August 27th, 2012
A couple of weeks ago, before heading off to NYC, my TV broke down. It went poof! A little over 4 years ago since the 2008 Olympics, I got cable for the first time. And since then, Iíve been watching more TV than Iíd like. This breakdown may be a blessing in disguise.
Except that now Iím hooked on watching ďBreaking BadĒ on Netflix. Like Crystal Meth, itís been addictive. Iíve replaced one bad habit with another. The trick now is to find a good habit like reading or painting more.
The piece featured here is from my LITTLE series; itís titled ďHelp Me.Ē Drug addiction inspires it. As Iíve mentioned before, many of the people in my life have been addicted to the drug. Though Iíve had my share of experimentation, Iíve been lucky enough not to get hooked. Thank God! Iíve seen it change lives. But then again, maybe itís all been for the good. Theyíre all amazing people! And luckily no one close to me has died from it.
But aside from drugs, how many of our own addictions change the course of our lives? I wonder? TV, alcohol, cigarettes, food, even computersÖjust to name a few. I can say that Iíve partaken in all of these. Can breaking away from TV be a good thing? Possibly.
Shaquille OíNeal said, ďďExcellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do.Ē But after a little research, I found out this quote is actually from Aristotle. Either way, itís brilliant. Excellence like anything requires effort and work; itís doesnít happen from a single act of doing something. If this is the case, then we must get back to doing the work we most love.
Have a beautiful week ahead. Cheers!
August 25th, 2012
Ooh La Land!
On Thursday day, I got back home to my beloved city of Los Angeles. As much as I love NYC, itís always great to sleep in my own bed. I knocked out for a few hours.
Aside from a few hard days of work, my trip overall was fantastic! While shopping at UNIQLO, I came across an ad for their T-shirt contest. I just made my submission. Theyíre looking for works inspired, by ACDC, Madonna, The Sex Pistols, David Bowie, Kiss, and The Who. I submitted 4 pieces. One of the pieces was of inspired by The Who. Itís the piece featured here. Itís titled ďWho Am I.Ē Though Iím not a big fan, I was inspired by the logo and the idea of the eternal question we have to ask ourselves, ďWho am I?Ē
At the very young age of 7 years old, I began asking myself this question. And though Iíve come to some general answers, as I get older I realize that the question is somewhat indefinable. Weíre always changing. It's non-stop. Mark Matousek in 'Sex Death and Enlightenment' answers it as best Iíve heard, ďI am the pure observing spirit.Ē This simple quote changed my journey in life. I stopped searching and I begun observing.
When I see who I am, I see you. I see the sun and the rain.
Enjoy your Saturday!
August 20th, 2012
Iím just getting back to the apartment after a long days work at the NYC Gift Show. Itís been a great 5 days in NYC. Can I see myself living back here, I donít know?
On Saturday after 4 hours of work, I took a 7-hour walk with me, myself, and my 2 legs and feet. After 140 New York City blocks of walking without buses, subways, or taxis, I came home exhausted!
I stopped at my favorite store UNIQLO, the MOMA Store, a first time visit at the MET and the Schiaparelli/Prada exhibit, a glass of wine at the rooftop garden, a stroll through Central Park, a quick bite at Shake Shack and alas a power walk through Time Square.
Even when I lived here, one of my favorite things to do while in NYC is to take a super-duper-long walk; the city never fails to inspire me. In one episode of Sex in the City, Carrie says, sheís dating the city and she thinks itís getting serious. On Saturday it felt the same way. I had a blast!
The piece here is titled, ďKing.Ē Itís from my series, LITTLE. I wore a t-shirt with this image on it and I received my fair share of compliments. To this day, the 2005 movie version of King Kong remains to be one of my favorite movies. I love everything about it and I can watch it over and over again.
In high school some boys once called me a loner; it bothered me at the time. But now I canít imagine life without spending a little time with myself. I cherish the moments. It's a gift being able to be with oneself.
A quote on Thinkexist.com says, ďItís so lonely when you donít know yourself.Ē How sad it would be going through life without knowing oneself; I canít imagine not enjoying my own company. In doing so, Iím able to appreciate my time with all the great love of friends and family.
Thank you to everyone in my life. I love you all ☺
August 13th, 2012
Hello Monday. Itís finally over; the Olympics are now a blast from the past.
This past Saturday after a long hike in Griffith Park with my sister Blanca, we went over to Wacko and The Luz De Jesus Gallery. I wanted to see the works of LA artist Jose Rodolfo Ontiveros; the show is titled Disasterland. I loved his work and his concept of fairytale gone wrong is inspiring, amazing!
Later on in the evening, while doing some late night reading, I suddenly heard the loud chirps of a cricket. It was inside my apartment and it sounded like it had a megaphone! Was he trying to tell me something? Possibly?
Patiently, I took my time, I stood very still, I listened closely, and after a few minutes, I found it crawling around in a corner of my living room. I reached for it, it jumped, I missed and it jumped again. I snatched it and was about to flush it down the toilet bowl, but a little Ďjiminy cricketí voice told me to fling it out the window. Like any other creature, it deserved life. Iím glad I didnít kill it because according to Chinese culture, crickets are a symbol of good luck and protection. Maybe it was here for a reason, but I knew I couldnít sleep with it talking so loudly.
