Tag Archives: mickey

“Mon Cœur Électrique”, Loveless Letters Series, No. 67

14 Nov

Mon Cœur Électrique


I arrived to Paris ORLY from Schönefeld in Berlin. I had spent a week in Berlin because I had heard it was the ‘Belle Epoque” for artists. I flew to Berlin to find something hidden in my head, as other artists claimed that if you wanted to expand your visual understanding of things, well.. Berlin was the place….. and while I found much inspiration in that city, I felt the need to reconnect back to Paris to see, … just see if there was something more to this “Belle Epoque” idea. 
The minute I got off the plane, something in my head and chest began to tingle. It was almost as if there was this tuning fork in my body that someone (or something) hit inside of me. Visions of work started flipping through my brain like an out of control zoetrope. I ran through the airport to the metro and took the train to my friends apartment in Northern Paris. 
When I arrived to Txeo and Romain’s flat, I immediately threw down my luggage and rolled out my canvas to paint. It was the strangest sensation. It was one of the first times where I was so overloaded with an idea that I had to get it out as soon as I could. The next day I took the painting all over the city. I painted on the street with my art book as my easel, and sat down on the street corners of Le Marais, Marcedet de Poissonniers, and Barbes Rocheouart. I painted on the steps of Sacre Cœur in Montmartre, as well as the concrete field of the Centre De Pompidou. I painted in cafés, restaurants, but most of all I painted on the street. 
This piece is a loveless letters painting that goes over that emotion of being overwhelmed with inspiration. In each corner there is a skull that represents a part of the body and the natural occurrence that attaches to it. 
1. NW. Mon Esprit (My Mind)- Speech = La Tempete Électrique (Thunder Storm)
2. NE. Ma Voix (My Voice)- Speech = Ouragan (Hurricane)
3. SW. Mon Cœur (My Heart)- Speech = La Foudre (Lightning)
4. SE.Mon Âme (My Soul)- Speech = Seisme (Earthquake)
Here is some additional information on the piece:
Left Side Background- These are the directions that I wrote to get to my flat. It says “METRO RER (B) to GARE DU NORD to METRO 4 to SIMPLON.
Upper Background- While it rained in Paris, it was not depressing. Rain at times saddens me beyond belief because I was oversaturated with it in Seattle (Seriously.. 18 months in Seattle and it rained  a total of 15 months of that time.. sometimes nonstop for 90 days.. and thats taken the … love of rain away for me 🙂 ). There are clouds that are raining, but they are raining symbols that I’ve taken in. The clouds say “Connect here because wonderment never ceases”
Right Background- It says “Inside all of us are these tuning forks and certain places in the world hit us in the most mysterious ways.. to let us know in vibes where we belong”
Lower Background- It says “In from the heart and out into the world” as well as “Espoir” which means ‘Hope” in French.
Here is the blog inside Mickey’s head.
“Arrondissement XVIII, September XXV, 2013
You can feel it in the air here in Paris. I can’t explain it. It is like this subtle vibration. You can feel it in your bones. Something exists here but what it is I cannot tell. I arrived from Schönefeld to ORLY and rode the metro to Simplon, and on the train my head began to create visions of work. It is here where I dream best… underneath the thick metropolitan French clouds. There are thousands of pictures rotating in my heart like an overloaded washing machine. I never want to leave here. Some of us I feel were born in the wrong place for a reason, like.. we are falling stars of meteors that just landed in the wrong spots, and we our whole lives we travel to find out where we were supposed to land. Maybe thats the vibration.. its a signal for home.
Or maybe I just have the flu”
On the outskirt of the painting (which you cannot see here), there is another piece that says:
” This painting started on a friday afternoon in the 18th arrondissement in Paris, France. It conspired in a 5th floor residence off of Ornano st, near Simplon Metro. In the history of this project, I have never had such a fire lit underneath me. Every city I have been in, in my life has never affected me as much. I initially came to Berlin to feel something, become one with the Belle Epoque, but I found it here, underneath the floorboards of this Parisian Apartment.”
I also drew the front and back of my 5 day metro pass to its exact detail.
I left back to Berlin with my heart fully aching. Although I had finished the piece in Paris, I felt that a week wasn’t enough time to get what was in my head out. This piece is an amulet of my experience there, and I can only hope that one day I will have the opportunity to return to incorporate a body of work that this city of Paris inspires. I am truly in love with that city. I cannot tell you enough how much a love it. 

