“A Brush With History”, Battle of the Senses Series, No. 73

I’m a collector.

Some people might call me partial hoarder now that I think about it.

I’m very specific about the things that I collect, and most of it has to do with art projects. I’d say the problem lies in the fact that these projects that I have yet to do … have been incomplete for the past 20 years.

Example: I’ve collected every bottle of medication that’s ever been prescribed to me since I was a teenager. I’ve been collecting them for 2 decades in the idea that I was going to create a giant Lucille Ball made out of these items.

Has it happened?

Absolutely not.

Will it happen?

Well, I hope so.

I go back to the idea that I would have never become a painter, if it wasn’t for the fact that I carried a pack of 7 canvases across the US in the various places I lived until my fateful beginning as an artist in San Francisco.

I’ll never forget the time that I acquired them. I was an associate at Pearl Art & Supply in the Northern sector of Atlanta, GA when we received a bad batch of canvases. They had acquired, in-between holding and shipment, a bit of mold damage from the warehouse in Ft. Lauderdale. I dived in the dumpster for them rather than let them go to waste.. .. and then spent 6 years trucking them around various apartments in Atlanta, Raleigh, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.

I’ll also never forget the time that I put them to use. Six years later, it was that one fateful day after an art show off of Belcher Street where I got the idea of painting a drag queen named Putanesca. I took the bus to the Chinatown tunnel, and walked up the flight of stairs to my apartment at 625 Bush Street. I grabbed the canvases out from underneath my bed that I used as storage and said

“See! I use things”

This piece is also about that process of collecting. This piece is an amalgam of brushes that I used for EVERY TENxTENxTEN portrait created. These are beyond objects to me as they carry time stamps for every moment created, and its a blessing and a curse that I remember all this information. These were used in the following apartments:

1. 7027 Lanewood Ave (Hollywood)
2. 1929 N. Vermont Ave (Los Feliz, Los Angeles)
3. 642 Natoma Street (San Francisco)
4. 1630 N. Edgemont Street (Los Feliz ADJ, Los Angeles)
5. 150 N. Las Vegas Blvd (Arts District, Las Vegas)

Beyond that, they were used during the following times:

2011
1. Le Marais, Paris
2. Cafe 101, Hollywood, CA
3. Brite Spot Diner, Echo Park Los Angeles, CA
4. Disney Consumer Product Campus, Glendale, CA
5. Ambrose and Hillhurst, Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA
6. Hollywood Blvd and New Hampshire, Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA
7. Plummer Park, West Hollywood, CA
8. Fairfax and Melrose, Los Angeles, CA
9. Wilshire Blvd and S. Stanley, Los Angeles, CA

2012

10. LA – NYC Flight
11. Cafe Viand, Upper West Side, NYC
12. Cafe Yaffa, East Village, NYC
13. CPW and 79th, Upper West Side, NYC
14. NYC – LA Flight
15. Hotel, Schaumberg, IL
16. Hotel, Woodland Hills, IL
17. Speakeasy Apartment, Chicago, IL
18. LA – LV Flight
19. Circus Circus, Las Vegas, NV
20. LV – LA Flight
21. LA – ATL Flight
22. Piedmont Apartment, Atlanta, GA
23. Midtown, Atlanta, GA
24. ATL – LA Flight

2013

25. Sparky’s Diner, San Francisco, CA
26. Diamond and 18th, San Francisco, CA
27. Grocery Store, 8th and Natoma, San Francisco, CA
28. SF – SEA Flight
29. Capitol Hill Apartment, Seattle, WA
30. SEA – SF Flight
31. Park Bench, Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, CA
32. LA to SAC flight
33. Embassy Suites, Oldtown Sacramento
34. K and Front Street, Sacramento
35. SAC to LA flight
36. Marriott Hotel, Anaheim, CA
37. D23 Convention Center, Anaheim, CA
38. LA to DC Flight
39. Adams Morgan, Washington DC
40. Apartment, Washington DC
41. Megabus DC – PHILA
42. Fishtown, Philadelphia, PA
43. Museum District, Philadelphia, PA
44. Dunkin Donuts, Central Philadelphia, PA
45. NJ Transit Train, Phila – NYC,
46. Miss Vee’s Apartment, Brooklyn, NY
47. Cafe Yaffa, East Village, NY (again)
48. NYC – LA Flight
49. LA – Chicago – Berlin Flight
50. Apartment, Yorckstraße and Mehringdamm, Kreuzberg, Berlin
51. Einstein Kaffe, Obentrautstraße, Kreuzberg, Berlin
52. Apartment, Prenzlauerberg, Berlin
53. East London Restaurant, Mehringdamm, Kreuzberg, Berlin
54. Berlin – Paris Flight
55. Simplon Apartment, Arrondissement 18, Paris
56. Montmarte, Paris
57. Centre De Pompidou, Paris
58. Paris – Berlin Flight
59. Schonenberg, Berlin
60. Turkish Den, Neukolln, Berlin
61. Berlin – LA Flight
62. 707 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV
63. Abigail’s Porch, Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA
64. Matt’s DTLA loft, Los Angeles, CA

In finishing this piece, I think back to that original statement I had made in that apartment in Hollywood California in 2011. I said, in doing the TENxTENxTEN project, I was going to reveal Mickey Mouse in as many ways as possible, and in doing so I would find the artist underneath. When I look at this piece, I see all the places I have been.. all the places I have painted, and all the people I have met along the way. I see the people I have loved, and the people I have lost. I see the world unfolded and then unfurled before my very eyes .I am so happy to be a part of this project, and this piece is a testament to that pride.

This is called “A Brush With History”. It is the 4th in the “Odds and Ends” Series, and No. 83 in the collection.

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