Archival pigment print on 300 gr Moab Entrada Rag Matte Fine Art Paper
edition size 50 Signed and numbered
“Prado” Hand Painted
30 x 40cm (12 x 15.5 inches)
Archival pigment print on 300 gr Moab Entrada Rag Matte Fine Art Paper
edition size 10 Signed and numbered
On a fluke I ended up in the south of France in 2005. One impression that has stuck with me all these years is these old hand-painted advertisements on the sides of building from generations ago.In Places like Béziers, Sete, Agde and Bédarieux there were these artifacts. Remnants of the past that have outlived their intended purpose. Signs from an era long gone, viewed as so insignificant that they weren’t even worth erasing. So they remained. There seems to be some parable there. “the star that shines twice as bright shines half as long…”
I’ve always been fascinated with decay. These things, in our environment, that seemingly limp along unaffected by the passage of time. Obstinate in their refusal to simply go away. Immune to their fading glory, they lack self doubt. They simply remain, it’s a strength that’s both surprising and inspiring. I wondered how long they would last? Would we be limping along as a species across the background of Liqueurs and coffee brands? Would these painted walls, after all is said and done, outlast us? I made the first of these for an exhibit at GCA gallery in 2017. This one I made in 2022 during the pandemic, when our future seemed less than certain. It hasn’t been the source of an entire body of work, it’s simply one of those ideas I can’t shake. What does it mean to endure? What is it’s value? At what point does the once discarded, rise and become priceless as an archeological treasure? Something common that transcends history, simply by lasting.
This is a piece I made at Fat bar in Paris in 2019. Kevin invited me and Nite Owl to come by one afternoon and do some pieces in the bar. I had no real plan that day and about halfway through the day I was out of ideas and nothing was really working. So, I tried to convince Kevin, I would have to come back the next day to finish the piece. Kevin wasn’t havin it. He told me he had to open the bar in a few hours and this needed to be done. So without the luxury of indecision I just pushed through it. It’s a funny thing. I habitually start projects very late, leaving myself almost no time to deliberate over things. Artists work in different ways, for different reasons. I personally have never benefited from ample time. I tend to become indecisive and 2nd guess everything. The work tends to suffer from too much overthinking. I am happiest with the results when I am forced to work in a sort of panicked frenzy in an effort to keep my word. This piece is an example of that, so I revisited it in the studio. Often I test things on walls and out in the public and if I like them I bring them back into the studio. It’s kind of an ass backwards way of doing things. It would make much more sense to experiment in the solitude of my studio and then bring the best results into the public, but there’s a sort of rush from risking public humiliation that I kind of enjoy.
Rachel Riot and I created these 2 one of a kind jackets that are now available on my site. I’ve made lots of clothing in the past, but mostly it was production stuff, we made runs of hundreds. These are unique pieces and I was able to spend much more time on them as they didn’t need to be repeatable pieces in a range of sizes etc. So the process, although it is wearable, was much more akin to creating a canvas than creating clothing. That part I enjoyed. The thing that always bothered me about production apparel was that I would have an idea that I wanted to create, I’d create it and then spend most of my time repeating the process over and over again, which is tedious and often some ideas weren’t realistic to make 100 of. So in this case these could be a lot more creative and the process was much more experimental.
The first piece, “Le Soldat Civil” Jacket
Is a deconstructed army jacket with hand embellished details. This piece I worked with both image transfers and stenciling. Much of the jacket was taken apart and reassembled in various ways. The process incorporated many things I truly love, photography, stencil, assemblage and collage. Jacket is signed by both Artists and come with a certificate of authenticity
100% Cotton Twill. Women’s XS/S (see measurements).
Neck: 16.5 in/42 cm
Bust: 34 in/86 cm
Waist: 32 in/81 cm
Hip: 36 in/91 cm
Center Front Length: 26 in/66 cm
Center Back Length: 30 in/76 cm
Sleeve Length: 23 in/58 cm
Spot clean or dry clean only.
The Second jacket,
“Manteau de Rasoir” Shirt – Eddie Colla x Rachel Riot Collab
Deconstructed wool army shirt with hand embellished details. Much the same process as the first piece and also a one of a kind. 100% Wool. Jacket is signed by both Artists and come with a certificate of authenticity
While I was in Bangkok, through the miracle of modern telecommunications I had the pleasure of chatting with Ron Cecil and Daniel Penner Cline for the Cutting For Sign podcast. You can hear the episode HERE or wherever you listen to podcasts. We had a lovely chat about art, writing and my uncanny resemblance to Iron Man. I really enjoyed chopping it up with these 2 guys and I hope you enjoy the episode.
