Tuesday, April 12, 2011


So now that I think life is settling a bit; I should get back to writing this blog.
I want to do another artist to artist interview with someone. I thought the Sam Nettles one was a blast.
So, is there anyone out there that would be interested in this?
Let me know.

Just posting a tarot dada essay I thought was pretty ok

I love the thoth deck three of disks. the waves are amazing on it; and it really seems to need to be envisioned as in motion; the three wheels moving; and it is interesting that the disks are wheels; not only does that invoke Atu !0 the wheel of fortune which tells us that the energy within this card gets things done. The essence of this card is understandiing; the number 3, it is knowing how and where to make your own kingdom; remember children, that three is Binah in the Que-Balla and thus is Saturn and thus time. So, we see that its a deep sort of rumbling in the foundation of how you look at your life; also though, it is mars in capricorn, so a reckless charge to victory; it will take chances, it will be lusty. This is the best sort of thing for a new business. Remeber also that you too from home can duplicate the effects of cards such as this; you just assemble things that fit with the different parts of the card. Remember also that, if you need to banish energy you just edit your environent; even stevens. "Magick" or whatnot is really that simple. So get to work all of you industrious people; invoke the different cards without fear, now that you know its truth is so banal.

Do as thou wilt is the whole of the law.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mojo Hand Store.

I have started offering some of my art work thru zazzle.com. I encourage you to check it out as this is a plan that has been awhile in the making and I think alot of folks might dig what I have to offer.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Review of Black Swan

Black Swan is a film obsessed with the orgasm. Every scene in this movie pushes towards the inevitable ecstasy of the little death. Natalie Portman embodies the trembling tension of innocence pulled in all directions. From the very first scene it is established that her character Nina is a possessed creature. Possessed by her Mother. Possessed by her Director. Possessed by her own naive ambition. Even though she is perfect in technique she is lacking in abandon, she cannot find the release she needs. Even when she physically experiences orgasm, its effect is sullied by circumstances around her. She auditions for the part of the Swan Queen in Swan Lake, but to perform this role, she must play both the innocent and restrained White Swan, and the wild and abandoned Black Swan. The whole movies is about the tension between these two roles and every feminine relationship in this movie is a derivative of this tension. So, just like any good orgasm it builds and builds and finally releases in a (Excuse the pun) swan song of epic release. Even though Natalie Portman is the star,both Mila Kunis and Barbara Hershey are amazing in supporting roles. Darren Aronofsky is known for his bold endings, and this film is no exception. So, if you are looking for a cute film about Ballet...this may not be the one for you, but if you want insight into the tension within the artists soul and the darkness that is inherent in the creative process, then definitely see this film.

Monday, December 27, 2010


I don't know if you know this, but all of us have a bag. It is full of the things we think are groovy. It doesn't matter what that is. Some people dig Jesus Christ...I dig him too, but some people dig him alot more than I do, and that is their bag....then some people get into a psycho friend sort of relationship with him...that is their bag, but honestly I am really watching them. I say Jesus Christ, but it could be anything, Atheism, Islam, Drugs etc.
I think that if anything gets to the point where you can't laugh about it you are fucked...also maybe me or other folks. If I had the opportunity to impart something for all of humanity I would say: "Different strokes for different folks."...but be cool.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Culture club

Culture Club.  How I love thee...
First off I get to go to the gorgeous old PMA building, and that is always awesome.
It started (Or restarted should I say.) with only like seven or eight of us there.
The food is great and has gotten progressively better.
 The Music...eh, it can be hit or miss. The real problem is that the acoustics in the room they use are only suitable for some acts. When the wrong sort of act gets there, I go outside because the resonating sound quickly becomes dissonant. That is ok though. It is getting bigger now and one sees more Petty-Bourgeoisie, which is also okay (for now) they have money, and if their attendance benefits any artist...it is a winning situation.

General trends I don't like: bringing in weird stepford martini slingers...I don't know, this seems out of step with my image of culture club, but then again it's not all about me I suppose.

I think the artists should primarily remain local. Yes, it is nice to get a visitor, but c'mon, I know all of you Culture Club ladies know plenty of artists locally, and it helps the local art scene which in turn supports general culture and good times...once again, as a local artist, I am of course biased in this opinion.

So, blah blah blah, that is my general feeling about the event, Onto Christmas Culture Club
First impression is as one of the better ones. The double treat of Kristin Regan; a fine local photography instructor, and an artist that I am curious to see new work from, and the Multiple Sins exhibit; a selection of lithographed posters advertising vice in a generally Art Nouveau-Forties WWII Hollywood glam. So I was content there. The music, perfect, simply perfect for this setting and time. Laid back, jazzy, fun.
The food...Oh Snap! that is right, I finally got to taste their goodness...yummy to the max.
The alcohol;First let me say that this area is always great. The system works great, the only area I would improve is in estimating the amount of red wine needed to make it through a busy night. I see the logic behind the VIP table, it is a GREAT tool for driving new PMA membership...being a punk kid at heart, I almost cringe at anything VIP tho...as I my first instinct is to side with the proletariat-non VIP folks; but that is just my hang up...I think objectively it is the right move.

