for two months.  Thank you to everyone for their support and help, especially to Katja Lehmann for the help in organizing and marketing, and I will see you at the gallery!

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Phoenix Phabulous History Mural, the next scheduled display location.

Via Carol Poore, President and Executive Producer or the Phoenix Phabulous Experience:

“First Friday on May 2 – Pat McMahon to tell stories about the history of TV, radio and Wallace and Ladmo!

As noted, for the May 2 First Friday, the mural will be featured at the Arizona Multihousing Association office located at 811 North First Street. This building is located just south of Roosevelt and features a beautiful trade association space.

On Friday, May 2, you are invited to join us anytime between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., please note that TV and radio celebrity Pat McMahon will be sharing stories about the history of television, radio, Wallace and Ladmo, and a variety of stories about local news, people, places and issues during his long career in Phoenix. Pat will share his stories from 6:30 p.m. to about 7:30 p.m. and will take Q&A… so this will be quite a treat and entertaining for all.”

Check out the canvases for this project and keep an eye out for the next location if you cannot make it to this event.

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LA Canvas, Festival Pre-party – Los Angeles, CA, April 9th

Its my pleasure to announce that I will have a new painting at the LA Canvas pre-party in Los Angeles, CA, tomorrow April 9th.

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JOIN US AT THE FESTIVAL PRE-PARTY OF THE YEAR

featuring: 

ASTR (NYC)
w/ Tamara Sky, KITTENS, Alphagraph, & Bathhouse

If you’re like us, today isn’t really Monday. It’s actually Coachella-minus-four-days. And it’s become unbearably hard to concentrate on anything besides planning our outfits, speculating the surprise appearances, and hitting refresh in hopes that set-times have been released. Well, “here, here,” kindred spirits. In the name of music obsession, join us for our festival pre-party this Wednesday at Create, where much-hyped NYC-based duo ASTR will treat us with a live performance of alt-R&B meets lush electronica, and we’ll be doling out festival survival kits full of essential goodies for maximal desert recreation. 

WHENWednesday, April 9, 10pm-2am
WHERE: CREATE Nightclub
6021 Hollywood Blvd,
Los Angeles, CA  90028

SOUNDTRACK: 
ASTR (Live Performance)
Tamara Sky
KITTENS
Bathhouse
Alphagraph

FESTIVAL SURVIVAL KIT SPONSORS: 
En Crème | Keep Cup | 80’s Purple | Tavik |
 Champion | Haight Ashbury | ResQ Water | ZICO

ART SHOWCASE:
Benjamin Alejandro | Hero | Sek |  Damian Jim | Jaque Fragua | Erika Bijeljic | Darin Vartanian
+ more 

ENTRY:
Tickets are FREE when you snag ‘em here:
 
http://bit.ly/LACANVAS
(discount applied at checkout)

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Project Ethos and Abstract Abstract

Come stop by the “HotSpot” 1Spot Gallery tomorrow, we will continue to display “Abstract Abstract” for this Friday and the closing reception for that show will be on 3rd Friday in April.

We will also be in Scottsdale, AZ on April 5th, Saturday, from 8pm-midnight (1ish) celebrating with Scion Sponsored Project Ethos’ fashion/music/art show at the “W” hotel. Drop on by to show support and to check out the latest up and comers in the fashion/music/art world. Get it, get it!!

ESC 4-5-14

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