Jiminy Cricket says, ďA conscience is that still small voice that people won't listen to. That's just the trouble with the world today...Ē It was the little voice that told me not to kill the cricket. Maybe it was Jiminy himself. If the trouble with the world is not listening to this little voice, why donít we all do it more often? Are we afraid of hearing something, a truth about ourselves?
The piece here is another from my LITTLE Jesus series. Itís titled ďJesus Soul.Ē I love the simplicity and beauty of this piece. Itís a little mixture of Jesus and me. Itís our souls that speak to us; if we listen closely, the answers are always here, there, everywhere.
Suddenly, Iím now feeling grateful for this little cricket; itís reminded me to pay attention and to listen closely. Thank you!
ďI can hear you now.Ē
August 10th, 2012
Itís a beautiful sunny Friday! I have a feeling that as Jimmy Cliff sings, ďIt's gonna be a bright, bright sunshinin' dayĒ
He also sings, ďOh yes, I can make it now the pain is gone. All of the bad feelings have disappearedĒ Though life has been better than before, not all the Ďbad feelings have disappeared.í But itís great to see a little light at the end of the tunnel. Itís been a process of meditation, walking, writing, reading, painting and the love of friends and family. Iím going to make it!
For as long as I can remember, I have collected quotes. Just recently there was one by Benjamin Franklin that struck a nerve. ďOn the whole, though I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet as I was, by the endeavor, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been had I not attempted it.Ē
Boy, he couldnít have said it any better. It is in this strive for perfection that I continue to challenge myself. Though in the process, I beat myself up and others, I have grown and evolved because of it. Without it change wouldnít happen.
Even as I write, British singer Emile Sande sings ĎI am full of light, I am full of wonder.í What a beautiful song to hear at just the right time. I love it when this happens. I will take her words out with me out into the day.
With both Franklin and Sandeís words I thought of a man named Jesus. I think he would agree with them. It was through his endeavors of being the best man he could possibly be that he continues to be a light in our world. Donít get me wrong, Iím not a Jesus freak, but I believe him to have been an amazing human being with a great message of love. The piece here is from my LITTLE Jesus series; itís titled ďJesus Inspire.Ē Thereís a little Amanda Lepore and me in this piece.
Through our words we can affect one another. Though our words we can change and inspire. Through are words we are connected. As Robert Fulghum writes, "As hard as I have tried to speak in my own voice, I realize now how much of what I have said is neither original nor unique... Thought is forever being revived, recycled, and renewed.
Have a beautiful weekend.
August 6th, 2012
Good Morning Monday. I'm just getting back from a doctor's appointment; all is well.
After 43 years of life one could say that burn out is possible, especially in the last couple of months. Life hasnít been so easy.
After 10 days of Olympic coverage, Iím a little burnt out, but I continue to be inspired. Of all the moments so far, Iíd have to say that my 2 most memorable have been: 1) Seeing Beach Volleyball player Keri Walsh ĎHi Fiveí the entire crew after her matches. Itís turned my heart to see her do this. Her sense of gratitude is a beautiful thing! 2) Double amputee Oscarís Pistoriusí grace before and after his last 400M race is remarkable. His spirit is beyond amazing!
As I wonder about life and the game of life, I wonder what if, regardless of the outcome, we saluted with grace, everyone who partook in our daily experiences. What if we said thank you a little bit more?
The piece featured here is from my LITTLE Self-Portrait series; itís Untitled. This past week I spent a couple of hours working on some more of these pieces. Itís been a reflective an interesting process. The piece here represents my overcoming of fears.
Oscarís sporting motto is, "You're not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have." These words are incredible! How could I possibly think of burn out? What if instead I stop and appreciate the many abilities Iíve been blessed to have? What if instead I went out into the world with a sense of wonder?
If I'm able to walk, to see, to hear, to hold, to smile, to eat, to love, to paint, to think, to talk, to write and to breathe; then I am fully able to live up to everything I imagine.
August 3rd, 2012
Good Morning World.
My watching of the Olympics continues. I canít get enough! Todayís post is dedicated to pop icon and all around genius Leigh Bowery. Recently, I received my book of pictures of Leigh in all his glory. Olympics-Oh Leigh Pics. Get it?
Earlier on in the week, I found myself consumed on Youtube; I spent hours searching for stuff. I started off with Amanda Lepore and ended up watching videos of Leigh. I just purchased his biography on EBay. Though I never personally met him, I was lucky enough to see him perform at í93 Wigstock in the now famous Ďbirthí scene. Itís something Iíll never forget! You have to see it for yourself. Hereís a link:
The piece here is titled ďLegend of Leigh.Ē Leigh obviously inspires it. What an imagination he had. While on Youtube, I found a clip of Rosie OíDonnell giving an interview about Leigh. In talking about his life, she says, ďHis was so much less of a desire of the result as it was enjoying the voyage to it.Ē How often have we heard about enjoying the process, the journey as much as the destination? And for Leigh to have lived his life in such a manner is truly inspiring. As an artist, I have found that there is a greater joy in the actual process than in seeing the finished product. But this only happens when I stop to observe. It is in observation that we see the beautiful miracles happening throughout our days.
