How about a Screaming Hot Cup of…!

Something fun I’ve been working on for a design contest with Santa Cruz Skateboards.  They supplied the ’screaming mouth’ graphic, (from their iconic Screaming Hand design by legendary artist/designer, Jim Phillips,) and I supplied the rest.  So much fun to work on!  I used to draw the Screaming Hand design when I was younger and skated a lot - loved that design… still do!

"How About a Screaming Hot Cup of...!"  spraypaints, pen and ink, gouache, and marker on paper, 8.5" x 11'', 2010

"How About a Screaming Hot Cup of...!" spraypaints, pen and ink, gouache, and marker on paper, 8.5" x 11'', 2010

Look for my entry in a few days… have a look at what others have done so far - SantaCruzSkateboards.com

Art Attack-ack-ack-ack!!1!

I’ve just entered my painting, “Status Quo,” into the Paul Frank Art Attack Contest.  It’s a great contest with entries from all over the country vying for a full page ad spot in JUXTAPOZ magazine.  I think my piece is strong and has as much of a shot as anyone else.  Please take a second to check out my entry and rate it…. (think 5 out of 5!)

http://www.paulfrank.com/art_attack/rate/entry/829

There are tons of great pieces on the site and it’s definitely worth your while to check out some of the emerging talents from all over… just start with mine!

Here’s the piece I entered:

Status Quo, acrylic, spraypaint and gold leaf on wood, 48 x 37, 2009.

Status Quo, acrylic, spraypaint and gold leaf on wood, 48 x 37, 2009.

I really like this piece.  It fits into my ‘Ode to Roman Gods’ series by utilizing the four stencils I used for each of those paintings.  I first prepared and painted the background with acrylic washes.  Then I used the four Latin sayings  in order; used all the stencils three times over, still in order.   This created a dense web of lettering that blended with the background and came into view in the lower part of the painting.  (It was time consuming to say the least, but it was a Zen process that I got into. )  Then, I added the stencil of my Sad Coffee Cup… he gave the title it’s context.  Next, was the eponymous stencil, ‘Status Quo.’  The gold leaf border was added before the final hand painting.  Finally, I painted the multi-colored spheres emanating out of the cup like so much abstract steam.

For more about the Latin sayings, check out this previous post: An Ode to Roman Gods.

Is it about the economy?  Politics?  Something in my personal life?  Is is a rhetorical question?  Or a statement of fact?

Yes.

Plus, it looks awesome…

Peter Steele, 1962 - 2010

Peter Steele, the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Type O Negative, died last week from heart failure.  I never met him, (although I have met the other members on some other memorable occasions,) but I am saddened by his passing.  He was an imposing man; a behemoth on stage.  I’ve seen him perform up-close a few times and was always impressed by him and the band as a whole.

Some, that know me, know that I paint with music on constantly.  Always loud and almost always hard rock… it’s just what I like.  It’s not uncommon for me to pick one song as the ‘theme song’ to my painting and listen to it over and over, in a seemingly endless loop, until my painting is finished.  I’m sure I’ve driven more than a couple people crazy with this compulsion of mine, but it works for me!  Peter’s voice and music has provided the ‘theme song’ to more of my work than any other music has.  I’m sad that it’s over.  I will continue to listen to the music that remains, but still…

As an artist, I feel I can relate to other artists; even those whose medium is different from my own.  That can be very comforting if not inspirational.  If I don’t particularly understand how they do what they do, I feel I can relate to the why and feeling one gets from creation.  I felt like I got it with Type O Negative.

About 10 years ago I painted a picture of Peter Steele.  I based it from the photo by John Wadsworth on the back cover of the Bloody Kisses album.  It’s kind of an iconic pose that just spoke to me.  I was trying some new techniques and media and it turned out better than I had hoped for.  It has a goth feel juxtaposed with a otherworldly theme.  It just seemed to work.  I never really gave it name; it was always for me and I never had any need to refer to it by a name - it was just ‘the Peter Steele’ painting.  A few years ago, I finally gave it a name, “Death Waits For No Man.”  Now, it seems all too appropriate for the times.

