Sketch for Socialist newsletter cover.

Her-oboros.  Train Sketch.

Run, Screaming.


11-11-11 notes.


I walk around Bed Stuy taking pictures of autumn leaves on black limbs, rustling piles beneath battered Tims, smile across my face and ink all over my hands, like I’m in some bad early 90’s indie flick you never saw or heard of.
The nametag I wore last night for work designated me as an “artist” so I guess I am one now.
I think everything is weird and beautiful and funny and absurd.
Blame the court-mandated caseworker who brought me Camus’ “The Stranger”  when I was 15.  Fucked my head up right good.
There is a perfect pattern, indescernable, indescribable- a magnitude incomprehensible.
It curves.
I curl.
The earth is not a sphere so much as a point.  So to speak. 
Paco, stoned, approaches me at the outpost.
“Ah,” he says, lumbering smoothly, gesturing.
“A personal information unit, instead of a laptop.”
“A notebook.”
Alphabet soup in my brain and I am chunky Tanya Tomato.

It's about perspective; anti-teleologic.
Listen to the wind in the trees.  A leaf, alone, does not rustle.  The clanging of construction on Atlantic.
I crouch in shady corners, sharpie, marble notebook, taking notes.  I prefer my solitude to solipsism.
We seem dysfunctional, unstable, but you look too close.  Build monolithic mythologies and lose your focus.  You will romanticize our supposed tragedies, our apparent eccentricities, our implied “It’s not easy being me”’s, into something much more difficult to safely ingest.  You are looking too fucking close.  We are seers, speaking in visions, and you, my friend, are one too.   We.  Can’t.  Hear.  You.
Mic Check.

Moma on Veterans Day
Preliminary Design For Man at the Crossroads:  look at the way Rivera drew hands in his sketches.  Spend time with his thumbnails.  
Listen to the old wealthy members talk revolution, speak in lilting italics, “Ah, yes, but as an artist, he....”, as though anything is compartmentalized that easy.
They are swaddled in their scarves.
His grid is faint under graphite.  
Tear it off the wall and ensure it lives forever.  Plaster crumbles.
Theme- “The development of civilization is no longer lateral- it is inward and upward.”
And it goes on.
“The Worker gives his right hand to the Peasant who questions him and with his left hand takes the hand of the Sick and Wounded Soldier, the Victim of War, Leading him to the New Road.”
“The Television gives an image of War as in the case of Unemployment, the result of the evolution of Technical Power unaccompanied by a corresponding Ethical Development.”
Rivera’s sketchbooks give me permission to draw; blocked colors of domesticated pageantry.

A wall is a wall and a room is a tomb and I wander the labyrinth of sanctioned high culture, adrift.

Combatant Status Review Tribunals - readings from Gitmo on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm.
I am bored.  The Moma is a mall.
Again, again, and again I return to Harun Farocki’s dark room of screens.  Images of War (at a Distance).
It is Veteran’s Day, after all.
“The System for remembering is a little cheaper than the one for training.”
Every time I sit on this bench, in this room, and watch these films, I cry, and I know that it will be here until January and I will never see these films again, and it is safe in here, and it is dark, and no one here knows me and never will.
I am thinking of you, dead in the sand.  I am thinking of you, lost in fatigues.  I am thinking of you, rifle in teeth.  
The post traumatic soldier, recounting, says to his business casual therapist as he once again tells the story - always, the spinning, cyclical, story - “Do people get worse after doing this?”
Outside, in the crisp yellow autumn sun, they’ve blocked off the subway for the parade and the soldiers smile and wave and their heavy medals catch the light, glinting.  

Edited Text will read: " Intimate Imitations; I interrogate your intentions - intimidate your indiscretions.  Trust.  Oh, Excuse Me.  You amuse me by assuming you've aggravated my animus.  Inanimate altercations are a bust.
Let's Kiss and Make Up."




Aaaaaaand....I'm back.

Hello, Harvest.

Here are a few things I've worked on over the last little bit;  I've got a lot in the works and will post some sketchbook scans soon.  I'm working on getting a website back up, so keep an eye out for that.

Also, pick up the latest issue of Left Turn; I've got some illos in there.

Woodburning for auction at Groundswell benefit; based off of two of the young artists I worked with this summer screenprinting together.

The lovely Tauret, who models for the Fat Figure Drawing sessions I facilitate at Re/Dress in Brooklyn.  These are two 10-minute sketches I did on the same page.

From my prayer sketchbook.

I drew this the night Troy Davis was murdered as I listened to the Democracy Now livestream.

Painting for the contents page of the upcoming WW3 Liberation Issue.

Time is a cypher.

I've had a pretty incredible week.