So good job all of you involved in the production of this event. The Christmas Culture Club was a success; I look forward to seeing what the new year will bring.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Man in the castle: Artist to Artist conversation with Sam Nettles.

M: Can you tell me about how you started creating art

S: Well. I started sculpting when I was 6 years old, because there was this ditch with clay in back behind my house. In fact I was out there making mud patties. And that’s when my mother came out and told me that Kennedy was assassinated. I was four years old. The first sculpture I ever made was a gladiator. Cause, I had just seen like a gladiator movie on television the night before.

M: When did you start drawing?

S: Same time. Yeah, so I have always done it and my dad  and I started making these like uh direct sculptured. I’ve got some a few of them. Here they were made out of chicken wire and paper-Mache Marblex stuff and we put this metal powder stuff over it which is like aluminum powder and epoxy so I was sucking this down in my bedroom  like six. (Laughter) We’d sell them all over the Southeast at these arts and crafts shows. When I was fourteen  I made 14,000 dollars that year. So I just assumed at least I have that in the bank. I should be making 51,000 dollars a year now. It should be increasing.

I’ve always done it , I have always made my living at it. Almost every single job that ive had has been sculpture related. Ive worked in foundries ive worked in commercial enlargements, Iv’e been a mould builder run around and make moulds for specialty pieces .

The problem is; and it’s not really a problem but, over the years, Ive made so much stuff that people like; I am just a hired gun sculptor  when somebody calls me up and tells me what they want, and if I don’t know how to make it I will tell them I can and figure it out. If it’s lumpy I can make a sculpture of it . Ive gotten to do a couple of cool things The only real work of art that I feel like I have done that has been completely free is the missing children’s memorial. Most of the rest of them there is so many different criteria; the thing is though these pieces mean a lot to a lot of people. The deal then is you have to try and kind of sneak in the art, like on a war memorial

M: It’s almost like these criteria these limitations are causing you to think overtime in how you express yourself so in a way they might be good.

S:  Well, it’s all a balance, if I have a  conservative thing I am stuck in doing it pushes me to this; and that is how I keep my life balanced. In fact when my mother died I painted a dirty Santa painting. I was sad because my mother had just died but you know painting that crazy thing that is an attack on conventionality was very cathartic…and it’s a very dirty Santa…, there is a certain part of me that really is…oppositional or defiance disorder, most people outgrow that during their terrible twos but I think I still have an aspect of it…it’s pushed me to go placed where I wouldn’t have gone…you know? That’s what it is all about

M: One thing that I know you and I Share in common is our love of both Jungian psychology and symbolism. Do you feel that through using symbolism in your art you are also applying it to yourself?

S: What I almost try to do is not think about the meaning. Because, although I do see that I have so much reoccurring imagery you know, What I am trying to do is, I am trying to communicate something.
You know, when you make something you are trying to tap into this creative reservoir that exists through out humanity. It is really what makes us human that  we are creative thinkers. The eagles can fly the leopards have spots and humankind are creative thinkers. It is the most human thing about us…and that we respond to this imagery and these symbols. I have such a high tolerance for imagery that some of the stranger pieces that people have a hard time with I don’t have much trouble with…I’m so used to working with it you know? What I try to do though is to get out of the meaning to get out of my own head and try to find the painting almost so, I try not to think about the meaning so much.

M:  How do you represent this visual language in sculpture differently than you would your paintings?

S: I only started painting about ten years ago, and you know sculpture is not about color ,it is about forms, so the main thing is that I see my paintings as sculptural.
You know painting can be flat or it can be sculptural ,so in different paintings, I am trying to play with that different stuff. I wanted to paint because I wanted to be able to create directly, without paying for a bronze.
And ,  people like sculpture but people buy paintings you know? I mean they buy sculptures too ,but paintings are what most people think of, and it is just something about that that is immediate you can do a painting in a day, sculpture takes awhile. It’s hard to maintain that attention span and intensity.

M: I do notice that…well first off earlier we were speaking about the third eye in your visual language, I also notice that in a few of your pieces there is a vagina in the forehead. In your visual language are those the same symbol? Just looked at from a different angle?

S: Well you know, I don’t know. (Laughter) I try not to think about the meaning. I guess if anything the eye in the forehead is mystery, is looking into the mystery or appreciating the mystery. There are things that you cannot know, but even though you can’t know them, it is so human to look for the answer. So you are looking and really for me the mystery is the subconscious and the vagina is creativity; and creativity is often powerful, and arresting and brash, and shocking. So it shocks but it also gives birth and you know I have thought about some of this imagery and what it means to me, but I am really trying not to think about it.