“Forevermore”, The Human Condition Series, No. 51

5 Apr


Love is the incredible psychic adhesive that glues us all together.

It is complex and vast in its mystical workings, and for the life of me, one of the hardest emotions to piece together as a painting. When doing the “Human Condition Series”, emotions of greed, despair, and confusion were the easiest to put together, as these primarily worked as surface agents that, from a visual perspective, were easy to explain. Love, in all its circuitous glory, was far more intimidating to create, as it relied on my understanding on emotional depth, .. and I had to dive deep into the random crazy scribblings that I prescribe myself in these workings to fundamentally explain the sinewy fabrications of an emotion I have chased for years.

This piece is composed of dozens of phrases that ultimately construct the cloud 9 consciousness that love emits. In the face, items of music, flowers, and catchphrases bloom from the center of the face. There are radiating circumferences of pink and black that pulsate to the outer edges of the piece, signifying that frequency like signal that the feeling of love emits… almost as if Mickey is radio tower broadcasting waves of joy and happiness to all that is in reach.

This started out in Seattle Washington at a wedding on Capitol Hill during Valentines Day, and was worked on a flight back to San Francisco, and various diners and locations all over SF as well.

This piece is entitled “Forevermore” as in reference to happily ever after we, as humans, chase throughout our lives. It is the 8th in “Human Condition” series, and 58th in the TENxTENxTEN collection.

“Mickissey”, Extra Series, No. XX

31 Mar


My love of KISS imagery primarily is retrospective. It did not spawn in their heyday of the 1970’s, as I was only 3 when 1980 rolled around. I do however, remember when I first saw Gene Simmons on the television screen, and I remember being completely transfixed. I also remember feeling incredibly guilty of being transfixed as I was raised in a strict Catholic upbringing, and really.. thought that I was witnessing the hypnotic powers of satan on television. Not only was I raised in a catholic home, but I was raised in a home that only listened to classical music and disco sounds (and the combination of the two), so hearing this heightened version of rock ‘n’ roll, .. well it peeled back the artichoke layers of my brain and opened my ears to a whole new form of sound.

KISS, to me, revolutionized the way I heard music, and the way music made me feel. Before KISS, I thought music was only for hearing, but this.. the words, guitar riffs, and catchy drum beats, spiraled my little youthful brain into a chaotic tempest of noise and feeling that I had never experienced before. It should be noted however, that these feelings terrified me because I did not understand them,… so for most of my childhood, I was terrified by them (and yet drew them consistently).

It wasn’t until my teens, where I revisited the icons of my past, where I acknowledged that what terrified me, were perhaps the most powerful spirits of my cognitive expansion. KISS, was at the forefront of this self discovery. I began to listen again to the lyrics, which were so different than when I first heard them. It was like I was reading a book for the 2nd time, and understanding it for the 1st time now that my brain fully comprehended the words. The lyrics were soothing sympathetic verses of not only being ‘misunderstood’ per se, but fully grabbing the reigns of being the ‘ginger sheep’ of the group, and holding power in knowing how to harness the idea of individuality. It was saying to me “Yeah, people may call you a freak, but you are, so rock on with your freak self”.