Considering that the majority of Olympians do not receives medals, one can probably say that what also counts is the journey getting there.
Enjoy the moments and the weekend ahead.
July 30th, 2012
Good Morning World. Iíve spent the last couple of days watching Olympic coverage. I plan to do the same today with maybe a little painting.
Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh wrote, ďThe source of a true smile is an awakened mind. Over the weekend I shared this quote with a great love in my life, Vero. In telling her this, I realized the answer to my Ďlifeísí slump is in these words. If you sit and think about them, thereís more to them than meets the eye. Thereís more to them than meets a smile. The message behind his words is beautiful, insightful and powerful. When we share a smile with another, for a moment in life, our spirits connect in present time. It's magical.
Many years ago while in a school cafeteria, a woman told me, ďSmile kid itís not that bad.Ē She smiled as she said this to me; I smiled back. Iíve never forgotten this moment. Itís reminded me about how important a smile can be. Back in college, I used to imagine my smile traveling across the world. A sort of Ďpay it forwardí idea before I even knew of this concept. I often wondered where a smile ended or if it even did. Every time I smile this womanís spirit is in my smile. Itís a beautiful thing; itís like her spirit will never die. Iíd like to think that my own spirit would also be in anotherís smile for years or centuries to come. Even in writing this, I wonder whoís spirits' past are part of my life today. Could it be everyone!?
And since Iím thinking about how far my Ďselfí will travel, the piece here is a self-portrait. For now, itís untitled. As I watch the Olympics today, I will work on a couple of these self-portraits.
If the Olypmic Games can bring unity amongst nations, can a simple smile do just as much? I think it can.
Smile, Cheese, Queso!
July 27th, 2012
Good morning world. Iím super excited about the start of the Olympics. It was 4 years ago that I got cable for the first time in my life; I wanted to watch the Olympics in Beijing. At the time I wondered about how having more channels would affect my life. Iíd have to say that Iíve watched more TV than before, but in the last couple of months, Iíve made it a priority to be conscious about what sort of TV programming Iím consuming.
It boggles me that so much of our entertainment is focused on reality TV crap. Crap is defined as ĎSomething that is of extremely poor quality.í I donít get it? I often wonder how these shows are leaving our world a better place. Recently, out of curiosity and research, I watched an episode of the Kardashians for the first time. I found their behavior sad and quite honestly, disgusting.
It was a perfect example of how I DONíT want to live my life. So in some way one can say that it actually made a difference. But I will definitely not tune in again.
As for the Olympics, Iíll be watching as much as possible. Knowing the amount of effort, dedication, and sacrifice these athletes make is inspiring. Over the years, I've shed tears watching these Games. As a little boy it was my dream to have been an Olympic runner. Because of unforeseen circumstances, my dream was never realized. Yet for 20 years of my life I ran as much as I could. Crossing the finish line at the 1997 LA Marathon was a high point and one of the greatest moments in my life.
In honor of the Olympic Games being hosted in London, the piece here is titled, ďGod Shave The Queen.Ē It remains to be one of my favorite pieces from my LITTLE People series. I found this quote by James Dean to be appropriate, ďDream as if youíll live forever, live as if youíll die today.Ē What do you dream of? What will you do today knowing that it oculd be you last. I'll keep these words close to me for as long as possible. Because if its possible; it's worth doing.
Have a beautiful weekend and enjoy the Games.
July 20th, 2012
Good Morning World! It couldnít be a more beautiful day in LA.
Last night I finished reading a biography on Freddie Mercury, ďMercuryĒ by Leslie-Anne Jones. It was a fascinating read; how interesting it would have been to meet him. Later today, Iíll begin my autobiography of Boy George. I hope itís good a one. Iíll never forget the first time I saw his ďDo You Really Want to Hurt MeĒ video on TV. Because we didnít have cable at home, we saw it on MV3 staring KROQ DJ Richard Blade.
The next day at school everyone was talking about it. Was it a boy or a girl? A few years later, the same question would be asked of me while I walked home from high school past my old elementary school. The kids playing outside ran to the fence and between themselves asked, ďIs it a boy or a girl?Ē I remember wanting to pull down my pants to show them my dick and say, ďItís a boy!Ē
The piece here is titled, ďBoy Oh Boy Jesus.Ē Itís another piece from my 'Losing My Religion' series. Boy George and a crucifix inspire it. Itís been interesting working on this series; I plan on doing a few more pieces this weekend. Iím sort of regressing to my high school days when music was a huge part of my life and when so many questions about God and religion went unanswered.
This random quote by Albert Einstein made me laugh this morning; I got a silly visual in my head. ďI am convinced that He (God) does not play dice.Ē
Have a beautiful weekend. ☺