Who am I? In this experience of consecutive moments strung together in a seemingly random collection of chaos and connection that we call life, and moreover, reality, we have with great intent and purpose, posed the question and with all that we are as living beings, consciously and subconsciously explored the definition and answer to that question.
Who am I? In the eyes of strangers to myself I have been known to be an intriguing, eccentric, profound mystery of a persona, an artist of many expressions, painting, writing, cinema, philosophy, and at the core, perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the character I am to them is my ability to be all of these things so effortlessly.
In the eyes of my friends and acquaintances, I am all of those things, yet they have a more clear and concise view of what drives me. They know me as a man who is careful, yet in love with chaos, a man who has a deep passion and respect for possibility, to such an extent that I invest in the potential in others so that they too might see the potential in themselves.
In the eyes of my lovers, I am thoughtful, generous, kind, compassionate, and exponentially patient.
To me, my greatest work of art has been, is at this moment and will be, god willing, for quite some time to come, my life as a human being. I did not always have ambitions to be an artist. When I was a boy, I wanted to be a geneticist. My Grandfather, a prominent doctor in Atlanta and graduated atomic physicist would share with me in my childhood, knowledge of quantum-electro dynamics and genetic coding, among many other fascinating subjects.
As I grew older I found an overwhelming need to connect with others, to be social. I found it difficult to relate to others as most of my peers were into sports and school agenda, while I was contemplating riddles of the universe and how everything interacts with everything else. I have painted hundreds of paintings, sold them all over the world, written countless poems, produced a handful of short films, authored a children’s book and novel, and hosted events to showcase all of my works throughout my time. Knowing all of this I feel what is important is not specifically what I’ve done or why I do what I do, but what it is that I find enjoyable in what it is about art and creating that I find beautiful.
Painting is to me as breathing is to you. I see everything as a painting; it is my way of expressing my perception of the world. I am married to it. There are times I am in love with it and when I am painting, it is as if my soul were making love to the art form itself. There are times I hate it because there is only so much it can offer me. As we all know, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
When I step out of my studio, put down the paintbrush and pick up a pen, I find my mistress. I cheat on my true love with the written word. While I feel guilt and shame in betraying what I love and respect so much, I do find in writing, a certain vulnerability, an emotional understanding, and most of all a way to create what colors cannot.
Much as a man would have a wife and perhaps a mistress, yet his passion were working on a hot rod or his sailboat in his spare time, this is how I feel about producing cinema. It is my secret passion. It is something I feel inferior in and yet love to do. When I have the time, I run with it the only way I know how. The beauty in my film work is hardly in its content, clever as it may be, but it’s the process in which I go about producing them that I love the most.
Who am I? People spend their entire lives searching for that answer and the truth is that there is no answer. All that is, is all we have, it’s what we make of it that counts. We are all artists in our own right, expressing how we feel about what we are perceiving and our place in the universe.
Constantly trying to identify and label everything. At the end of the day, at the end of this article, even at the end of this sentence, I really don’t care who I am, because I am anything I allow myself to be, which, for every aspect of the concept, is creation itself.
Love for all of you,
It will always be you. I know this because you stir my heart like no other. Because in all my works of art, you are my fuel, you are the air I am breathing, and maybe I am the fool for loving you so very much, as I do, but how can one refrain from what compels him so? It's that between time and space, I still feel you, among the many, there is no hiding the real you from me, your eyes are still those lovely ones I know and beyond that measure my heart for you still grows. In words of yours, I can hear your song, and even now I can write and speak of you in such a way all the day is long. When we meet in the meadow, and I feel our souls touch, it's all I ever wanted, ever needed, and it's always just enough. I know it's you because for you I always choose to be patient and kind, to listen and heed to your wise advice. You're my mirror, my reflection, my love, and my resurrection. No matter how little the words I can gainfully employ to describe all that you are, you are more than the ever present sunset, you are my star.
That being said, let us dreamshift.
This year I have found myself. I sacrificed all that I had in order to do so, and with the love, kindness, and support of others, I was able to survive what the universe deemed necessary to find me bowing before its greatness. What i have discovered in the great expanse of all there is out there and within here, is a great and single truth:
The universe shall provide.
It may drag you kicking and screaming, undergoing tedious scenarios that inspire ample doubt in the plans of the universe, but always, always, always, everything you are going through is a part of something bigger than you, and you are so very important, as tiny and fragile as you are, so that the whole ordeal may be seen through. Whether you are living or dying, you being here to experience at all is just as important as an ant making its way or a star twinkling high in the beyond of which we dream upon.
Surrender to it. Believe in it. Trust it. It is why you are here and that deserves respect.
Now lets dreamshift again.
Here I am, with immense peace of mind, humbled by the universe, having a new respect for all that I am, all that i am apart of, and my individual place in everything, accepting that we are all of this status, in this way we are created equal, our bodies are each a temple built in honor of the great machine of the universe at work. It is our duty to honor the temple by taking great care of it.
The rest of my life will be dedicated to showing that appreciation for the vessel i have been given.
See you next year Feelgood Fans. I love you and thank you for your support. <3
Enter the Theater of the Womb. Day two of Skyin with me on paintbrush, Justin James on drums, and special guest Jesse Hahn. The video below is approximately 30 minutes but if you can make it all the way through it, you can witness how our magic takes place, unfolds, and blossoms into something tangible and beautiful.
This piece was particularly hard to make for strange reasons that can only be described with feelings of which there are no words to describe, yet upon its creation, its meaning came to light and made perfect sense, thus its name, Theater of the Womb.