This is the 9th of the “Children of the 1980’s” Series, and 58th in the TENxTENxTEN collection. The title of this piece is called “Mickissey”

Steamboat Willie Unlocked, Battle of the Senses Series, No. 45

8 Mar

Steamboat Willie Unlocked


Back in January of 2011, I met with Violinist/Documentarian Paul Festa for his film entitled “Tie It Into My Hand”, in where he filmed different artists of different backgrounds to teach him how to play Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto better. The spin on the film was that no one was a violinist and in some way fashion and form, we had to .. tell him when he was playing it wrong.  (You can read a little about this on No. 13, “Lightbulb City, Population: Infinite”)

In my particular lesson, I wanted to focus on the emotional intent and storyline of the piece, and have Paul play those feelings through his instrument. Since I wasn’t a violinist, I asked Paul to imagine the color that best represents the emotion of the piece, and have him play that hue to the best of his ability. The other obstacle to this, was that I am colorblind, so I had to feel the temperature, convert that into color, and let him know when he was playing it wrong.

In the end, I converted the 9 minute lesson by a 24 x 24 inch canvas gridded by 144 squares, and broke each square into 3.75 seconds of music. I placed the colors of the music into each square with corresponding geometric shapes to convey spikes, peaks, drops, and double tones. In the end this project went beyond the spectrum of the film, and became an individual biography piece called “For You to See” within the Film “OTHER THAN”*, which debuted at Cannes last year!

Not only that, but I received an acceptance to apply to The Smithsonian’s Artist Residency Fellowship with a chance to further the idea as a collection called “Chromatones”.

I decided to extend this form of Synesthesia art into the TENxTENxTEN collection underneath the “Battle of the Senses” Series. The background on this piece is a translation of pitch and frequency converted into colors and guided by geometric shapes. The music being translated is “Turkey in the Straw” from Disney’s 1928 classic, “Steamboat Willie”. This is 108 seconds of sound divided into 49 two inch squares measuring 2.2 seconds of music per square. The colors portray the high jovial pitches of sound, with minimal lower jovial undertones throughout the piece.

* FILM WESBITE: http://realideasstudio.org/RIS_2013/Other_Than.html

“#”, Human Condition Series, No. 44

18 Jan


“#”, otherwise known as “hashtag” is a metadata tag that allows words attached to “#” be classified into a searchable group. This is primarily used for internet social media outlets to connect users to a common word for many purposes (however it is not solely used for this). I relate this idea of tagging in much ways to the gateway of sensory perception.

Originally when I created this piece, I was doing a piece for the “Loveless Letters” section going over the year of travel in 2012. Each square was to be an airport terminal to a plane flight number, to an arriving gate, to an airport terminal, to a plane flight….  and so on and so on. Each square was to be a launching point to an arriving destination point that in turn launched to a different area.. When I had finished all the line work, I pulled back to look at the portrait, and the entire concept flipped entirely aesthetically into something else. While these were pathways, these resembled more of the action of getting to one place to the next.

This is


Worked on in:

  1. Los Feliz Art Studio, Los Angeles California
  2. Rooftop off of Sycamore Street, Mission District, San Francisco, California
  3. Box Factory, Mission District, San Francisco, California
  4. SOMA Art Studio, San Francisco, California

“Topsy Turvy”, Extra Series, No. XX

30 Dec

Topsy Turvy

Disorientation is the feeling I experience the most in regards to “The Human Condition Series”. I’ve been confused for a large portion of my life as understanding and keeping the information of things learned has always slipped my grasp as a kid. My brain had the hardest time retaining facts and information when I was young, and I always felt like I was spinning in this upside down spiraling void whenever asked to repeat, recite, or simply remember anything.

I used to think that inside everyone’s body was a house. Inside your feet were the basement and rec room, the legs were the study and exercise rooms, the stomach was the kitchen and dining room, the chest was the living room, and the brain was your own bedroom of sorts. Everyday I’d walk around staring at people trying to figure out what their house looked like from the inside, and automatically would associate their personality to the state of their house. The wacky would have funky houses, the prim and proper would have cookie cutter duplexes, and sad and disheveled would have empty and lost rooms awaiting furniture.

Looking inside my own self, I imagined that all the furniture was on the ceiling, and that magazines, coffee cups, and random flotsam and jetsam floated about the room with no gravity, aimlessly clinking into each other with no means of ever settling. All the paintings were backwards, and everything was in a consistent state of how I liked to describe to people as “upside-down-ness”. I suppose this was some kind of coping mechanism to relate to the world that I had attention deficit hyperactive disorder,  and had severe learning disabilities in both math and science.

