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Stick It To Me

March 4th, 2013

Stick It To Me

Itís been a little while since I last posted. I just got back from 5 days in Vegas for the Travel Show; Iíve been consumed with work.

For the past month during my morning walks, Iíve been placing stickers from my LITTLE Pop series out into the public streets of LA. In doing so, Iíve come to recognize quite a few artists and have become a little obsessed in collecting these street art stickers. Carefully, I peel them off and have started a scrapbook collection.

With my own stickers, I place them mostly on street signs; afterwards, I photograph them. I find a sense of humor in it. This morning, I took the photo featured here; itís titled ďQueen and Her Dog.Ē I can only imagine Queen Elizabeth picking up after her dog.

Aside from taking photos of these stickers/signs, I havenít done any new work. For now, itís OK, Iím having a good time doing this. Quite a few of the stickers I've come across have sayings on them. My personal favorite simply says "Bankrupt Slut." The idea of a slut being bankrupt makes me laugh each time I come across it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "It is said that the world is in a state of bankruptcy, that the world owes the world more than the world can pay." Though this was written many years ago, it applies more so now than ever before. If only each one of us could pay it forward a little more often than not. Give back.

Have a beautiful week.

Handicapped Pope

February 18th, 2013

Handicapped Pope


It was only last week that news broke out that the Pope was resigning. Honestly, I was kind of happy. Any upheaval within the church reminds me of why I left it. There were too many questions and no answers in return. I was 17 years old when I told Papa that I was no longer going to church. His look told me that he wanted to hit me, but he didnít; he just walked away. It was a turning point in a young mans life now non-Catholic life.

Who knew that 28 years later Iíd be staging a short-lived campaign for a transgender woman for Pope! Amanda Lepore for Pope! The Popeís resignation inspired me to create this mini campaign when going to Evita, in Hollywood, last Tuesday night.

And because of this little idea, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Amanda. Over the years, Iíve done many works of art inspired by her. Sheís a muse in my life and I wish I could know her better. I especially love her courage to be herself; itís inspiring to be different and to honor that difference.

For the evening, I made a digital image taken from Jason Wuís doll of her. I inserted a gold cross and the papal hat. Oh how I would love to own one of these dolls, but their either impossible to get or super expensive. I am, however, lucky to own the Swatch by David LaChapelle with Amandaís face on it; itís genius!

On the back of my leather jacket I ironed this image that read ďAmanda For Pope.Ē After a few photo ops, I gave her the jacket. I hope she wears it proudly. I also handed out stickers, but my campaign for her as pope ended rather quickly. I was empty handed within minutes; I should have made more. Would have been cool if everyone had been wearing one.

During my morning walks for the past couple of weeks, Iíve been plastering stickers in my neighborhood with different images of my LITTLE Pop series. The image featured here is a photo of the same sticker I handed out at Evita. I call it ďHandicapped.Ē Many years ago, Amanda's decision to transition in a woman may have been considered a handicap or even a mental disorder. Nowadays, it can be revered as an act of courage and honesty. Thank you Amanda for being you.

I like the idea that each one of us, in one way or another, is handicapped regardless of who we are or we think we are, this includes the Pope. And so maybe instead of feeling happy for his resignation, Iíll think differently and remember that he to is one of us; he too is human.

George Orwell said it perfectly, ďThe essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.Ē It's easier said than done, but words to live by nonetheless.

Time FLIES

February 11th, 2013

Time FLIES

Lately Iíve been thinking about time. Does it fly or does it stand still? Weíve often heard the age-old saying, ďTime flies when youíre having fun.Ē But am I really having fun? I believe so; Iíve had 45 great years of life! Itís been an interesting ride; I wouldnít change a thing.

I canít remember the last time I felt like time stood still. It may have been almost 15 years ago when I first moved to LA. I had the privilege of meeting a fly on the 2nd floor of Barnes and Noble in Santa Monica. The little fly flew over to where I was sitting and while I read a book, he kept me company. Itís a simple moment in life I will never forget. For months afterwards, I kept going to the same place and sitting in the same spot. Each time I felt calm; I felt inspired.

While on my recent trip to NYC, I came across a book called ďThe Life of FlyĒ by Magnus Muhr. I laughed out loud when I opened the page. I kept laughing as I kept flipping through the book. I had to have it; it was too funny and it reminded me of my own Mr. Fly, as I came to call him.

The simplicity of this book got me thinking about art and the amount of time spent on creating any works of art. Is the amount of time spent relevant to the value of art?

The masters spend years on paintings that I canít imagine doing myself; Iíd never finish anything. Plus, Iíd be dishonoring the spirit of who I am and how I live my life. Someone once told me not to reveal the amount of time I spent on my art. Honestly, some of my Little Girls took less than an hour to create. And some of my all time favorite pieces are the simplest, the oneís that happened without any effort and hardly a thought. Does this take away from their value? I hope not.

