November 19th, 2012
A few weeks ago while on my way to The Getty to see the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit with one of my favorite people in the world, Christine, I told her about my grade school confessions at St. Marrianes. In knowing I had to go to confession, I found myself filled with anxiety not because of the ‘bad’ things I had done, but because I was good kid and didn’t really feel the need to confess anything. But how could I possibly sit amongst my classmates and not walk into the dreaded confessional.
What would I tell the priest? Even in confession I lied. I had to come up with some things to tell him. The most often used things were that I lied and had impure thoughts. As I told Christine this, I wondered about what sorts of impure thoughts could an 11 year old possibly have?
Was me thinking about boys naked impure? Was me hating my dad for making me work so hard impure? I think this normal rather than impure. Who’s to determine the impurity of a thought? Isn’t it subjective? One online dictionary defines impure as “not pure or clean, contaminated. Immoral or sinful. Unclean. Rather than confession, it sounds more like I needed a good laundry detergent. Or even a good spanking.
Interestingly enough, I had my last confession around 13 years of age. If anything, these so called impure thoughts happened around this same time once I started masturbating! I can only imagine telling the priest about whacking off 10 times a day and possibly even thinking about him naked while on the other side of the veiled wall.
The piece here is titled, “Mary.” I wonder what sort of impure thoughts she had. Is writing and thinking this impure? If so, at least I know that penance often came with a simple string of Hail Mary’s and possibly one Our Father. Not too shabby for impurity.
As for thoughts, like waves they come and go; they are what they are. But then again, Buddha once said, “What we think, we become.” If this is the case, I’m one dirty son of a bitch! Pardon the language, the impurity. Let me see what else I can think of…
Peace and blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!
November 17th, 2012
Ah yes it’s F-day. Or at least it was; I was supposed to have posted this yesterday.
In just about 3 weeks on December 6th, I’ll be debuting my latest series of digital photographs at Flight001. It’s all happening during the annual 3rd Street XMAS party from 9-6PM.
The series is called LITTLE PoP. And aside from the obvious inspirations of Warhol and Lichtenstein, my mother and Leigh Bowery inspire this series. What a combo! Who would have thought that two very different people could somehow inspire the same person, me.
I’m halfway done reading Leigh Bowery’s biography by his best friend Sue Tilley. It’s interesting to note that he loved telling lies and yet was very generous with his friends. After reading about how he liked to embarrass and almost humiliate others, I found this to be refreshing. In referencing one of his ‘looks’, he said, “This new look is a cross between polka dots and skin rash…simulating infection and disease.” In my LITTLE PoP series, I’ve loved applying this concept to some of the icons of our times. It’s interesting that regardless of alterations, icons remain visible to the eyes. It’s like the perfect are imperfect. Do we hold them to a higher standard?
The piece here is the flyer for this show. It’s titled, “Marilyn.” There aren’t many bigger icons of our time. She is the epitome of what we consider iconic. One online dictionary defines the word icon as “a sign or representation that stands for its object by virtue of a resemblance or analogy to it.” Are we breaking the 2nd Commandment in holding anyone to an iconic status? I wonder? Or is this whole idea of breaking commandments a ‘con.’ If I con, will you con?
I’ll leave it at that for now.
November 12th, 2012
Hello Monday! This past Saturday I walked over to LACMA to see their latest exhibit: Stanley Kubrick. To my surprise, I loved it. Though I’m familiar with his movie titles, I’ve only seen three of them. (Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Eyes Wide Shut) Surprisingly, I have not seen Lolita, Full Metal Jacket, and not even 2001 Space Odyssey. I have some catching up to do. Tomorrow at LACMA is “Target FREE Tuesday. It’s FREE!
In doing some research, I found this quote by Mr. Kubrick himself, “However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” I loved coming across these beautiful words; they’re a reminder that light is within us all. That regardless of our challenges, we’re able to move forward and shine brightly.
While at LACMA, I also saw the works of Ed Ruscha and Robert Mapplethorpe’s once controversial XYZ Portfolio. 20 years ago, I was lucky enough to have seen these images at The Berkeley Art Museum. Finally, I walked through Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective. The sculptures were amazing! After seeing banners all over our LA streets, I was hesitant about seeing the exhibit. But as I did my walk through, closely examining each piece, I wanted to pick one up and bring it home. The shapes and colors were beautiful. Never before, had I been taken by sculptures.
The piece here is titled, “Innocence.” For a few months now, I’ve had this idea to do a sculpture series called “LITTLE Jars.” There’s something about placing something in a jar that inspires. I’ll be working with toys to convey ideas of emotion and meaning. I’ll see how it develops. I’m curious. Today especially, my brain feels a bit overwhelmed with ideas and creativity. I can’t complain.
On this Veterans Day, a special thank you to all the Vets and their families who allow us the opportunity to live in this beautiful and abundant country.
Peace Out, Peace In.
November 9th, 2012
Happy Friday. I love this chilly fall weather.
On election Tuesday, I had a little Obama fever. More than anything, I believe he cares about our country.
