A few months ago I was asked to do a mural for the film “Fruitvale Station” which is about the killing of Oscar Grant and was released this week.
I had done a few pieces regarding those events in the past which some of the people at Weinstein Co. had seen and liked.
I have some pretty strong feelings on this subject and it had a deep impact on the community I call home (East Oakland). I drafted several layouts of what I was going to do, all of which were very similar to the work the film makers had seen. We had a few debates about the appropriateness of merch (t-shirts, stickers etc.) and also hashtags being included in the mural. I also suggested that the mural be in Oakland and not San Francisco. I was told that they didn’t want to do it in Oakland because it may cause a situation and this was a very hot button issue in Oakland.
After a lot of back and forth, I received an email with a list of requirements that were apparently from the director Ryan Coogler and not from Weinstein Co.. Essentially, I was told that my image was too dark and negative and there was a concern about upsetting people, particularly in the bay area. In my opinion if you tell the story of an innocent, unarmed black man being shot in the back by a white police officer while restrained and people are not upset and outraged than you haven’t told the story correctly. People should be upset, very upset. There was also a list of “cannot’s”
- show pictures of anyone but oscar
- have a gun
- focus the issue on the trial or his murder
At this point the mural could not in any way make reference to Oscar Grant’s murder or the police. The film (which I have seen) is about Oscar Grant’s death. Had Oscar Grant not been murdered, Mr. Coogler would not have made this film. Had Oscar Grant been murdered by another young man, a civilian, this film would not have been made. To my mind to exclude the murder and the police from my image would be dodging what is at the core of this issue.
There was also a list of objectives that were just ridiculous. “ The piece should come from a place of love”, “The piece could see to connect us all, and show how we should all care about each other”
I’m not sure where I was suppose to find love in this story. I didn’t know Oscar Grant, so I certainly could not have loved him and for me to somehow feign an affection that didn’t exist seems ingenuine and disrespectful. I am also not sure how Oscar Grant should be used to make us all feel connected and care for one another. There are a lot of deep seated reason that people of color are predominantly the victims of police brutality. There are also a lot of reasons that justice is rarely served in these circumstances. I feel pretty confident that those reasons are not a simple lack of care for one another. There didn’t seem to be any interest in confronting the issues or affecting the audience (of the murals) and I had no interest in doing what was starting to feel like a big elaborate inaffectual movie poster.
So I quit the project.
So I got a call from Zoltron, actually you don’t really get calls from Zoltron. So I get a call from a guy who sounds like John Forsythe on Zoltron’s behalf. He asks me to be part of The Primus Spring Poster Series along with
And a whole bunch of other heavies. They asked me to do the poster for the Missoula Montana Show At the Wilma theatre. I wanted to do something special that really expressed how I feel about Montana, so I did an image of Hong Kong.
Here’s the poster, Which goes on sale HERE at 9am on May 14th
There’s also a Hand embellished variant of 5 available HERE
Another brilliant project from the darkness of Zoltron’s mind.
Follow the whole poster series On Zoltron’s Blog
David Young and I painted this 69 El Camino last january, we finally had a chance to get some footage together of this beast in action. A little inspirational driving Video…..
I have new “Air Kowloon” multiples dropping on monday March 25th @ 1xrun.com. There are 2 editions available, A hand embellished, collaged and distressed wooden box and a limited edition Print.
The boxes are birch wooden boxes 12×18 x 1.75 deep. They are all unique. Individually collaged and embellished there are 25 available. These were pretty time consuming to make. Each box is collaged with an archival glue and sealed with acrylic. The base is then painted with a shellac based paint and the image is sealed face down onto the box. The next step is to remove all of the paper from the original prints until the only thing remaining is the pigment. The bowes are then embellished again with an amber shellac and sanded and distressed and finally sealed with acrylic.
D Young V, Hugh Leeman and myself are preparing up for our opening of Epilogue at Hold Up Art Sept. 8th. On Sept, 4th our first collaborative work will drop at 1xrun.com. It’s a limited edition (30) print hand embellished by all the artists. Each print is unique and the edition number is incorporated into the design of each image. Get it here
There will also be a 2nd color way available opening night at the gallery. A super limited edition of 10
After a few weeks of literally everything on facebook breaking, it finally occurred to me. It’s fucking designed to break, to constantly be confusing, to add features, move features and remove features. Some days you can’t change your profile pic, some days you can’t create a new album, etc. Facebook is working on the principal that if something is frustrating, a challenge and won’t do what you need it to do, you obsess about it.
This makes perfect sense given it’s creator. Prior to 2005, Mark Zuckerberg was a guy who couldn’t have gotten laid in Bangkok wearing a suit made of $100 bills. His whole mindset and in fact his motivation for creating social networks revolved around rejection. So it’s should be no surprise that he created facebook to be exactly the thing formed him, something that is sort of unattainable and fickle. You can post photos, but it’s a pretty shitty platform, you can post video again a mediocre platform, you can do a lot of things, but in the end they are all kind of half-assed and unsatisfying. Zuckerberg basically designed the girl who kinda flirts with you but will never sleep with you, something you are drawn into because you can’t really ever have it. That has to be by design. It’s unrealistic to think that level of ongoing incompetence would be tolerated at an operation the size of facebook. It’s a dangerous thing to let the socially retarded throw a really big party.