When thinking about time and art, the first person to come to mind is of course Keith Haring. His work was simple, beautiful, and meaningful. He once said, ďMy contribution to the world is my ability to draw. I will draw as much as I can for as many people as I can for as long as I can.Ē Ah yes, I feel the same way! In honor of his spirit, the piece here is titled, ďDik.Ē Itís from my latest LITTLE Dick series. I think Keith would appreciate the sense of silliness and simplicity.

Cheers to you Keith! (If only I could have been a fly on your walls).

Dicks Cocks and Penises

February 8th, 2013

Dicks Cocks and Penises

I woke up this morning thinking about thingsÖ dicks, cocks, penises, pee-pees, wieners, weenies, pingas, vergas, organs, man hoods, horseys, schlongs, sausages, packages, its, you-know-whatís, you name itÖ (Actually if you can think of any other names, please let me know.)

It feels like Iím being called to do a new series of artwork. Could it be that my lack of sex, for almost 3 years, has lead me to this moment, possibly! It must be God sent. He created us; he created it. For the past week, Iíve been doodling dicks, cocks, penisesÖyou name it.

This morning while on my walk, I was thinking about the series and I started realizing that possibly it has to do with having had sex at 7 years old. I was still a little boy, but after sex, I became obsessed with these things, dicks, cocks, penisesÖyou name it. At this time, the details of that first moment are irrelevant, but I know that my life took a different course, none that I regret of course. Especially if itís led me to this moment and this NEW concept, which I donít have a name for yet. For the moment, Iíd like for the series to come from that innocent place, almost to the moment in time right before I did the Ďdirty deed,í because it did feel dirty at the time.

The piece here is titled ďEggs and Sausage.Ē It was the first thing I did after opening my eyes this morning. I did it on my IPAD, but Iím thinking of doing large acrylic portraits. As I move forward with the series, Iím curious about where it will take me; I love this newfound sense of curiosity. Itíll make life interesting!

After years of having gay sex, I wonder if itís possible that the series can remain playful, uncomplicated, and possibly innocent? I believe so. I hope so. Ernest Hemingway once said, ďAll things truly wicked, start from innocence.Ē If for whatever reasons you happen to find this series, (of dicks, cocks, penisesÖ you name it,) wicked, it Ďs not meant to be shocking, but hopefully a little thought provoking.


Because after all Iíve been through, Iím still that little boy who used to LOVE new erasers on my #2 pencils.

Sid And Coco

February 6th, 2013

Sid And Coco

OK, so Iím a few days late, but here is what I meant to post on Monday.

What do Coco Chanel and Sid Vicious have in common?

Nothing that I know of other than they both had a great sense of iconic style. And with a simple Google search, I come to find that back in 2011 designer Kinder Aggugini launched a line of womenís clothes self described as Coco Chanel Marries Sid Vicious. A-ha, so Iím not the only one that sees them together. Makes me wonder what a dinner conversation between them would have been like? If Coco were to say to him, ďIn order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.Ē I think Sid would have listened closely. Heís the ultimate icon when it comes to the punk era; he was definitely different! And to this day, defines a look that is irreplaceable.

A few days ago, while working in NYC, I also came to find out that in May, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is going to be exhibiting Punk: Chaos to Couture. Iím so excited! Iíll have to make a special trip especially since I just finished reading Sidís biography Too Fast too Live. It was short and quite sad. (Odd Note: The story goes that when a woman asked him to fuck her because she wanted something to remember him by, instead of fucking her he shat on her.) I don't hink Coco would have approved.

In wondering what to read on my way back to LA, I remembered having seen Coco Chanelís biography at Chelsea Market bookstore. When I went back to purchase the book, I instead found ďSeven Days in the Art World" by Sarah Thornton.Ē 50+ pages in and so far itís been an interesting read about the art world. It makes me wonder about my own career? Is it worth it? Will I receive recognition? As I keep reading, I hope Iím not dissuaded, but rather inspired to keep working on my art regardless of any success.

The portraits here are of Sid and Coco, it kind of sounds better than Sid and Nancy. I had forgotten about Gary Oldman and Courtney Loveís performances; they were both brilliant. Again, thanks to the Internet, I saw for the first time Sidís original performance of "My Way." I wasnít too impressed, but nonetheless Iím still a fan.

But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

There is no other way to live our lives...BE DIFFERENT!

Got MLK

January 21st, 2013

Got MLK

In thinking about what to write this upcoming MLK Day, I thought Iíd repost what I wrote last year. I couldnít say it any better. It started with a dreamÖ

Burr!!! Happy MLK Day. (And Inauguration Day.)

I had a dream last night. Definitely not like the one Mr. King spoke of almost 50 years ago. 

