It was nice to take a trip and since I’ve started Junkprints clothing this has been the longest period of time I’ve been away from Brooklyn. So it was def much needed. I had a chance to get some thinking in and this trip changed my whole perspective on alot of things, politics babies, family, lifestyle etc.
I’ll keep it simple in this recap and first talk about the show I had the honer to participate in. When I first saw the address for the Gallery all I could think of is how cracky the area was. It’s been a minute since I’ve been in Denver. The last time I was there, a gallery such as Andenken did not exist and the area that Andeken lived in was the home of raves and crack heads. At that time Denver art work pretty much consisted of commissioned oil pastels and bronze sculpture of buffaloes, Indians and cowboys aka lame as hell. As if the institutional brick and brown skyline isn’t enough. It’s as if city planning didn’t want anyone to forget that the most amazing part of CO is the epic endless sky (god forbid you’d go their anything else…I swear if I had one more moron make a dumb ass comment about my dreads I think I would have cut my leg off and stuck it up their…we’ll just keep this rated pg13). Anyhoot, when I pulled up to this awesome warehouse space my jaw just about dropped. The place was super awesome and for a quick second I forgot all about the oversized bronze live stock littered all over the city and disguised as art. I was pretty inspired. Yay! Go Denver for keeping up on yer Juxtapose Mag and shit. Didn’t know you had it in ya.
After dropping off my art work. My dad took me to go see Rick Griffith at Matter Studio. He gave me and the fam a tour our his fantastic design and letter press studio. Damn I miss that studio. Wish I had had a chance to go back while I was in Denver, but ya’ll should def check out his work. It will enhance your like…or at least affect it in some shape of form. It’s good to see Rick doin’ his thing and holding down those presses. Next time I’m out there I wanna intern at Matter, or at least take the trash out from time to time.
After that I pretty much stayed close to my pal Naomi, I planned this trip around her due date. Yep that’s right my gal (and her man) brought a freakin child into the world. Generally I’m not really into babies. I appreciate them but they aren’t my thing. They’re fragile, they look funny at first, the shit and cry and need stuff all the time and a good chunk of them grow to be assholes. Yes, some of ‘em grow up to be awesome folks, but let’s not kid ourselves, even Hitler was someones lovable baby at one point. This baby is special though, because both of his parents are reasonable, open minded, free thinking folks and that just might be the formula for being parents. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I was def inspired and kinda mushy on the inside for their fantastic family. “My own babies?” you ask…I wasn’t that inspired, and anything that requires me to not roller skate or jump on trampolines for long periods of time is a hindrance to my quality of life, call it selfish but I know my limits.
And then the show opened! Yah! Except for the art work wasn’t freakin labeled. That’s right, they did a group show, had a press opening and didn’t label the work. Shepard Fairey was swarmed with press but the rest of us chumps (well the ones that were their to witness the show) were on our own. This sucked balls and I left shortly upon arrival pretty pissed off and ready to take my work off the walls. Sometimes I have a hard time asking for stuff and get all upset on the inside trying to figure out what’s a fair request. This was one of those moments. So I decided to give the coordinators a piece of my mind the next morning and threatened to pull the work it wasn’t labeled by noon on the terms that it was wack to invite artists to show work (many of it created specifically for the occasion of supporting the Democratic convention) and not to give them credit. WTF??? So after I spoke with them they assured me that the work would be labeled (after letting me know that it wasn’t just my work that wasn’t labeled, so basically they were doing bunch of artists dirty not just me, yay! solidarity in your fuck up, that makes me feel alot better;) I had to check things out for myself . When I arrived they were in the midst of putting up maps and gallery guides for the art work so I labeled my own art work and spoke to them again, and well, I’m a sucker! They gave me passes to live performances there and I left with a smile. Sorry for all ya’ll that didn’t get credited, I can’t fight all the battles all the time and my dilemma had been solved. Check this out…after I labeled my art work I got contacted by 3 publications that afternoon doing write ups on the show. Go figure.
After all that whoohaaa I finally had a chance to enjoy the show and enjoy the festivities. Over all the show was great, I was super excited to be showing with a great group of artists. I know that the theme was Hope and Change but I didn’t anticipate sooooo many portraits of Obama. I was taken aback by it and couldn’t help but compair it to Nazi propaganda art. I don’t remember an election that had so much iconic imagery centered around one man and his theme (maybe I’m too young). I am NOT comparing Obama to the Nazis, I am simply comparing the propaganda and effect on the audience. I literally saw folks in tears at just a mention of Obama and his intentions. It’s awesome to see folks this moved but a bit concerning because ultimately the ‘hope, change, believe’ thing was put into production by a marketing team, with a target audience. Obama seems to stand behind this 100%, but it’s still a sold concept like the ‘Be Kanye‘ ads and I think it’s important to keep things in perspective and use some media literacy to decipher this stuff as best we can. The show organizers had asked that some of the artist donate the art work to help raise money for the campaign. I know that campaigns are expensive and I appreciate Obama not taking money from private lobbyists but I can’t cosign private jets and expensive dinners for Obama and crew, so I decided not to donate my piece and just felt that my artwork could serve a broader cause then that. I look forward to the elections and the debates and can’t wait to see it all unfold. As a side note that Palin chick is wack and I’m not feeling the tokenism, McCain an peeps.
…and one more thing. If you find yourself in Denver, well Thorton to be exist. you must go to jump street…wall to wall trampolines. NO LIE! It smells like feet but after you get over that, you can play dodge ball on trampolines and get completely pooped out in less than 20mins.