About Taped Paintings

Understanding that in today’s media-environment, the function of the industrial tool is now two-fold – first for its function, use and application, and second; that it is liberally branded, serving the ulterior function to implant upon the subconsciousness of the user with with a catchy, graphical hook.

Using tape is my first foray into an inversion of this logic, where the branding becomes the primary function of the purpose (artistically speaking) and the application/use becomes an after-effect.

By accident, I noticed the branded blue tape sitting on my desk. It is blue painter’s tape to mark edges while painting interiors.




I once painted an interior myself. It was in Mid-town Manhattan. I got this job by myself. But by then, I had already painted entire galleries. A friend of mine, Mike had taught me an important technique to cover over-sized walls: Keep the paint trays filled to the brim with paint (Make sure there is plenty of floor covering, in these cases, we had a nice 4×8′ sheet of cardboard that we can slide along the edge that would catch any stray paint), roll the roller in liberally soaking it, start at the highest point (usually, you can reach the top, where the top edge has been cut (cut being a term for taking a brush and paint can and painting all edges of a room, typically corners where rollers will not reach), and let all of the paint dribble down while, in one stroke, the roller will coat the stretch from top to bottom in one stroke. This saves an enormous amount of time and energy it takes to otherwise roll the roller in an up and down fashion to cover the wall. This mark is the height of efficiency for covering large walls. This movement is repeated again, and there is always excess paint on the wall and roller to fill in gaps, splotches and streaks for an even coat. This is the zen of wall painting.




These several years of experience are etched in my memory sitting in my studio in Downtown, Los Angeles. My mind is turned on by these plastic materials, that are so unequivocally bereft of life. Industrial materials to me, represent a vacuum, one that on a large scale has stripped, bleached and destroyed the environment of which we are beginning to see is an inevitable outcome: Of life in decline.

Organically, I discovered that by aligning the printed, branded surface of this marvelous blue tape, that I could create a wallpaper. There is something extremely pleasurable about aligning the print just right. It reflects a certain pleasure that any manual laborer gets out of working with their hands whether it is laying down wallpaper, doing electrical work, diagnosing and fixing cars, mowing lawns or painting houses. It’s a certain functionality.


As an appendage to this, I’ve also collected coffee cup sleeves, whose whimsical and even melancholic imagery of floating coffee mugs swirl about. I guess I am in a process of discovery connection between things.



Nzuji De Megalhaes – Sick Paintings

Rare is the movement, a rustling of leaves deep inside the jungle and all of a sudden; flashes of brilliant! and saturated! Hues appear so bright as to blind.

The lava-like flux of mostly primary and secondary color combinations charge a broad array of fully-fleshed forms not fully here or there, but stretched across like taffy, occupying both real and unreal, personal and dystopic. The faces adapt to mirror the system that harbors them, their indigenous faces and facial features evolve a decorative screen, switched on at command by the receptor or receptee.

Faces; charred, scarred, inner history pulverized.

Conjoined character between society and the individual, the ruptures, faultlines, idiosyncrasies, impulses and features dampened or at least (and at last) whose boundaries remain perpetually and with increasing momentum, unclear.

A new history. Out with the old, in with this; a tornado-like revolution of identity aspect. The technological takes a razor to the organic and mutates it into its exacting vision, less the colonizing entitlements of a deservingly dying breed that has created the monster in all of us.

photo (1) photo (2) photo (3)

Anyone Instagramming?

I love the idea of someone’s world told through photos in real time. It is a kind of journalism. Forever, I’ve taken photos but not had a venue to give the work a direction (and conversely, a direction the work). Instagram presents a forum to maintain this train of thought and become a venue of people going places.


Pussy Riot

I’ve chuckled for long enough about a group of young-ish Russian political activists referring to themselves and their band as “Pussy Riot”. But chuckle no more. This aint a joke! Pussy Riot are for real, and now sadly, they are in prison. I hope it hasn’t tainted their youthful innocence, idealism and activist spirit, but inevitably, it can’t not. They were just getting started, had found the seed that illuminated their spark and purpose. They were just getting on their way, together. To put in proper perspective, it is a tragedy disconnect; a general populous that struck down harshly against its young pioneering voices in modern times of technological and cultural transformation for Russia. This happened to generate major rippling waves in the media but is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to protesting the state and privatized industry. I still hear their urgent and ruggedly brutish call-and-response style vocal deliveries in my head. The lyrics are impressively terse as in this pot of gold from the song Punk-Prayer:

The Church’s praise of rotten dictators
The cross-bearer procession of black limousines
A teacher-preacher will meet you at school
Go to class – bring him money!
Patriarch Gundyaev believes in Putin
Bitch, better believe in God instead
The belt of the Virgin can’t replace mass-meetings
Mary, Mother of God, is with us in protest!
Virgin Mary, Mother of God, put Putin away
Рut Putin away, put Putin away

The group embodies a new action and voice of a generation of rebellion, one that has gone almost completely without the teaching of the arts in their motherland, or shall I say, in The motherland. It is mind-boggling to imagine with restricted access (I would say limited, but limited isn’t quite the word) of arts education in Russia, that when a staged public performance takes place by a group of young women in bright neon costuming, they are condemned even by the general public as “heretics”, isolated for the most part and sentenced to two years in  Siberian prison camps. This is heavy. Too heavy for the uninitiated, idealistic, active and spiritually-nonviolent person, that couldn’t and shouldn’t have known the lurking heaviness of the dull hammer of their own state. It is along all too similar lines of the ad-hoc public stunts performed by Ai-Weiwei and the similar backlash it caused in a culture not at all used to Western modes of protest. Both have compelled documentaries that follow their cause and subsequently capture the immense changes taking place within their respective cultures and really, just Westernization altogether.