I dreamt of myself as a little 6-year old boy unknowingly riding on a bus with an older version of myself. When little me went to tell the bus driver that I needed to pee, he told me to go back to my seat. An innocent bystander came over to help and without a thought, the bus driver opened the door, and while the bus was still moving, he pushed us both out! The remainder of the passengers gasped as little me and the innocent bystander rolled onto the concrete, blood everywhere. 

Suddenly, I was now not only observing the dream, but in the dream. I was now the older version of me in the bus. I stood up and yelled to protest his cruel act of violence; I immediately asked for everyoneís assistance. I got very little help and so I got off the bus but I was already too far away from the crime scene. In the end, there was no resolution, the dream got weird and I donít remember the ending, ugh! 



This morning I woke up and decided to read MLKís ďI Have A DreamĒ speech; I read it word for word, as I had only done so once before when reading his autobiography. After all these years, the words are still powerful. They reminded me of all the inequality that still exists in our country, our world. The one phrase that caught my attention was ďwe cannot walk alone.Ē It sort of summed up everything. How often do we get consumed into our little lives, not realizing that we do not and cannot walk this earth alone? We, each and every one of us, are all connected, past, present, and future!
(Rather than post last years image, (Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness), the piece featured here is titled, ďMLKĒ). In his speech, MLK quotes this Ďunalienable right.í Thereís that little me that just doesnít understand how such a simple thing cannot be granted to us all. How does it all get so complicated? And in one simple answer, I think religion really fucks us up and keeps us from uniting as one world. 
(Obama- to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.)



John Lennon said it best:



ďImagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for 

And no religion too 

Imagine all the people living life in peace 



You, you may say 
I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one

I hope some day you'll join us 

And the world will be as one"

Id Rather Be a Circle Than Square

January 18th, 2013

Id Rather Be a Circle Than Square

So I woke up this morning and thought is it really Friday again? Where did the week go? After almost 45 years of life, I've been lucky enough to live 2,312 Fridays in my lifetime!

A few weeks ago while waiting in line to purchase a copy of 1000 Portrait Illustrations by Julia Schonlau, I found a perfect book waiting for me. It's called You Are A Circle by Guillaume Wolf. Itís a visual meditation for the creative mind. I believe God wanted me to have it. Yesterday as I flipped open to a random page for my daily dose, it said, ďIf you think you know everything, youíre dead as an artist.Ē I laughed out loud as I had just been writing about thinking too much. I think this applies to not only being an artist but to being alive, period. We can never know everything. Thereís no need to, otherwise life would not be worth living. How dull would life be to NOT ever learn something new?

Aside from the beautiful blurbs inside the book, I love the title! I like the idea of me being a circle. Iíd rather be a circle than 'be square.' With my latest digital series, Iíve become a bit obsessed with dots. Itís like the book was written for me. The portrait here is titled ďEinstein.Ē I love the silliness of the original photo. I like to stick out my own tongue as well; it reminds me of being a little brat. Einstein once said, ďThe difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.Ē It sort of applies to what Iím trying to say. Though I think of myself as being intelligent I donít mind feeling or acting a little stupid. I kind of like it. If, for example, I donít know something, like the meaning of a word, Iíll ask a question. Thereís no need for me to pretend to know something when I donít know. It's one of those things I like about me.


Iím looking forward to tomorrow. I get to spend it with two loves in my life, Alex and Vero. Weíre going on a hike in Griffith Park. Itíll be my 2,312th Saturday. And with them, I can be and act as stupid as I want; they love me anyway. I love them back; itís a big circle of unconditional love. Maybe love does make the world go round and round.

Öand round

Ego or Igor

January 15th, 2013

Ego or Igor


Oh boy, itís another chilly day in LaLa Land. In the 15 years Iíve lived here, I donít recall it ever being this cold. But I canít complain; life is good.

I meant to post yesterday, but somehow the writing didnít come along. I couldnít get a clear idea written down. Iím giving it another shot today; weíll see how it goes.

One definition for surrender is ĎTo give up or give back.í A second is, ĎTo give over or resign (oneself) to something, as to an emotion.í

Iím not thinking about waving a white flag and giving up on anything, especially not life. But since my previous post, Iíve been thinking about this word and what it means for myself. What exactly am I surrendering? Is detachment a better word? Possibly. If so, then what am I attached to? The first thing that came to mind is thinking and thought. I think too much. Though it comes in handy for writing purposes, Iím starting to wonder if possibly, itís keeping me from being fully present in life.

French philosopher Rene Descartes once said, ďI think, therefore I am.Ē But what if instead itís ďI donít think and therefore I live.Ē Though he was referring to manís existence, what if thought prevents us from existing in our present world. Are we lingering too much on the past or future?