Today I’m continuing from my previous post. I’ve never been a big fan of Michael Jackson. But of all his songs, ‘Man In The Mirror’ is my favorite. “If you wanna make the world a better place Take a look at yourself and then make a change…”
One day in my early 20’s, I remember dancing around in my underwear in my apartment in Pacific Heights and feeling the words to this song; I felt alive! Like everything and anything was possible. It remains a dear memory. And though I look back at this time of my life as a good time and place, I’m a different man today. It’s not the wrinkles, the extra pounds, nor the aching bones that make me different. It’s that I’ve evolved and opened myself to seeing life constantly from a different perspective. It’s a shift in perspective that allows us to grow and evolve.
The piece here is titled, “Bowie Set.” David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust inspires it. It's a 4 step process leading to the final image. Maybe even Bowie was onto something with his song ‘Changes.’ “Ah, changes are takin' the pace I'm goin' through.”
Right now, I see change happening for myself. It feels good. As a verb, an online dictionary defines the word change as “to become different, to become altered or modified, to become transformed.” I especially like this last word- transformation. Its sound like a process rather than an immediate moment. Though life is changing at every blink of an eye, real change happens over time.
I want to make and leave this world a better place. I’ll start by looking in the mirror. And as Greek philosopher Nikos Kazantzakis wrote, “Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.”
Have a beautiful weekend. SEE Differently. LIVE Differently.
November 5th, 2012
After not posting over the weekend, here I am today on my favorite day of the week. It’s a beautiful sunny day in LA. While on my morning walk I sent in my ballot and cast my vote for Obama. Tomorrow’s a big day!
As Americans, we’re fortunate enough to have the right to vote; a liberty not granted to everyone in our world. It boggles then why not everyone single one of us would choose not to vote. If over time everyone voted, I believe that our country and world would be a greater place. There’s no excuse not to vote. It’s not about one vote making a difference; it’s about using our voices to affect change today and tomorrow. As Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
The piece here is titled, “Obama.” When choosing a president it can be a simple as thinking from our heart and asking a simple question, “Who would I want, as parents, to raise me?”
While on my walk this morning, a man driving by blasted Michael Jackson’s “Man In the Mirror.” “I’m going to make a change for once in my life.” To be continued…
October 29th, 2012
It’s only noon and already I feel like I’ve been up for hours.
Keeping in the Halloween spirit, I’m sort of leaving off from my previous post. About 10 years ago, life change unexpectedly. It’s not something I planned, but looking back on Halloween Night 2002, life took its course and I was never the same.
I didn't join the Marines, I dressed up as a creepy S&M Clown. The image pictured here is a photo from that fateful Halloween Night. I don’t recall where the idea came from, but what I most remember is waiting in line at Trader Joes on 3rd and La Brea and realizing that everyone around me refused to look at me standing in front of them. It’s like they didn’t want to acknowledge the reality of it all. Why? I wondered. And though I have always questioned human behavior, that moment has stayed fresh in my mind. Were they afraid of seeing something within themselves? Possibly, a darkness? A reflection of something unknown or too close to home?
A few days later after having the photos developed, even I found myself a little disturbing. Thankfully, something great came from it and I have since done my self portraits as a clown. Any red circle/ ball is me. I even wear a necklace of this red ball around my neck to remind me that it's OK to be different. It's OK to embrace our darkness.
After a few days of not feeling 100%, I’m feeling a whole lot better. And since I haven’t had a TV for the past couple of months, I spent my down time watching ‘stuff’ online. I'm all caught up with CBS's hit show Hawaii Five O. I have to admit that I have a big cheesy man crush on Alex O’Loughlin. It’s not his masculine energy, his beautiful body or his tattoos that I’m attracted to. It’s his eyes that I’m drawn to. I think they’re beautiful! It’s someone’s eyes that draw me to him or her. They reveal everything.It's where I find connection.
I wonder what my own eyes reveal? Are the windows to my soul clear? I hope so.
Tonight, enjoy our most beautiful moon. Oh and P.S. I’m having my first ever astrology reading. I’m curious, excited, and even a little nervous.
October 26th, 2012
It’s only a few days until Hallow’s Eve; it has to be one of my favorite nights of the year. With the exception of maybe one year, for the past 20+ years I’ve been dressing up in some sort of eye-catching attire. This year will be no less; I’m thinking the circus meets a fashionista-a-la-Gaultier. Unfortunately, I’m feeling a little under the (hot LA) weather, but come Wednesday evening, I’m hoping to be 100%!
Back in 1997 before moving away to NYC from SF, I had dinner with my best friend Roberto and his boyfriend Julio. I showed up wearing polyester hot shorts and my red, white, and blue 70’s motorcycle leather jacket. He looked at me and said, “I’m going to miss you bitch!” He was referring to our Friday nights of dressing up and living it up. Looking back, it took a lot of ‘huevos’ to show up to dinner dressed as I was. Ah, good times. Great times!