This is a case of both young and old generations needing to strike a balance and come to  terms with this change. Its people aren’t the problem, it’s the system and its corrupting power-structures, which Pussy Riot and Weiwei (to name the most spectacular examples) rebel against. Not only that, they call for systemic integrity, transparency and protection of basic humanity. It’s just basic common sense, but also historically turbulent territory.

Snippet from an email – a little bit of history…

…. Oh yeah, Franklyn – one of the things I noticed about him up until even 2 years ago was that he had become somewhat irascible or unable to open up in broad terms – to another person’s idea. I actually had a studio visit with him at point and I think I had made something with found fabric. He became very menacingly stuck on how you can’t just borrow material or else you’ll get sued. He was getting so worked up about it that I didn’t really get a word in edgewise – had no space to talk or say anything. And that’s how it ended. He was nonplussed. It was similar to when Lydia saw my work 5 years ago in K-town and projected upon it so strongly, as if to miss the actual taking place of a meeting, of an interaction – she was so swept up in her own programmatic paradigm that she simply couldn’t adapt or see the situation. That is when I realized – with both of them and at different times, that you can’t be everything to any one person. Like, it made me think, “Oh, I guess I am not allowed to be a part of this space!” Yeah, it was one of those things – it would take a lot of work to rebuild those bridges if you know what I mean. That was the last time I think I saw Franklyn though. He looked to be a little over the edge. Kind of not in good shape, like, when a year or two before, we could be chatting merrily at a bar before a Laker game. I loved those times – those were my early days when Downtown was dead! All to say, that that was only 5-6 years ago.

What About Perfection [and what ever else I did today]

1. Why Gagosian is successful:

Gagosian saw Warhol—and large portions of his oeuvre—as an undervalued commodity.

He was also in the right place at the right time. Why do I take an interest? Peripherally, I wanted to know the psychology of this super-successful person. Success to me, is probably being able to go into one thing (making art in my case) very deeply and innovate my creativity so that I am always blowing my own mind by creating the world around me. If this could be a viable career opportunity, it would allow me to live in a minimal, sublime way where everything is beautiful and free of suffering. This is an ideal of perfection. I once wrote an essay in English on perfection. We had to choose a word and just expand and expound on it for 5 pages. I found it some years ago – and realized, “Hmmm, this is rather incomplete.” This would be a word I would find exciting to come back to because I think I am ultimately, so drawn to a kind of perfection that I now know to hunt for it. I get this instinct from my mom, whose instinct is so keen and refined that she plainly recognizes something awe-inspiring beautiful. For instance and in and of itself, perfection conjures a sense of the ideal in all of its glorious totality, (however that pertains to one.) It could be the removal of all that is unnecessary or extraneous in one’s view or mind to lead toward clarity. And if it were a state of mind, it might conjure vast, endless beauty or a deep sense of exaltation or connectedness. I would not have thought about these things in high school because I was too busy negatively reacting to the mainstream media’s dissemination/prescription of beauty and ideal of perfection. But now however, I am devout in reaching perfection in something I do, not only for myself, but hopefully to put out into the world and to be an activist for the possibility that a place of unadulterated perfection still exists. I had moments of such perfection seeing art in Germany, London and New York during and after my undergraduate college days. After that it became enough to understand that a certain kind of object of art was like a capsule of a kind of perfection that existed for that time, in the maker’s mind. How does one know when they are looking at a great piece of art? It is probably when they are aware enough to recognize when they are in fact directly; physically and emotionally connected to humanity past and present through the sheer materialization and transformation of the maker. Great art is indeed alive. Vicki recently sent this to me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kvcq5Ge8sHY

I sensed that when she sent this to me, that she was profoundly absorbed to the point where she had forgot about time passing. I was moved especially because of the maker’s indeed, clear statement when I heard it too.

When I was really moved by art, I realized it was because of the maker’s purity of intent to make something that characterized the amount of his or her own humanity, captured in one single work of art. Wow. How can you do that! I wonder all the time, but seeing as I have stepped onto the tracks of such an endeavor, I realize it begins with discipline, concentration and determination. Without  these three very necessary foundational elements, you simply cannot have sustained passion and/or inspiration. With this all realized in the last few months, every part of me is beginning to focus on making that determined, clear statement.

2. Best story…


3. Best Follow-Up picture..


Source material…