Thursday, November 11, 2010

I'm On City Pages' "Top 100 Creatives" List!

This is unreasonably flattering, especially considering the amazing talent that's already been profiled. - more

Be sure to read the other posts, too. Minneapolis has got some pretty incredible shit going on.


Chicago Was Windy For Only, Like, One Day


So I was in Chicago last weekend for a show at the Morpho Gallery. It looked great and was well-attended (considering the gallery's size and location), and, considering it was my first show ever in Chicago, it went pretty much as well as I could have expected. The night was actually kind of a surreal experience, as I wound up feeling weirdly nostalgic for those first few times I began showing the Miscreants of Tiny Town series. See, here I was in a small group show, showing brand new work no one has ever seen before to an unfamiliar crowd. I found myself in essentially the same position I was in 5 years ago, with no expectations, no assumption of sales, just being interested in people's reactions and stray observations.

It's what happened the day before that was a new experience: my good friend and client (who curated the Morpho show, incidentally) stuck her neck out and set up an appointment to meet with Anita Jerman, the owner and director of Curly Tale Fine Art, in downtown Chicago. I had read their email correspondences leading up to the meeting, and Anita was clearly skeptical that my work would be a fit with her gallery, on the grounds that my stuff might be too "illustrative." Come on. This, coming from the owner of a gallery called Curly Tale Fine Art? I was pretty skeptical too.

Anyway, the gallery wound up being in a great location, Anita is very professional and clearly sales-oriented, her other artists are well recognized, and she's continuing to develop a strong reputation in the area. And within a few minutes of looking at a couple of the pieces we brought along, she changed her mind and offered to represent me. The meeting lasted less than a 1/2 hour. So as we left, I think my friend and I were a both a little stunned. I remember saying something like, "hm, so that's something." And she said something along the lines of, "huh. Yeah."

I don't mean to brag, but my reptile brain remains in mint condition, like a sweet Pontiac Firebird from the '70's. It's got cool flames painted on the side and all that shit. So of course my fight or flight response immediately kicked in, as it always does when I've been offered a new opportunity I didn't see coming. I spent the rest of the weekend assuming she offered to sign me on just get us out of her gallery and I'll never hear from her again, but then I received the contract in the mail yesterday.

So that happened. Thank you, Shayne.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Fun Morning

Well, I did a terrible job on the radio today. I had a great time while failing, though, and everyone treated me really well. If you can believe it, I've even been asked back for some reason. Anyway, the photo above is the thing you'll get if you win the trivia question posed on the show this week. You're welcome, world.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Good News and Updates

I found out yesterday that I'm one of the artists selected for the 2010 CSA Grant. It's going to be a huge amount of work in a short amount of time, so if anyone has any extra Pepto Bismol laying around, I could sure use it for the inevitable ulcer this next month is going to cause me. Really, though, this is a phenomenal opportunity, and I'm deeply grateful to the committee and all the kind words of encouragement from the fans, board members and friends and family. This next month will fly by.

While simultaneously working on 50 small paintings for the grant, I'll be finishing 10 new pieces for a show in Chicago at the Morpho gallery opening in early November. Lots of details need to be hammered out, but it's still a go and I'm really excited to see what happens. The photo I posted above is a piece I did for the show, and though it's not quite finished, I'm happy with how it's turned out so far. More images and details about the show will be cropping up slowly but surely.

BREAKING NEWS: I also just found out today that I've been invited to participate in Fox Tax's holiday show, "A Few of Our Favorite Things." Honestly, this made my day. I've participated in a couple of their highly publicized, well-received shows over the past couple of years, and the fact that they consider my work to be one of their "favorites" is a huge compliment to me. They also asked me to donate a piece to a charity of my choosing, which of course I'm more than honored to do. Anyway, that happened just now. It's nice. Minneapolis has proven time and again that it's one of the best cultural focal points in the country, and I'm constantly reminded of how lucky I am just to be an infinitesimally small part of it.

Anyway, as a reminder, I'm going to be on the radio as a guest on KFAI's Geek Report on September 25th. Finally, you'll get your chance to know what a lack of charisma actually sounds like. Look for it!

Okay, I need to get back to further exacerbating my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Have a great weekend, and thank you.

Monday, September 13, 2010


1: "One Reflection Leads the Other"

2: "The Fallen Trees"

Stop by my store for more information!

More soon,


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A New Hot Mess-in-Progress

Hi again,

Here are some new images of a piece I'm putting together. As you can see there's a lot of work left to be done, but it's slowly starting to come along.

One viewer commented on a detail shot of the "truck" that she didn't see the disturbing element of the story. She made one of those ":(" signs, which seemed to indicate that she was disappointed. She's got a point, though; I am trying to make this one as innocent-looking as possible. however, if anyone else is concerned that the piece won't be creepy enough, don't worry. It'll get there.

Enjoy whatever it is you do on a Tuesday,


Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Trip Down Memory New Shit I've Been Working On:

So there's that. I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks when it's finished, on account I don't have a whole lot going on.

Fuck you. Sorry I said fuck you.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Crazy Black Lady from Haitia and Other Bummers

Okay, so I had this dream last night. I was filming a documentary about some sort of political strife in this country called Haitia. (I'm guessing that maybe watching documentaries about the earthquake in Haiti brought this on.) So anyway, I'm standing on this plateau overlooking the capital city, and I'm interviewing this woman who was essentially my guide. She's totally naked, save for a bright blue turban made out of rags, and she has iron-black skin and was so dark I couldn't see her eyes. She was tall and lanky, about 6 or 7-feet tall, with all the curves and the proportions of a long evening shadow.

