Its almost 3 am on a Saturday late night/early morning. On Vermont and Franklin, there are no sounds but the random hum of the 180 Lake bus roaring by the normally busy road. The nights are beginning to cool on LA’s scorchingly hot Indian Pacific Summer, while the marine layer grows thicker whispers of fog against the streets.
My head is full. Tipping and spilling at the brim of my cranium with shapes and words. While I want to sleep, I wake up with ideas. I’ve been doing this for the past year with the project at hand. I’ll sleep around 11:00pm, and like clockwork at 2:30am, my mind opens up like its late morning with adrenaline fueled mental symposium. Lately its been about this one painting I saw back in New York a few weeks ago. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since the day I ran into it.
Mainly because it was the first piece I saw where I heard actual SOUND in my head. Mind you, I am easily moved by art and objects. Especially anything Abstract Expressionist. I’m a sucker for geometric chaos and asymmetrical executions in art. Primarily I’m envious of the artist’s ability to let go of balance while maintaining perfect structure. In order for me to create something geometric, it has to balance on all sides. I have this need for order.. and its ridiculous up to the 1/16th of an inch.
It, for some reason, makes me feel safe.
So you can imagine that when trying to emulate a piece of Abstract Expressionism in my 10x10x10 project, specifically the sub movement “Indian Space Painting”, and EVEN MORE specifically “Steve Wheeler” as a reference point. .. that my ability to ‘let go’ was .. next to impossible.
For the past few days I have been staring at a blank canvas. A lightly resketched Mickey head laid at my drafting table. I literally spent an entire day looking at the canvas, getting up, walking around it, and coming back to the table. I eventually grabbed the canvas, and walked around Los Feliz with it. I took it into BRU coffee house in the afternoon, the park down the street in the evening, and even the “House of Pies” Diner at 1am. Nothing changed, and my head was blocked. The next day I was beyond frustrated, and ended up walking over to the AKBAR to see my friend Deven Green play her ukelele.
Deven has this incredible ability to transform a song, from 90’s hardcore rap to obnoxious bubblegum pop, and turn it into a soulful ballad chocked full with juxtaposed humor. While you are seemingly mesmerized by her soulful wailing, you are also laughing hysterically over her renditions of the music. I sat there on the barstool, slighting askew in my head from being in a bar, since those social microcosms tend to make me a bit nervous. Once she started singing however, nothing else in the bar existed. The room suddenly seemed to go away, and no one else existed but Deven and her voice. She started singing songs from the 1930’s and 1940’s, and the warm lights from the place transported me into another time. I was far far away from Los Angeles…. I was far far away from 2012.