For Thanksgiving today, I'm gonna try a bit more practicing in contrast to my preaching of recent years. I think drawing the Thanksgiving Turkey scalping jolly Ol' Santa last year got most of my grievances with capitalism's distortion of our Holidays out of my system. My wife and I have a lot to be thankful for this year. For starters, we purchased our first house and have made it a home. We've had the highest sales volume of my six years on at my day job as a Marketing Manger at RainSoft and now experience water the way it was meant to be in our own house. In the midst of everything and working six days a week, we've managed to have wonderful times with friends and familY. What a year making memories to last a lifetime! As far as my art career goes, the chapters are still being written. October saw my first solo exhibit in a couple of years with Soluble Fish at Space Gallery in Nashville. However, today we're just one week away from my final exhibit of the year with our groundbreaking Multimedia Southern Pop Surrealism show (click HERE for MORE!)
With so much in my life to be gracious over, here I've narrowed down the
3.5in x 5.5in Miniature Portrait / Inks on Bristol / 2013
John F. Kennedy was a dangerous man. Many of his ideas are still dangerous today. After 50 years, it is near-certain we'll never know the details of the conspiracy to end his life and rob the United States of its new-found optimism. Eisenhower warned a nervous nation in his farewell speech of the "military industrial complex" and the very real threat of profiting from war. Kennedy took heed of these words and sought to draw out of Vietnam while trying to heal a segregated country with his compassion toward the need for Civil Rights. Kennedy in turn warned the country of the danger of "secret societies," a term encompassing but maybe not even limited to the Federal Reserve, CIA, FBI and today the NSA (an organization to whose reach we are all subjected.) I feel Kennedy sought transparency- the same transparency we still seek today after cold wars, after wars waged for profit, after wars waged for natural resources, after spying becoming an excepted reality and after we've awoken in the pitch dark to a new American nightmare. The man who reaches for the curtain is a dangerous man to those who benefit from the shroud of secrecy. The man who lets light through to our waiting eyes is a hero.
"It was on the moral side, and in my own person, that I learned to recognize the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both; and from an early date . . . I had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements."
Almost four years ago, I made a very smart creative decision. I dropped my domain and web hosting to turn the blog I had just begun into a fully functional website. It's addictive. It's a compulsion. It's something I don't know if I'll be able to stop so bear with me and enjoy the ride. In December 2009, I had about 30 views a month here- mainly friends and relatives. On average this year, over 18,000 views a month is a nice improvement I'd say! Even more importantly to me, several thousand of those views come from foreign countries. No gallery walls could gather so many sets of eyes to breathe life into art. Without audience, art is a simple and mundane action- a tree falling in the forest with nobody around. However with eyes, it lays bare the questions hidden by the answers and creates conversation which is viral (and vital.) Thank you all for coming here and sending your folk here. It reaffirms what I do- keep infecting more! The featured dOOdle on this post is my half-millennial homage to DREGstudios.com. "D" is the Roman Numeral for 500 and the inspiration behind this face I summoned to tell this part of my story. Come back soon with one love. -B
While Untitled Nashville was hosting it's very last exhibit, East Nashville also gave audience to an emerging venue which is gathering local steam at The Boheme Collectif. POUT featured a group of very talented photographers including my brother-from-another-mother Chad Spann. Chad and I made the drive down from Clarksville in the DREGstudios! Wagon and party-bused it back and forth from the two exhibits Saturday night. In addition to the photography display, POUT also showcased the work of bodypaint extraordinaire, Michelle Thornhill and a group of very unique performers whose medium is FIRE!
On the edge of East Nashville this evening, Untitled Nashville went out with a shoulder-to-shoulder bang as its finale brought together dozens of artists and performers in front of a massive audience. The entire evening was filled with the meeting of many wonderfully gifted and creative minds looking to the future as well as reflecting on the past. I was delighted to run into so many fellow artists (many whom I met through Untitled.) At the end of the evening, a NOLA-style funeral procession was held weaving in and out of the walls of art following the eulogy for Untitled Nashville read aloud on stage. This artists' collective evolved in many forms over the past 22 years and after tonight is laid to rest for the foreseeable future. Here are some pics from tonight's exhibit...