Any hoo, she was explaining that crime and drugs were the chief problems in her country, and she pointed down at a recently-extinguished fire pit that was strewn with small, orange, plastic contraptions that looked suspiciously like medical devices. Though she didn't explain what the drug was or how those tools were used, all she said was, "it make dem go crazy," and she spun her finger at her temple.

The jet-black, naked woman/girl-thing pointed out that we were standing on a long, looping path leading up to one of the ugly, swollen hills that loomed over the city; a curdled greenish-yellow at the top, an angry red at its base, like a cyst. "We don't go there," she said, and explained that all of the dealers, pimps, murderers and thieves of the country live up there. The police are terrified of citizens being seduced by the dangers of that hill, but since the country is so poorly managed, the path isn't blocked off or restricted; the police are forced to hide behind bushes and shoot unwary hikers on site.

In the distance, two young girls, wearing brightly-colored burkas are seen wandering up onto the path, and my guide starts running while screaming warnings at them. But since the road's so filthy and gravelly, the woman can only hop and limp while her bare feet are cut on the garbage and rocks. As the undercover police run out from the scraggly bushes to murder the girls, another group of men appear from behind a boulder and attack the cops. We realize that the men are relatives of the girls, and they had used the girls as bait to start a civil war. This conflict immediately spreads down into the city, and my guide and I wind up getting swept up in the fight. We run down into town, and witness a horribly violent uprising taking place around a giant factory posing as an elementary school.

I know, right?

So through all the chaos, it's impossible for me to tell the difference between the undercover cops and the citizens. But through the smoke, I see the ragged blue turban of my guide. Her deep black skin was now streaked a blistered white, and I could see her eyes now, all bulging and crazed, her limbs ragged and static. Someone had thrown bleach on her. She was wandering in slow, deliberate circles around the fight. I was screaming desperately for her to go away, to take cover in the woods, but all it seemed to do was deflect her for a moment, then she would stagger back into her crazy orbit.

Eventually the fighting ground to a halt, though there were still gunshots and screams in the distance. There were only a few survivors left among the piles of bodies, and the few that could stand were watching one man stand over another man; I couldn't tell which one was the police and which one was the citizen, at this point. The one who could walk slowly paced around the wounded man, just like my guide was hovering around this particular block of fighting. I remember screaming at the man to not kill the injured one, because the war was over, and - this line stuck out for me - I remember shouting, "if he dies, we won't be able to find out who won."

The pacing man stopped and stared at me. He looked exactly like one of the autistic residents of the group home I managed a decade ago, before moving to New York. He was dark-eyed, Mexican, and missing one of his front teeth, and he always smiled broadly. But finally, when I thought I had successfully talked him down, he suddenly stopped pacing. The depth of his eye contact told me that he made his decision and then he reared-up and kicked the man's nose deep into his head. At that moment in the dream, I woke up to the dog licking my nostrils, her way of telling me to take her outside.

So after all that bullshit, what's the deal?

See, about a month ago, I was really struggling about how to anchor these new wolf-people folks into the narratives of this series I'm developing. I was thinking about these new dog-characters, and their wealthy, decadent society that's based purely around their seduction of wayward children, and how they would introduce themselves into the "world" I had been working on for however-long. So one night in the studio, while staring at some blank panels and wondering what the fuck I'm supposed to do with them, I suddenly started thinking about my dad. He used to take my family camping when I was kid. I remember one time in particular, he put little bells on all of our backpacks to ward off any bears who might potentially be in the area. Funny: as a 9 year-old, that made perfect sense. It seemed like such a considerate idea, and I pictured a family of bloodthirsty bears politely gathering up their cubs and moving on as soon as they heard little tinkling bell sounds. Now, though, thinking back on that, those bears completely missed out on the fact that those fragile noises woulda led to the prettiest-sounding dinner bell of their lives.

Several of those times, while we were all out into the woods, my dad would stress the importance of staying on the trail we were using. Because if you veered off, he'd pant, you could get lost or hurt. To a small, overly-protected kid who grew up in the suburbs, the weight of those words, "lost" and "hurt," were kind of mind-blowing, especially when traveling to an unknown destination in the middle of some vast and unfamiliar forest. Years and years later, he died drunk and alone. Oh, well.

So nowadays, the idea of The Path is starting to become as much of a presence in the new series as any of my other characters. It's softened my original ideas of the wolf-people a little bit. They're luring the kids, while at the same time it's clear that they're up to no good. The wolf-people are starting to become a kind of manifestation of all the things that are about to wrong, of all the things we don't understand yet take for granted, and of all the things or people or ideas that we're taught to live with comfortably every day that are actually out to get us. So as much of a narrative "centerpiece" as The Path is, it totally doesn't matter because the protection and safety we're promised by staying on it is just some fake little painting.

Ugh. Too much. Any ideas of how to lighten up would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Here are some new posts I put up on Etsy

New posts will be coming up soon.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Here's a New Thing I'm Working On:

Another Evening Stroll

Hi, there.

I've got a few details to work on, but otherwise this one's essentially finished.

So that happened.

Monday, July 12, 2010

If a tree falls in the forest and no one's around to hear it

...then that means you've arrived at my new blog.


So it looks like my childhood dream of becoming a paranoid, sickly shut-in has been achieved beyond my wildest expectations. I went out into the studio at about 8pm last night, then, when I decided that I should probably wrap it up and turn in for the night, it was 5am. Like, in the morning. Sad. Productive, but sad.

The above photos are what NE Minneapolis looks like that early in the morning.