A year following my showcasing at what used to be a venue on Rainey Street in Austin, Tx, I finally met the son of Danny Huhn. Danny happened to be in town from Germany visiting the owner of White House, the venue I chose to showcase at for my winter collection in 2013. We met there on the porch over a cigarette and clicked in that way like minded friends do. She makes frequent trips here for various reasons and this time we were able to meet again, her son Jesse along for the visit. Jesse Hahn is a delightfully talented 16 year old pianist, who lives and breathes his art. One of the rare youth of his age who seems to have his mind in the right place.
Justin and I, have on a rare occasion, brought someone else in on our Skyin art form, which I explain as an experimental art form where painting and music are created through conversations with one another. It is always interesting to subject ourselves to the sounds of other musicians, just as old friends might let a stranger take part in their usual conversation. It was especially exciting in that this musician came from an entirely different country. Danny took the liberty of shooting a few clips with her smartphone, you can see one below.
There are a few people who didn't go to ACL. I personally have never been. I'm just not interested in it and never have been. I would rather water and nourish a seedling than join a piss parade on plastic trees. Instead of attending the tinkerbot fanfare, I heard Danny was performing at an amazing alternative event. Ditch The Fest fest, which for $5, you can see something like 20 bands from 4pm though 2am at Scoot Inn.
That's an awesome deal if you're breathing or interested in basically anything at all. Did I mention it only cost $5?
Most of the line up consists of the next in line to be Gary Clark Jr famous. (Remember when he made a clean sweep at the Austin Music Awards? What a boss.) My point here is, if you get a chance to see any of these folks perform before they get super famous, its a story you can tell all the young people who are cool in the future and listen to older music, just like the amazing phenomena of when a young person jams Led Zeppelin or Miles Davis, about how you got to see them, throw a drink back with them, and see all that magical artistness that beams like lightning bolts from their eyes.
I met Danny over the summer at my dear friend Sheakaz's ( Kaz, for short ) birthday party. Every year, Kaz throws his own little KazFest, where he has a couple of bands he likes perform in his living room and all of close friends get together and do all that 'man we've been friends for so long it's awesome' good time kinda party stuff. Kaz invited Danny to come play, Danny came and blew us all away. I'll post that video some other time. At any rate, It was then that I became Dannyfan.
So here I am on a Saturday night and we all meet up at Scoot Inn to catch his Ditch The Fest fest performance and one song in, it starts to rain. Not a sprinkle, but a straight up downpour. You want to see dedication? I turned around and saw loyalty like no other. Fans with open arms embracing the rain, cheering for Danny to play, play, play! It was a magical moment. Watch him perform and you'd swear he was born with a guitar in his hand and a song in his voice. He watches his audience, as he sings, as he plays, his eyes are watching everything, his mind thinking, wondering, pondering all kinds of things. He feels his audience, hears their hearts and connects with them on such a deep level, with a sound that you can't help but move to. Finishing up a 30 minute set, he closed covering a soul riveting rendition of Tool's Aenima. We were dancing up and down in the rain while he screamed, 'Learn to swim, learn to swim!'. It was epic.
Here is his website. Buy his new album.
This video is absolute shit quality and doesn't do him justice, but if you're into his sound, you won't mind.
PS. Wish you were there.
The east side of Austin. Built upon the rubble of a rumored flag toting gang land, a hipster colony arose and defiantly segregated itself from the supercommercial imports and condo farming fun places of west side. Now, I don't wanna sound like i'm writing a tour guide's version of 'The Outsider's' but trends and hotspots move around as much as people do. Austin , much like techonology in the world, is growing faster than anyone can manage it. Where Rainey stole Dirty's thunder, and West 6th kept it's deep pockets despite trend storms, Rainey is falling victim to it's final tides now and a new scene is emerging where minority subculture empires flourished. You'll find a number of new venues opening up all over east side, many owned by bar/venue owners from west side, they took notice of a virtually untapped market, and believe me, they will tap it. Get those $2 or $3 drinks any day of the week while you can :) Now that i've indulged in sharing these secrets with you, let's get specific. What's cool about east side: You can talk to people. West side is all about, "ooh look what i've got and what clothes i'm wearing, and hrmagrjlkangnrkk;a" versus east side wear their sense of fashion seems to be kind of so subculture it can hardly be called fashion, but the people there, are what makes east side cool. Everyone is approachable and has interesting things to talk about. it reminds me of what Austin was about when 'Keep Austin Weird' actually meant something.
One night, a close friend of mine, the ever talented musician, Justin James Hanrahan, took me on an adventure to the east side, a place I had not really paid much mind too for a very long time. We probably hit 7 or 8 bars that night, met tons of people, and had a great time. The night ended seated at a picnic table with some people we acquired a few bars back, where we indulging in the splendors that come from Crazy Ricky's Dawg House. Who ever thought to put fried egg on anything is a fucking genius. If you've had drinks or not, order the bacon, fried egg, cheeseburger and know it's worth whatever heart problems you'll face later in life. I promise you.
I started playing around in my studio again after somewhat of a sabbatical. This painting among a handful of others were birthed and I felt the joy of what it is to create once more. I was planning an art show to be late this August, but suddenly decided against it. I doubt I will have one until next year. If I do it will be a private invite sort of thing as I prefer exclusive events over those which are mass populated. As an artist, it's important that I get to know the people who wish to take my work home with them, that we share a common value for what I have created and expressed.
Lately, I have been really diving back into my memory banks and exploring everything and everyone I was in my life. It's important to be consciously aware of one's past so one may know what not to return to as well as find inspiration for becoming more than one was ever before. In doing so, I've discovered a slew of concepts worth expressing and you'll see that coming out for my 2014 series release.
On an ending note, I'd like to give a shout out to all those who discovered their passions and courageously embrace them. Most people just settle for whatever is on television.