So, since his death last week, I felt the need to share these sentiments and the painting.  I hope it is a nice memorial to a man I never met, but that gave me a lot.

Death Waits For No Man, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 18 x 24, circa 2000

Death Waits For No Man, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 18 x 24, circa 2000

Escape from L.A.

I know.  A cheesy post title, but I couldn’t help it.  Anyway, the trip was just great.  I got to see some of the area surrounding L.A. and some of the cool parts of the city.  There is so much there to experience, it is overwhelming.  It’s been a while since I’ve been to a truly big city and even longer since I lived in one - I missed all that is offered.  So that was nice: to explore and experience the details everywhere.

However, I was there to show my (2) paintings at WWA gallery’s ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’ opening reception.  To say that I was a little nervous about the show, is an understatement.  I showed two of my favorite and most meaningful paintings: ‘Fur EIAE,’ and ‘I Am the Eye of Horus.’  The paintings arrived at the gallery two weeks before me; in perfect condition, to my great relief.  So, I had two weeks to get nervous about unveiling them to the public.  Fortunately, I was distracted by the whirlwind of events before hand, the transcontinental flight and the jet-lag.  The opening night was upon me before I knew it.  The gallery is located in what has been called, the ‘uber-artsy’ area of Culver City.  I must say that the area immediately surrounding the gallery is tres chic and artsy… so, I was feeling good walking up to the doors.

Upon entering the gallery, I was blown away by the space.   The gallery is bright and and open with an interesting layout.  I was pleased to see my paintings placed so prominently and in such good company.  The other artists’ works were great, too.  The show certainly has an edgy vibe as defined by the varied works on the theme of the show - ‘The Devil Made Me Do It.’  The crowd started off a little slow, but quickly filled in the space.  It was a loud and enthusiastic crowd that was engaged and interested in the art.  By 8:30 the place was packed and the art was selling!

I had the pleasure of meeting the gentleman that purchased the small painting of my beloved ferret.  After the show is over, it will go to a very good home of an enthusiastic art collector.  I couldn’t be more pleased.  As an artist, I try to communicate through my paintings and to have someone experience such a strong connection with my work that he must own it… well, there isn’t any stronger compliment than that.

All in all, my first trip to show my art on the West Coast was a success… on many levels.  So, with all that said… here’s some pics:

outside the gallery

outside the gallery

me and my paintings

me and my paintings

fellow artist, Dan Barry

fellow artist, Dan Barry

fellow artist, Edward Robin Coronel

fellow artist, Edward Robin Coronel

friends and artists: Meridyth MacDonald, Ana Bagayan, Edward Robin Coronel, Gary Palmer, KRK Ryden, Dylan Sisson, Stephanie Chefas, Rob Faucette, Dan Barry, Thomas Lynch

friends and artists: Meridyth MacDonald, Ana Bagayan, Edward Robin Coronel, Gary Palmer, KRK Ryden, Dylan Sisson, Stephanie Chefas, Rob Faucette, Dan Barry, Thomas Lynch

me and KRK Ryden talking technique

me and KRK Ryden talking technique

Jacob Osborne, Stephanie Chefas of Industrial Squid, and me

Jacob Osborne, Stephanie Chefas of Industrial Squid, and me

red M&Ms... goes great with beer and art

red M&Ms... goes great with beer and art

What else can I say?!

Check out all of the art at: WWAgallery.com

More adventures soon…

So cool.

jux100bestimage

So, just found out that the gallery I am showing at next week is listed on Juxtapoz Magazine’s 100 Best list.  Nice to hear that kind of news!

click the pic for more…

I’m going to L.A. - The Devil Made Me Do It….

devilmademedoitweb1

I have been invited to show two pieces in the upcoming WWA gallery group show: The Devil Made Me Do It.  WWA gallery is located in Culver City, CA , in the Los Angeles metro area.

