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,
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.
'We Grow Together' was a piece I created a few weeks ago when I first started work with Justin James at his drum studio. We began to explore something neither of us an artists had done, seen, or even heard of before.
While he played his drumset, or keyboard ( sometimes at the same time ), the music fueled my paintings, and in perfect exchange, what I was painting fueled what he played. Then we discovered there could be a language between sound and color. In our discovery of both science and art, we began to have conversations through our art forms, with one another.
We gave it the name, 'Skyin'. It's levels beyond the technical showboating of Jazz, it goes beyond modern art abstractions, it's a collaboration of both music and painting, both gaining from one another, the product produced is the energy between the two while it's being created, not necessarily the music recorded for later listening or the painting when finished.
'We Grow Together' was painted in approximately 13 minutes, (the time lapse video shown below cuts your watching time down to 3 or 4 minutes, for your convenience) and is a wonderful example of how when we begin Skyin, there is no intent or idea initially, its just feeling what's out there, feeling the universe, going with it, embracing it, growing with it, acknowledging your gift from the universe and giving thanks, showing appreciation by using your gift in wonderful effortless gratitude. When you really feel thankful for how beautiful life is and how amazing it is that we're here to even feel all, creating has no rules, no boundaries, it's just you and the expression of creation.
When I look at what I created with the musical collaboration of Justin James in this painting, it depicts the essence of the individual's relationship with the universe and the grounded bond between the two and how they grow as one through that tie.
More vids, art, music, and discoveries to come.
Art is the reason for every moment. Live that.
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.