When teachers would ask “Why can’t you understand this?” or “Why aren’t you retaining this information”, I could only reply that everything in my head was “Topsy Turvy”, and/or more specifically “That none of my furniture is on the floor in my head”, to which would promptly get me sent to the school shrink for my metaphors (which was common). I think for a lot of my life growing up in the microcosm of the school system in Georgia, my ability to relate to people on an educational level, let alone, a social level, was met with great obstacles, due to my inability to retain information. I was always in this state of confusion due to the mass amount of information being fed to me on a daily basis. In essence my imagination was a deterrent to me understanding anything, and therefore became my worst enemy.

With that being said, I was always “TOPSY TURVY”.

I was heavily insecure about this, even after being retested in my senior year and being rebranded as intelligent, heck.. EVEN after becoming an algebra tutor to my peers in college. .. I still had this lingering aftertaste of being inadequate and slow to the world. That feeling of confusion, being overwhelmed, backwards, upside-down.. still floated around softly in my skull tepidly whispering its potential of return. Occasionally in my late twenties and thirties working in business/corporate, I’d be reminded of its ghost, and I’d give it little refuge for establishing itself in my head.

It wasn’t until I fully realized that this confusion, this disorientation, … was more of a sensation from stifling my imagination and creative abilities. When I was discovered as an artist, my ideas emptied out of my head like a burst dam. .. YEARS AND YEARS of dreaming, thinking, drawing, sketching, … previous actions which were hinderances to my learning development, were suddenly rewarded by my quirky and weird thought processes. I wasn’t a failure. I wasn’t slow. In fact, there was nothing wrong with me at all. I just happened to be a human being meant for different things, things that required different thought patterns and different approaches. I was an artist. That was really it in the end.

This piece is called “Topsy Turvy” which is the essential mainframe to confusion and ‘upside-down-ness’. For some of us, this backwards feeling can be quite unsettling, BUT for us creative folks, the idea of changing things around… thinking outside the box, and putting the ‘triangle peg in the square shape” … can be the very RARE quality that makes us catalysts for others to dream, think beyond the scope, and ultimately see and create beautiful things.

“Monsieur Mystère Moderne 1”, Contemporary Modern Series, No. 18

9 Apr

The classification and production of modern art and post modern art is a tricky one for me, especially because it denotes not only a style dictation, but a time period of when it happened. I always feel that painting in the likes of a period is like turning in an assignment that was past due (and in this case, the assignment was due before I was born). Granted, as artists, we are allowed to pick and choose our aesthetic, but I’m always wanting to be a part of something as its happening, and not as its happened. In this case, Modern art.

This piece was influenced by Paul Mavrides, whose series set the “whoopie cushion” on modern art, in relation to the “Nancy” comic strip. His pieces were a humorous (yet very POWERFUL) statement on fixing or reinventing the image that clearly wasn’t broken to begin with. Here, we have an iconic face, the button/pie eyed Mickey who needs no explaining or fixing. The classic Mickey (in relation to fine art) never needs change, because his face is familiar, and that familiarity is comfortable. However, as times change, the face of animation and Mickey changes. His ‘rubber hose’ arms tighten, his eyes grow human pupils, and over the years his objective cartoon nature becomes more human, AND THAT change itself is comfortable to people because it relates the character CLOSER to the viewer in their own similarity. Change Mickey’s features in ANY other way that is unparalleled to the human world, and there is chaos. Change him drastically more into a human being, there is no question.

This piece is about unparalleled change of the icon, and how it translates a sub-objective nature to communicate in code to the viewer. Yes, the words aren’t in order, but your brain translates the name. And even further in our times, where “L33t 5P34k”  (Elite Speak) is a form of new communication, Mickey says “0# 804′, which translates to “OH BOY!” to the viewer who understands this future language.