A few months later I went to my first Susanne Bartsch Halloween party. Just a few weeks prior, with a line down the street, I showed up to one of her weekly events, and though I had never met him before, Kenny Kenny allowed me to walk right in. I felt like a movie star.
The image pictured here is a photograph of Ms. Bartsch and myself at her ’97 Halloween party. Now that I think of it, I wonder about who took this photo and how it came into my hands. It’s interesting to see the photographer in the background along with the faces in the frame. I must have had a camera with me and asked a stranger to snap it.
While walking past Ms. Bartsch, she turned around, looked at me and said, “Amazing!” It was the biggest compliment ever! My uber gay sailor was pure genius! Unfortunately aside from my ‘Pussyboy’ sailor hat, the bottom half was the best part (and not visible in any photos from that evening.) The outfit was a real sailor uniform that I restructured myself. I had the button flap pulled down revealing a stars and stripes g-string; it was sexy as hell. I love that I had the balls to walk around the city dressed so provocatively.
And as for disguises, in one way or another, we all wear masks throughout the year. Some of these masks provide with protection, some of them allow us to fit in. While some of them hide us, some reveal who we are. But, interestingly enough, the real self is revealed through our words and our actions.
And as for little words of wisdom, Oscar Wilde said it beautifully, ““What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise”
October 23rd, 2012
Happy Tuesday Late Afternoon.
I’m writing a day late due to a little revenge. Not the real kind, but the ABC hit show by the same name. On Saturday afternoon after a little reading of Leigh Bowery’s biography by his best friend, Sue Tilley, and a stroll through the Brewery Art Walk, I came home and surprisingly got hooked on Revenge. I just couldn’t stop watching.
I often wondered what it’d be like to not have a TV. It’s now been a few months since being TV free; Netflix has been a pleasant substitution. Funny how I’m now watching a TV show online. Maybe it some sweet little revenge. Interestingly enough life has felt better without TV interruption.
In Revenge, Emily’s father tells her, “Go with your gut; intuition has your best interest at heart.” For as long as I can recall, I’ve lived my life by this principle. Without a doubt, it’s been my guide. I can’t imagine living my life any differently. Every decision I’ve made has come from listening to this little voice. I often wonder why any of us debate over making decisions (big or small) when answers are always in front of us. As for revenge, it’s just not in my nature; no good can come from it. I can’t imagine revenge, in any case, being in anyone’s best interest. Love, on the other hand, serves us all; it’s got everything to do with it.
The piece here is titled, “Tina.” Tina Turner inspires it. In “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” Angela Basset’s character fights back. Though her standing up to Ike was not about revenge, as it was standing up for herself, her courage to move onward is truly remarkable. It’s a testament to her strength, will, and overall sense of beauty, grace, and agility.
Follow your guts! “There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis. - Malcolm Gladwell.
In the blink of an eye life changes, magic happens. I believe this 100%! (blink, blink).
October 19th, 2012
Good Morning World.
“Damn, you’re the best thing I’ve seen today.” That’s exactly what the older black woman said to me as I walked by her car this past Monday afternoon. It made me smile, but then I thought, well it’s an older black lady and secondly, she said ‘today.’ Ha! Why couldn't she have left out today? I wondered what had she’d seen days before.
Today, I’m taking a day off from work and I’m not sure what to do with myself? Just this morning, I received an email from Plastic God about purchasing a Divine piece from him. I’ve become a big fan of his work. I already own a Frida and Keith Haring piece. I’d also like to get Leigh Bowery and Freddie Mercury and possibly Dali and Warhol.
The piece here is titled, “Warhol.” Thanks to him, Lichtenstein, Mama, and my own imagination, I started this new digital series. It’s been an interesting journey.
In Coming to America,(which I rewatched earlier this week), Eddie Murphy’s character says, “No journey is too great when one finds what he sees.”
Luckily, I’ve been able to find beauty and to see beauty; I see life everywhere. Thank you old lady for seeing beauty in me.
What will you find, what will you see? Today is a NEW day.
October 15th, 2012
Ah it’s my favorite day of the week, Monday!
Welcome back. This past Thursday night, I returned home from Puerto Rico. We had another great siblings vacation. I’m already looking forward to next year; where will we end up?
My return home has already been great. On Friday night, Christine treated me to see The Book of Mormons at The Pantages. We had an early dinner at Delancey, which we both loved. And yesterday, thinking of her, I saw the One Night Only Hello Kitty Art Show at Known Gallery on Fairfax. I found out the night before and so I didn’t have time to plan ahead. I know she would have loved it; she’s a little Hello Kitty obsessed.
We like to joke about it being ‘age’ inappropriate, but then again who made those rules about what is and isn’t appropriate. I’d prefer to live life according to my own set of childlike standards. At this point in life, who needs more rules?
The piece here is titled “Kitty.” I created it this morning. Christine and yesterdays art exhibit inspires it. It was an experience seeing the show; hundreds of people showed. Luckily I was able to get a book to add to my growing Art Book Collection.
Have a beautiful week ahead and remember to “Welcome the task that makes you go beyond yourself”- Frank McGee