These will go on sale Tuesday August 30th at 9am PST and 18h CEST HERE
Ambition Silver 18×24 inches (46x61cm)
2 color Serigraph on 100lb (270gsm) Cover stock
edition of 100 signed and numbered with certificate of authentication
These were printed with a metallic silver ink, because of it’s reflective nature the text changes depending on the angle of light and your position to the print. The paper used is 100% post consumer recycled and certified forest friendly from The French Paper Company in Michigan. The facility is run by its own in-house Hydro-electric power. This renewable power has avoided 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Surplus power is supplied to the local community. The inks used are water based solvent free acrylic.
We all need to start making better informed decisions about what we consume and it’s impact, even artists. Recently I have begun thinking more and more about the materials I use and finding some really good solutions and alternatives. I’m happy to be discovering better ways to print and better materials to reduce waste and pollution. I know this is a small step but a worthy step. As the consequences of climate change continue to have catastrophic results I will do my part to try to continue to find better solutions in my art process and give collectors something they can feel better about owning as well.
I had a good time making these hand embellished Ambition prints. There are only a dozen of them and each one has a unique background. These will go on sale May 20th at 9am PST HERE
Ambition – Spilt Milk Edition
18×24 hand embellished multiple 1 color hand pulled serigraph
Edition of 12 – each piece is unique
Signed and numbered with certificate of authenticity
Printed of French Paper, Kraft tone 100lb cover stock
This paper is 100% Post consumer recycled and FSC certified.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is a non-profit organization that sets certain high standards to make sure that forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible and socially beneficial manner.
“Fabric of a Nation”. This piece will be included in “Local Legends” at @mirusgallery opening Friday March 4th.
So, we often use this metaphor “fabric of a nation” to describe an underlying social order in a given place. In this country, the United States, we have spent the past few decades in a perpetual state of unraveling, reconfiguring and wearing some swatches of that fabric threadbare. This fabric is the battlefield. A war between fundamentalists and progressives or more concisely between: what was, and what will be. More recently it’s become a battle between democracy and some quasi autocratic fist-pumping pro-freedom (for some) disinformation campaign. So we tear, mend and re-orientate the scraps of the fabric, in an effort to make that fabric either more inclusive and fair or more exclusive and entitled depending or your position in the political spectrum. There are some, somewhere in the middle still sipping lemonade on a long summer’s afternoon waxing sentimental for the old 13 horizontal stripes and 50 white stars and a return to a simpler time. As if they are waiting for a storm to pass, waiting for the climate to cool and waiting for some strange antiquated white protestant leaning agenda to settle back into a lull of contentment. On the further ends of the spectrum are the fascists we fought to defeat 80 years ago and the progressives we in large part assassinated 60 years ago.
In the balance, the 3rd largest population and 4th largest land mass sit in front of phones tossing impotent insults, in a fog of disinformation, echo chambers and blaming. It’s a patchwork of failure and dysfunction. Eventually, that scale will tip. Either toward democracy, inclusiveness and grand aspirations or toward some romantic notion of a past that propped up “some” at the expense of many. Tattered as it may seem, understand that this fabric is still being woven.
On, Saturday October 30th from 3-6pm, at 5733 San Leandro St. Oakland CA, The Oakland Cannery Collective will exhibit their work in honor of Arthur Monroe and the remaining Cannery artists in an exhibition space, once an artist home and workspace, that has been purposefully left vacant by the new building owners in an attempt to weaken the community. The remaining artists have chosen to occupy and transform this vacant space. The exhibit will provide the public a sense of the impact of the Cannery Collective and pay tribute to art and Arthur Monroe’s community building.
There’s no “Their”, there.
Oakland has a protracted history of being a place without a “there”, without an identity, an ethos, an epicenter. This was punctuated succinctly by Gertrude Stein when she reduced her hometown to a one liner: “Theres no there, there”.
Before parts of east Oakland were selected to become the “there” of Oakland’s cannabis green zone- the city’s latest attempt at economic redevelopment- the creative community was here . Over the past 40 years these empty warehouses became “their” studios and “their” homes. They were here when there was no there. As in many of America’s most suffering cities when manufacturing pulled out, the creative community filled those voids. Where investment turned tail, accepted losses and bet on a different horse, the creative community became the custodians of entire swaths of abandoned places.