I am extremely excited about the show and will be showing some very personal pieces: ‘Fur EIAE,’ and ‘I Am the Eye of Horus.’  Both pieces are intensely dark in palette and approach.  They are about life and death and the love that fills the in-between.  I have used traditional and personal symbols to tell stories about -and give possibilities of alternate realities to- the subjects.  As with most of my art, (and most art in general,) the meanings are many and interpretations are varied according to the viewer’s context and perceptions.  I hope these paintings can connect and share some emotional space with the viewer.

'Fur EIAE,' acrylic with metal leaf on canvas, 8 x 10, 2009.

'Fur EIAE,' acrylic with metal leaf on canvas, 8 x 10, 2009.

'I Am the Eye of Horus,' acrylic with metal leaf on canvas, 30 x 40, 2010.

'I Am the Eye of Horus,' acrylic with metal leaf on canvas, 30 x 40, 2010.

WWA gallery is proud to present, The Devil Made Me Do It, a group exhibition curated by Industrial Squid, featuring new works by 34 established and emerging artists from the Los Angeles area and around the world.

Encompassing themes from the darkest corner of the creative mind, the show will ultimately be defined by each artist’s interpretation.  Open to the public, The Devil Made Me Do It gallery reception is from 7-10pm on Friday, February 12th.  The exhibition will be on view until March 20th, 2010.

The Devil Made Me Do It show features a diverse line-up of artists including:

Justin Aerni, David M. Ball, Dan Barry, Bora Baskan, Eric Thomas Bostrom, Julian Callos, David Chung, Dave Cooper, Rob Corless, Edward Robin Coronel, Jason Cullison, Alex Curtis, Deadly Daisy, Bob Dob, Thomas Fuchs, Dan Harding, Frank Kozik, Kristy Anne Ligones, Jacob Livengood, Thomas Lynch III, Jon MacNair, Lili Mae Martin, Lee Misenheimer, Josie Newman, Rey Ortega, Gary Palmer, KRK Ryden, Dylan Sisson, Jason Smith, Jared Stumpenhorst, Tracy Tomoko, Ori Toor, and Adam Werther.

Industrial Squid is a curatorial project comprised of Stephanie Chefas, Rob Faucette, and David Radford of WWA gallery.  Industrial Squid is a labor of love born out of a passion for contemporary art and those who bring it to life.  Their aim is to curate inventive group shows, with themes that give artists a veritable playground to work within.

Located in the Culver City Art District, WWA gallery’s goal is to present contemporary artists, both established and unknown, who have an individual perspective and clear vision and aesthetic.  For more information and an upcoming exhibition schedule, please visit www.WWAgallery.com

Another great Neu America Art Gallery reception at City Arts

So, last Thursday, January 21st, I was involved in my 3rd showing with Neu America Art Magazine.  This time the reception was in honor of their newly opened gallery space in downtown Orlando’s City Arts Factory.  Neu America directors Eddie Mora and Victor Daza curated the show in their space and nearly all the rest of the City Arts’ public areas.  It was a fantastic show.  The art was great and many artists were showing new things (me included).  The walls were jam packed with art - nearly floor to ceiling - it was an awesome salon-type collection.  The crowds were intense, swelling as the night went on; many people were still hanging out at the Neu America space well after the rest of the building had closed.  The normal ‘Third Thursday at City Arts’ crowd must have brought out all their friends, because I have never seen the crowd so big and enthusiastic!

The show will run for a month -’til February 17th - and I’m sure will prove to be a great success for everyone involved.

You can see my works throughout the building:  ‘Holding Color 1 and 2′ are right at the front entrance (off of Orange Avenue;) ‘King of the Mountain,’ ‘Your Laces are Untied,’ and ‘Icons #104′ are by the reception desk.  In the back, by the Neu America gallery, you will find a large selection of individual ‘Icons.’  In addition, I brought out: ‘Overworld,’ and ‘Outerworld,’ two larger pieces which explore the minds perception of depth and space.  Finally, one of my favorite paintings, (which happens to be two canvases,) is hanging by the icons: ‘Inside the Mind of a Seed 1 and 2.’