It was nearly 10 years ago when I was first introduced to the Untitled Nashville group and participated in their Heat exhibit. For over 20 years, the anonymous and ever-evolving artist-run coalition has set up quarterly art exhibits throughout Music City. During that time, they've stayed true to providing "Uncensored Art for Unlimited Audiences," always proud of their take-all-comers approach. At Heat, there were over 120 artists- by far the largest event I had been involved in at the time. This Saturday, they've again pulled together over 100 creatives from the region for one final extravaganza entitled Undone. I'll be on hand myself and decided to take this last opportunity to show art which can't be censored by lending my crowd-pleasing "Vagina Beard Chart" which was displayed at the 2012 Dirty Show in Detroit! The festivities are from 6-10PM at the 506 Events Gallery within the 508 Lofts in East Nashville followed by a New Orleans style funeral procession closing the event at 10PM...
THOUGHT (and dOOdle) FOR THE DAY: I try to remind myself how lucky I am (and that we all are.) Of all the critters crawling over all the stardust in the Universe, we're living in the future- the space age of global communication. Today folks from China to the Ukraine to India to Pakistan viewed my artwork here at the tip of their fingers and in any language they speak. This is true power- harness it yourself by standing and delivering what you believe in and what you are passionate about. Keep your mind open and the internet free.
This hotel dOOdle is from Ocean City, MD where I spend the first day of my vacation this year with family... Thankful (and thoughful) for it still today!
"I wonder if, in fact, we have been observed by aliens and upon close examination of human conduct and human behavior they have concluded that there is no sign of intelligent life on Earth... You don't walk by the worm on the street and say, 'Gee, I wonder what he's thinking.' No, you step on the worm."
Please join us at NO EGRETS TATTOO & GALLERY on December 5th from 7-10PM for the Opening Reception of Southern Pop Surrealism. This exhibit will feature collaborative artworks created between myself, Wolfman Bennett and Jesse Shaw. In addition to the paintings, the exhibit will being uniquely interactive. Each work will have on display with it a QR code which will allow you to watch time lapse videos of us painting! It's all FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC during Clarksville's Downtown Art Crawl the First Thursday in December!
This dOOdle has the rattle of its teeth and the creep of its smile to make your skin crawl today. He got horns and the bling of his crown and dead eyes to bring you down. Spittin' and hummin' and scratching right off the cardboard like random acts of art can and do roll off my mind.
This past weekend, Aurora and I entertained some of our creative friends for a few rounds of drinks and Exquisite Corpses. If you aren't familiar, the game involves creating collaborative art by each person drawing and then folding the paper to cover most of what they've sketched. The paper is then passed to the next player who doesn't know exactly what's been drawn already, only what is left revealed by the previous artist. Wolfman Bennett, Miranda Herrick and Nathan Parker joined me for three rounds of drawings giving us a dozen collaborations to share with you here!
Music City went under attack for 16 hours a couple of weeks ago as I composed this new work of art for Blackbird Tattoo and Gallery's Haunted Nashville exhibit. The city is burning and completely overtaken by a squad of oddities including King Kong, Godzilla, a Giant Octopus, Vampire Flies, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, a Sharknado, Giant Centipedes, a Pterodactyl, UFOs, Flying Eyeballs and even Satan Himself. I wanted to challenge myself and went a bit larger for this very complex illustration at 14in x 18in. The preliminary drawing took about four hours and then I filmed the line work and coloring processes to time lapse for a brand new Speed Drawing! The video takes 12 hours of drawing and compresses it into just 4 minutes with some spit by Chali 2na to keep your head bobbing along. (Of course, pictures nor video do any art true justice so to see "Nashville Under Siege" in person, visit Blackbird this month in Nashville!)