Artists took the detritus of the failing post-industrial cities no longer making brake pads, soup cans, or coat hangers and they produced culture. Our identities, as Americans, are wrapped in that culture, both when it is comforting and proud and when it is hateful and scarring. That culture is a record of who we are, and in that, it is profound and invaluable. Beyond the arts that flourished here, something else happened. The arts community reimagined the possibility of what these vacant properties could become. This is perhaps the most valuable result of these endeavors, they created their own affordable housing.
Arthur Monroe founded these spaces at the Cannery following a similar model he helped start in New York. These repurposed buildings became communities that served both the arts community and the city well. However, while the arts community viewed itself as a vital component of the city, the city viewed that community as a stop gap measure; place holders in the absence of new investment. New investment arrived in 2018 in the form of legalized cannabis. Men and women in suits gathered around a conference table at city hall to discuss the placement of Oakland’s “Green Zone”. They looked to east and parts of west Oakland and said “How about there?” As if these spaces were still vacant and still up for grabs. In that discussion a big part of Oakland’s creative community was all but forgotten. After 45 years they had yet to earn a possessive pronoun. Overnight, the spaces artists built had accrued in value exponentially. Artists, like those here in the cannery suddenly found themselves as an impediment to cannabis investors and a new gold rush.
For close to 4 years, the artists at the Oakland cannery have been enduring constant harassment, code violations and threat of eviction. Arthur Monroe passed away in October of 2019 under these conditions, fighting for the right to remain in the place he had built. Of the 20 studios in the cannery, 9 are now vacant.That number will be 11 in a few months. These vacancies are a result of concerted efforts by cannabis developers, who now own the cannery, to make our tenancy so unpleasant that we simply leave voluntarily.
This exhibit of Arthur Monroe and the remaining cannery artists is an effort to pay tribute to both Monroe’s art and his community building achievements, and at the same time give the viewer some sense of the breadth of the cannery collective . Not long ago, this exhibition space was a home with tenants. It has been purposefully left vacant by the current owner in an attempt to weaken this community. The remaining artists here have chosen to occupy this vacant space, and transform it. What better way to demonstrate and celebrate the ethos of Arthur Monroe and this collective.
The past 18 months, for me, has been a process of constantly adjusting and responding to external forces in an attempt to remain in balance. The results have been mixed, the variables constantly moving and my endurance waxing and waning. This has been perhaps the most trying time in my life, not because of the events that we have all experienced, but more because of what I have been cut off from. The world seemingly and slowly began to recede. I am not my own best company. It made me realize how much I depend on the external for inspiration and the experiences that fuel that inspiration. Like the man said “ all things are contingent and also there is chaos” which is to say… “Shit happens”
Balance in these times is both difficult to maintain and the margin of error narrow. We live in a time of consequences. I suppose this is a collective test of wills. I wish you all balance, some solace and all the required endurance.
This is something I think almost everyday, primarily because in retrospect it has been one consistent truism throughout my life. Almost nothing about my life was predictable, at least not by me. It has always evolved and changed as often as circumstance and environment. It is both a comfort and a warning. Moreover, it is simply an acceptance that all things are uncertain and always have been. In my mind, to get too far ahead of myself is futile because my predictions will almost certainly be wrong. This idea simplifies things for me; it forces me to start everyday where I am and be open to experiences that may seem to be interruptions of whatever I may have planned. Those “interruptions” are often actually catalysts. I’ve found paying attention to interruptions often leads me to places that my limited imagination had never conjured. The idea also reassures me in shit times that all things are temporary, and in good times that nothing lasts forever, so be present and enjoy it.
The piece itself is made from unintentional things. The background consists of butcher paper used to mask overspray; it was utilitarian, never intended as a work itself. The image was an outtake from another project that had nothing to do with this concept, a discarded image. Both were basically refuse. Also, I had planned on writing the title across the bottom in French. I have been studying French for a few months now and I thought it would be apropos to look back on this piece years from now and laugh that either I was a fluent speaker or had given up on French shortly after making this.
I asked a few friends to help with a reasonable translation and even that evolved over a few days. With different opinions and different phrasing and a lot of disagreement about an accurate translation. In the end I just wrote all the various notes at the bottom to demonstrate that even the translation, like the piece itself, had become something other than what I imagined.
So whether I am absolutely at the end of my rope or feeling invincible, I generally pause and tell myself “Wait. We’ll see what happens…”