You can see all of these pieces on this website and blog, but you should get over to City Arts to really appreciate them!  I’d love to hear your comments if you go to the gallery…

'Holding Color 1 and 2' ( bottom and top, respectively)

'Holding Color 1 and 2' ( bottom and top, respectively)

'King of the Mountain,' Your Laces are Untied' and 'Icons #104'

'King of the Mountain,' Your Laces are Untied' and 'Icons #104'

Some happy faces in the crowd

Some happy faces in the crowd

'Overworld,' 'Inside the Mind of a Seed 1 and 2,' and various 'Icons'

'Overworld,' 'Inside the Mind of a Seed 1 and 2,' and various 'Icons' (top to bottom, respectively)

Thanks to all for your support!

Thanks to all for your support!

UPDATED PICS - Equilibrium: Beyond Boundaries opening November 19th, Orlando

equilibriumweb

I will be showing larger pieces and plan to bring out some new paintings!  Please come out and spend your Thursday night with me and the other great artists!

Equilibrium
ART BEYOND BOUNDARIES
Host: Neu America Art Magazine
Date: Thursday, November 19, 2009
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: City Arts Factory- Second Floor - 29 S. Orange Ave Orlando 32801

Description
EQUILIBRIUM is a multicultural celebration of the arts and diversity that characterizes the city of Orlando. Neu America Art Magazine brings to City Arts Factory a select group of artists and their latest work. The scene of Equilibrium will render a contemporary look of some of our local artists. The industrial and modern feeling of the gallery is the perfect scenario for this mixture of cultures and styles. Whether pottery, canvas or paper the gallery’s setup will lend itself nicely to an up-close inspection of each and every one of the works. Do not miss this extraordinary exhibition.

Jason Cullison with 'Water'

Jason Cullison with 'Water'

upstairs crowd at City Arts Factory, Orlando, FL

upstairs crowd at City Arts Factory, Orlando, FL

Jason Cullison answering a few questions about his art

Jason Cullison answering a few questions about his art

downstairs gallery installation at City Arts Factory - various 'Icons' and 'King of the Mountain'

downstairs gallery installation at City Arts Factory - various 'Icons' and 'King of the Mountain'

Still Painting!

Well, I’d love to just lay back and bask in the glory that is the ‘Icons: #3 through,’ show, but that would be wrong and short lived!  As of yesterday, I have sold over half of that show and I am so happy to have connected with so many people.

However, in the time since the opening, I have been working on a new idea for the ‘Icons’ series.  So far the final paintings for the ‘Icons’ series have exceeded my expectations and early visions; these are no exception.  By breaking out of the flat painted surface, the squares are just that much more in focus to the viewer.  The size relationships are expounded on and feeling of depth over a surface which is so much harder and impenetrable than canvas is much more interesting.  I especially like the subtle play of shadows over the hard surface and the way that they can change throughout the day.  It is a pleasure to paint abstract expressionist paintings that the squares float above.  Likewise, a pleasure to work out the best movement of the squares across that ‘color-scape.’  I begin the paintings with only the vaguest notion of what will happen, based only on my color palette.  I finish the paintings after much deliberation and moving and placing and re-placing of the squares.  It is very different than when I paint on canvas; and very liberating in a way.  Also, strange - as I have to work over the painting on the ground, as I have yet to figure out how to make my wood tiles actually float in the air!

'Icons #103,' 26" x 12", acrylic and metallic leaf on wood tiles over wood panel, 2009.  Collection of Austins Coffee, Winter Park, FL.

'Icons #103,' 26" x 12", acrylic and metallic leaf on wood tiles over wood panel, 2009. Collection of Austins Coffee, Winter Park, FL.

'Icons #104,' 30" x 24", acrylic and metallic leaf on wood tiles over wood panel, 2009.

'Icons #104,' 30" x 24", acrylic and metallic leaf on wood tiles over wood panel, 2009.