What I am trying to do is I am trying to show is the many levels of things. And you know, I really don’t have it all figured out, and I don’t want it all figured out. What I try to do is engage the mystery. I think the answer is probably pretty boring. Many of these paintings have been outright rejected from shows or galleries which makes me feel I am on the right path. It would be so easy for me to give people what they want…if it wasn’t for that oppositional defiance disorder (Laughter) and me just doing what I want to do. I feel like I am just telling you this, I feel like I am just talking to you Artist to Artist. I don’t feel like I am actually giving an interview.

M: Yeah man, that’s what it is, I am not trying to get a sound-byte out of you. (Laughter)

S:Oh well you will get some of those (Laughter) trust me.

*Sam shows me a stack of  dozens of unstretched paintings*

S: The placemat business; that is what I am going into. 

M: Where do you see yourself in ten years?

S: Probably holed up in my castle screaming at the kids down there at the school of rock. (Laughter)
I mean, I don’t know, that is a big question. In ten years I will be 61 years old, so it’s kinda shit or get off the pot time. But, you know, I don’t know, I hope I am still here.

M: I hope you are still here too, and last thing any advice for young artists, what would you say? Besides don’t do it (laughter)  it’s full of heartache.

S: Get married.

M: Get married?

S: Yep because you know what you call a sculptor who doesn’t have a girlfriend

Me: What’s that?

S: Homeless. (Laughter) You know it is funny it’s like I tell you what I think…I mean I am not in a lot of ways the best person to talk about this. Ironically, I would go up to my daughter’s school and talk about sculpture on career day every year when she was younger.

You know, I have just kind of stumbled into these big commissions. I mean, I work hard and I have learned all of my stuff but most of them seek me out. I have done a lot of monumental stuff you know? In a way that is kind of just the path of least resistance because I know I can do it I know I can make them happy. I can make a sculpture of anything. Given enough time to figure it out, anything. Most of those can be literal commission though and even if you sneak art in, it’s still about the subject; and for me, like I said I am into the mystery.

  What I think of art is if you think about the evolution of humanity, 150k years or 75k or whenever they say it is. And we have become creative thinkers and at some point we learned to talk; what an abstract fucking thing that is! To talk, we become self aware. We are the only species that I think really has a concept of death, although I think Coco the gorilla knew about the kitten but…we certainly do have that awareness and because we are cognitive of our death we create It is our birthright to be creative, and for this reason I think everybody is an artist.
We are all artists, so when I think of the power that art has had for most of that evolution…I have always had these sort of mythic dreams, archetypical dreams, and a lot of times when I was young…I had a really insane childhood. I would see these images in my head and they were like sculptures that I would walk around in these dreams, and I used to have this dream where I was crawling through this tunnel like a primitive man. 

 I was crawling through this womb like a birth canal and some places I could stand up and feel around and find the wall and I wasn’t scared but eventually I would come out of it into a big room and find all of these painting in it.  I have always had these dreams like that and it makes think that art is something that really connects on a primal level. Like Pornography, art is a lot like pornography because most of it is horseshit, most of it is terrible stuff, or it’s decorative stuff, just like pornography…like the chief justice said, I know it when I see it.

Different people can sit in front of different stuff Like some people can sit in front of a photo realist piece and they are just blown away and I just walk right by it. And then I will be crying in front of “Saturn devouring his sons” (By Goya) because it is so powerful and that may just be my personal childhood, or it may be that it has crossed over into this plane where it connects to the collective unconscious, and that is what I have tried to do. That is what I have tried to do with some of more abstract or Rorschach like paintings…do you see that in my work?

M:  I think that even if you are not cognizant of it ,your symbolism speaks of a vibrant language and it seems to me that you have developed methods for contacting your subconscious. Really, A lot of these symbols are so hard hitting, especially for someone, like I am very artistically sensitive and some of them are just like Wham and you feel the force behind them, whether it is your own personal life that you are translating and also the collective

S: Well I appreciate that because that is what I am trying to do you know art has been a lot of different things but at one time it was the connection to the divine and what is the divine, well it is the mystery. That is the problem I have with any organized faith because they have figured out the mystery. That is why I hated math in school. I hated everybody getting the same answer. It just seemed so pat, I like not knowing, and that is what I try to express in my work. I used to try to wow people with my skills, now I hope I am not just why-ing them with “Why the fuck did he paint that?” but at least I am trying to make them question stuff. I do that by making an incredible amount of work. It is like taking a swing at a ball, maybe I need a lot of foul balls. The reason I don’t look so deep into the meaning of my work is that I just want to ride the beast of just creating whatever the fuck you want to do…also all these genitals on the forehead and such that is just me trying to be bad too. I just want to rattle peoples cages.

M Thanks a lot Sam.