First practice wall of the season, 2 1/12 hrs
I've been working a lot, and recently finished collaborating on 3 different murals through the company I work for.  In addition to freelance and other responsibilities, it's been a bit challenging to find the time to work on my own practice.  However, summer is here, which means beautiful mornings in my Brooklyn garden full of chirping birds and white butterflies.  I've been trying to steal at least half an hour everyday to paint in the backyard, since I've gotten a bit rusty with my can control skills since last summer.  Here are some images of my practice walls.
30 minute character over coffee.

Practice wall I did today, on Father's day, 1.5 hours.

Last weekend was the BBoy BBQ in Philly, and I was really excited to paint since I haven't done a wall there before.  I haven't spent much time in Philly the last few years, but a decade ago it was an instrumental location in my life during a time when I was beginning to acknowledge my creative potential.  Pose, my old mentor, came out from San Diego with awesome artist Glow and poet Tanya Raz.  Sadly, there were some conflicts with a local politician, and painting got shut down after only an hour.  I'd just finished my fills, too!  But it gave me a great opportunity to touch base with old and new friends.

The organizers attempting to negotiate with the local politician and police who was trying to shut everything down.

Me, Pose and Glow hitting up blackbooks with Plan and some Albus Cavus folks in the back.

This is what happens when the writers don't get to piece - everyone hits the Ironlak station and bombs.  And none of these cats got taken in....I still think we should have just kept painting.

Col and Rain.


Locals taking flicks in front of Pose's piece.


Pose and Ella, an incredible hat maker, fashion designer and artist.

Kerz, Mensen and Glow.

Plan, Pose, Demer and Kasso.
Tuff Crew played at BBOY BBQ.

We crashed at the Hazel House in West Philly, which was a space teeming with purpose and community.  I met so many incredible folks there, and even swung by a crazy party they threw at an abandoned bank.  I've got to shout out the folks there- especially Jacob and Melissa- for being so welcoming and hospitable.  I'll definitely be coming through to bother you all again.

The rest of the weekend was great- filled with cheesesteak, dancing at Silk City while Rich Medina threw back classics, people-watching and philosophizing on the Hazel House porch, and good solid quality time with people I love dearly.

I rode the market line to check out Espo's Love Letters series...it was so fucking beautiful.  The way it changes space is masterful.

Cheesesteak with bacon, mushrooms, onion, pepper and barbecue sauce.  Worth the heart attack.

Rich Medina dropped these joints at Silk City- they are two of my alltime dancefloor favorites.  I was hella sore the next day.

When I got back, my boy Yuri took me to see Aloe Blacc, Childish Gambino and Kid Cudi at Terminal 5 for a show sponsored by Bacardi.  I've painted at promotional events like this before, and all the red flags of my internal social critic went off.  I'm super grateful to Yuri for bringing me through- and I'm not gonna front, I had my fair share of free Bacardi drinks. (Stay away from the grape Bacardi, though, people- that shit tastes like Robitussin).  The corporation pulled out all the stops- free old school arcade, half pipe on the stage with trick skaters and BMX-ers, dunking hoops with Allan Houston, and even a make-your-own-tshirt stand.  However, after coming from the BBoy BBQ and it's spirit of true school hip hop- and watching the resistance of local politicians to this community event- I found myself disheartened.  The spectacle of the Facebook-Like-Button themed Bacardi event felt offensive, aggressive, superficial and almost farcical.  I kept thinking of the book "Unmarketable" by Anne Elizabeth Moore.  Cooption and appropriation are the norm.  Corporate culture abounds.

I still think Shine Through is about 20 times better than Good Things, but oh well.

All of the doubts and confusion I had about community, about culture, about art and life that were brought to the surface by the Bacardi event were then countered a few days later when a bunch of friends and I went to go check out Nice and Smooth at Von King Park for free at Summer Stage.  We came back to my place late that evening, and collectively threw together a backyard barbeque that culminated in games of Mash, Fortune Telling, and painting together on the wall for fun.

Nice and Smooth

Fortune Telling.

Full moon in Sagittarius with a lunar eclipse, What!

Then, a few days later, I get a call from my little sister who had slit her foot open on a dirty Jer-Z dance club at the shore.  She had tickets for a band called Beirut, who I'd never heard of.  I got ahold of my girl Glow - turns out they're one of her favorite bands.  We checked out the show, and that shit made me cry three times in public.  Not an easy feat.

7 Stitches!  Stakke, Carina!  (Norwegian for, Poor Carina!)

The week ended well with 3 mural dedications, and then a low-key goodbye party for 681 Sterling Place, where Martin and Kelu have been holding community dance parties and gatherings for the last few years.

Man at Arms gets busy.

I am profoundly humbled by what a beautiful life I lead, and see it as integrally connected to the work I make.  Community, I'd like to thank you for being the bellows to my fire.

Side Note:  I am FINALLY reading Orc Stain and it is absolutely beautiful.