Detail view: 'Icons #104'

Detail view: 'Icons #104'

Detail view: 'Icons #104'

Detail view: 'Icons #104'

‘Icons: #3 through,’ is a success and is still running!

First, I have to say thank you.  Thank you to everyone who helped and supported me as I was working through this project and the lead up time before the installation - my wife and parents, especially.  Thank you to all of you who showed and kept up interest in this idea.  Thank you to Austins Coffee for the great venue and Scott Suldo for the great tunes.  Finally, thank you to all of you who not only came out to the opening night, but walked away with one, (or more!) of my paintings.  It is a sigh of relief; a feeling of validation; an inspiration for the ‘next’ idea.

This project is something I have been ruminating and periodically working on for about a decade.  I had an inspiration after delving a little deeper into the meanings and aesthetic of Eastern Orthodox iconography.  I felt that I could synthesize the designs and then distill them to, what was for me, the simplest form: a metallic leafed wooden square with and equal armed black cross on it.  From this discovery of a visual shorthand or memory of something more complex, I moved forward.  I then decided that I would add simple, archetypal images that seemed to me to be easy to relate to and that would evoke a personal memory in the viewer.  Simple ideas and memories of important things or experiences that the viewer could relate to through the little pictures just as the observant would relate to and ascribe higher meanings to traditional Christian icons.  It wasn’t about religion as much as it was and is about communication.  Straightforward engagement of the viewer.  100 of the 101 paintings in this show are single images.  However, the original and other later pieces in the series have included multiple images - each on a separate square tile. (see ‘Icons #1,’ 2000, on the Gallery page) I found, at the opening, that quite a few people, put together groupings of images to create their own narratives.  This makes the series highly interactive and personal and further blurs the line between my intent and the viewers’ interpretations.  In a sense this proves one of my theories that I am constantly mindful of when creating: Perception is Reality.

Of the 101 paintings that I installed, 40 sold on the opening night!  I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the outcome - and surprised!

The show continues to run at Austins Coffee in Winter Park, until November 11th.  Please try to make it there to see the pieces and have a cup of the finest coffee in the Winter Park /Orlando area.

Freshly installed, 'Icons.'  A few hours before the show opening.

Freshly installed, 'Icons.' A few hours before the show opening.

Another view before the opening.

Another view before the opening.

Jason Cullison drinking it all in on opening night.   Photo courtesy of Jason De la Cruz.

Jason Cullison drinking it all in on opening night. Photo courtesy of Jason De la Cruz.

Jason Cullison (right) and brother-in-law, Charlie Bogatescu.  Photo courtesy of Jason De la Cruz.

Jason Cullison (right) and brother-in-law, Charlie Bogatescu. Photo courtesy of Jason De la Cruz.

A few of the 'Icons' sold and reserved early in the night!   Photo courtesy of Jason De la Cruz.

A few of the 'Icons' sold and reserved early in the night! Photo courtesy of Jason De la Cruz.

Music provided by Scott Suldo, of the Supervillains!

Music provided by Scott Suldo, of the Supervillains!

Avid art collectors and good friends, Steve and Rebecca Gongage.

Avid art collectors and good friends, Steve and Rebecca Gongage.

Alex Nicolau, from New Jersey, commissioned some 'Icons' for his family.

Alex Nicolau, from New Jersey, commissioned some 'Icons' for his family.

Donna Sweetman and Stacy Stevens enjoyed some of the fine food that Austins Coffee has to offer.

Donna Sweetman and Stacy Stevens enjoyed some of the fine food that Austins Coffee has to offer.

Shannon Adams, Kristy Bolin, Jason Cullison and Janae Parker.

Shannon Adams, Kristy Bolin, Jason Cullison and Janae Parker.

Charlie Bogatescu, Michelle Lynch, Alex Nicolau and Christina and Jason Cullison.  What a night!

Charlie Bogatescu, Michelle Lynch, Alex Nicolau and Christina and Jason Cullison. What a night!