Since thinking about not taking life to seriously, Iíve felt lighter in spirit. However, I'm finding that letting go doesn't happen so easily. Itís easier said than done. My ego, or Igor as I like to call it, keeps me from surrendering; itís need for control is itís very existence. Maybe Descartes is onto something. If Igor doesnít think, he doesnít exist. The trick now is how to I keep this little monster of an ego quiet? Meditation? HmmÖ I think Iím onto something. In meditation it's about not grasping onto a thought; it's about observing them flow by, nothing else. A river flows perfectly.

The portrait here is of Frankenstein. Though heís considered to be the original monster of monsters, like everyone else, he simply wanted acceptance. And as for ego/ Igor maybe it too wants acceptance. And so instead of completely detaching myself from it, Iíll allow for it to coexist with who I am. Because who I am is not who I think I am.

Until next time, observe lightly.

One Life No Drama

January 11th, 2013

One Life No Drama

Burr, it's chilly! Yesterday while on my morning walk I didnít think of something new or different, but somehow I felt this thought on a different level. As I walked past a man smoking a cigarette, I thought, ďWe get one chance at life, why take life so seriously.Ē

I didnít have an answer for it; I still donít. Though I can understand our human need or want for change and/or progress, it doesnít explain why we take it so seriously. If we get one chance at life, why not take it lightly with a grain of salt and a smile on our faces.

As I continued walking, I thought of the soap opera One Life to Live. Though, Iíve never seen it, I can imagine the drama involved. What I canít imagine is my own life filled with drama; itís not who I am or want to be. I've had enough of it in my 20's especially in my relationsips. (Oh boy, I could have won some awards.)

The trick now, is how do I keep this idea of living lightly with me everyday, as much as possible? Is it a matter of simply surrendering? Yesterday after my walk, I felt lighter in spirit. A sort of who gives a fuck about it. Not that I didnít care, but that I couldnít continue on this path of trying to analyze or understand everything. Iíll go crazy. I want to smile and laugh more. Kids do this so easily. Sure they have their own dramas, but they forget them so rather quickly. They move on; they laugh again. They play.

The portrait here is titled, ďOprah.Ē A few days ago, my great friend Angel reminded me about Oprah's obsession with wanting to be in The Color Purple. It was in surrendering and singing to herself gospel song ďI Surrender AllĒ that her reality came to fruition. Iíve been thinking a lot about these words...I surrender. Maybe itís not just about taking life lightly but more so about surrendering, of letting go and relinquishing control. Iím writing this with tears in eyes all while listening to Ce Ce Winans sing the hymn. Has my need to control taken me away from being fully embraced in life? I think it has. Iíll take this thought with me today. Whatís the worst that can happen if I surrender allÖIf I have one life to be me.

You've got one life to be you.

Im Seeing Spots Dots and Periods

January 7th, 2013

Im Seeing Spots Dots and Periods

Good morning World!

Since starting my LITTLE Pop series, I seem to be seeing spots everywhere. I think of them as dots, but theyíre actually periods, a punctuation mark.

Many years ago I took a class on Adobe Photoshop, but since I never used it, I forgot everything about this program; itís now evolved. In knowing myself, the thought of retaking an Adobe course seems daunting. I like things and life to be simple. But who knows, I may surprise myself. When my brother John inquired about how I was creating these portraits, I told him I was doing it on MAC Preview. He was surprised to hear that all these dots are actually a punctuation mark from our alphabet, a period.

After a few months, Iíve created various color boards with a simple period, some small, some large. As I move onward, I keep creating more and more boards. Though I sometimes use the same color board, each portrait is different from one another. And because I seem to keep seeing spots everywhere, Iím not surprised that I keep imagining more and more color boards. Iíve become an expert on Preview.

With recent technology of texting and stuff, I see how a period and every other punctuation mark have become obsolete. As an amateur writer, I still find punctuation marks important. They may not express everything I have to say, but in my portraits of icons, a period is everything. Itís a round spot, a symbol of life coming around full circle. In doing so, Iím allowed to create works of beauty.

The portrait here is titled, ďJudy.Ē Judy Garland, as Dorothy, inspires it. Itís my second portrait of Dorothy. ďGlinda tells her sheís always had the powerÖ but that she had to learn it or herself. Itís been many years since I have seen the movie, but I love this idea. With a little help, I have the power to transform my own life. Period.

As a grade school boy, I once came in 2nd place for a Halloween drawing contest. I drew a witch with a big nose, a wart, and green face. I wish I still owned it. As I look back, maybe it was a sign; the wicked witch was not supposed to prevail and rather goodness and greatness would be who I became. Almost 35 years since doing that piece of work, Iím still an artist living my life as best as I could, always and still.

To believe is to move forward, to evolve. I believe in evolution. I believe in who we are and will become. And if the Beatles sang, ďBelieve in yesterdayĒ; Iíll keep believing in today, tomorrow, and the next days.

Have a beauty of a week ahead............

 

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