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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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I had a good day! – An Accumulation of Positive Tidbits

I’ve been generally getting back into step after Spring Break (self-imposed, but also, serendipitous). 

What have I learned after having spent quality time with mom, dad, brother and brother’s gf? Mmmmm. .. Definitely that there is quality; Such high quality. Quality of experience, and of connection. So what do I do now that I’m back to my usual without their guiding influence? Here’s goes some notes to self.

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I was up early. Incredible drive up the PCH. Eventually winding our way up the the Hindu temple. The large windows framed views of the mountainous valley while we sat in still calm for fifteen minutes taking in the experience of going to temple as well as doing it for the first time (myself) on the West Coast. Clusters of clouds rolled over the mountains that at their deepest distance shone a shadowed and saturated blue-violet where they mingled with the mountain’s peaks. We sat on the red and gold rugs covering the entire floor. The smell was familiar, like that of used agarbathi, hot coconut oil and other natural accompaniments. It was a morning to go up to this somewhat remote location and just feel gratitude for being alive and for what life has so far made of us.

We visited the farmer’s market down at the base of the mountain before zooming past the vast Pacific Ocean shimmering a blue I had never ever seen before as light rippled a billion melodies simultaneously off of crisp, crashing waves. It was the start to a day that declared its unequivocal intensity of perfected-dom with each wave of its own unfolding.

My boss was glowing, certainly not because I was twenty minutes late, but because I was twenty minutes late and was coming from temple, this signifying a new fold in what can safely be said from her perspective is my sheer and utter mysterious quality of developing. She has always been of the position in favor of people who have grown up with a religious upbringing. Very old school. Very school indeed. It seems she feels that people who practice religion are morally superior. As offensive as this has always been to me, I cast that aside for now and can say I don’t even know how I feel about religion personally. I would say though, that the sound of Sanskrit chants being performed in temple, when done well, have the potential to bring out something fundamental about myself- as if I become witness to an ancient tomb of heredity experience unspooling from within me into my cultural past. It is something mysterious, like I must be to Lydia: A true curious specimen.

We packed my mom’s paintings up. Over the last two days, Lydia and I have been clearing out the storage area. We have done this in stages over the last seven years. You can’t even imagine how impossible it was to move around in that place. After this morning, it was a work of art in and of itself, something to be exquisitely proud of. But more so, this pride of accomplishment is the first we have shared in seven years. It was like, all of those seemingly lost years of hating each other, hating life and generally being miserable had somehow reversed its momentum, halted periodically, and now we found ourselves deep into the sixth or seventh iteration of this storage war—I had been the gopher, wheeling out stacks of overstuffed and yellowed boxes that looked more like gnarly and epic sandwiches in another world—For while she more easily moved about this time around, I caught her becoming decisive and sure to let go of that that had bore its administrative weight on her through both the ugly, the gloried and the dark years of her non-profit organization. I piled the boxes on top of the dolly and eventually filled the newly-emptied dumpster well above its brim. Sometimes, it’s sad to see the entirety of one’s life being thrown out as surely as that, but noticing Lydia’s effulgent disposition, I couldn’t help but see someone who at eighty-four years old, was looking toward the future or at least, letting go of the past to some degree. Is it possible that the unknown, the end of your life, can also be a new beginning?

The Thai artists arrived with their works of art in suitcases. I had had the walls freshly spackled, sanded and painted as I do before the beginning of a show that is about to be hung. We hung the show easily, but only because I sensed a certain shift in my attitude that in recent times had become one of letting go also. Moving forward was the key now to which the root of this actual moving forward begins consciously, with the breath, and letting go of it. Though the conditions are most of the times never ideal, learning to breathe (something my yoga teachers have been repeating forever now) is the key to operating out of love rather than out of selfishness. So that when the day is ideal as this one today, operating on this basis transforms it into a killer song.