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Arsenic Feature

Arsenic Feature

If you follow any of my Instagram stories, you'll see I've been collaborating with Arsenic Magazine pretty frequently over the last few months.  They first took a liking to my Basquiat series, and have since invited me to shoot a few of their video projects and even hang a few of my pieces in their offices.

Most recently, they decided to feature the Brianna Dreamscape series on their new website, Arsenic.tv.  

Check out the full feature HERE.

Hollywood & Fine

Hollywood & Fine

My Next Gallery Exhibit Opens April 8th!

The Venice Institute of Contemporary Art is an initiative designed to recognize and present artists who reflect the incalculable influence Venice, and Southern California in general, has had on the art world and culture at large.  ViCA founder and curator Juri Koll has personally invited me to exhibit work in their upcoming show, Hollywood & Fine, the first curated gallery to open in the A.G Geiger Fine Art Bookstore.

"In it's inaugural exhibition, the A.G. Geiger Gallery and the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art (ViCA) presents a group exhibition of work focusing on Hollywood - from glitter and glamour to the gutter, from personalities and people to pipe dreams, from dreams to songs of dust. "

HollywoodAndFine

The Opening Night Reception kicks off on April 8th at 6pm, and you're invited!  Visit the event on Facebook to RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/259443611180538

See you there!

New Year Updates

New Year Updates

I meant to get this post out sooner, but with the start of the new year and some new projects I've already been grabbed by the snowball of momentum that is 2017!

First, let's recap... 

2016 was a big year for me in photography, beginning with the launch of this website and my first ever gallery exhibit at RAW:Hollywood Presents FUTURES. This gallery appearance marked what would turn out to be the first of many, and I was soon introduced to UCLA's Exchange Room Gallery with the "I AM" Group Art Show later that year. The year also brought a few meaningful collaborations with models I had worked with in the past, including the beautiful and talented Brianna and the soon to be muse for my Basquiat series, Renae.  

It was that very collaboration with Renae that lead to my first ever solo photography exhibit, Obnoxious Liberals: A Bodypaint Tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat which opened at the Exchange Room Gallery in LA to a packed audience.  And as if the year couldn't get any better, during the development of this Basquiat series I was contacted by TXTURE Magazine and invited to showcase selections from the series at their annual Miami Art Basel exhibit!  This was my first time ever even going to Art Basel, let alone exhibiting there, so to think all of this could happen within a year of printing my work for the first time was just incredible, and it left me very excited for what the future may hold.

 In front of my Art Basel showcase with TXTURE Magazine founder Monifa Coffee

In front of my Art Basel showcase with TXTURE Magazine founder Monifa Coffee

Things to look forward to...

My solo exhibit at the Exchange Room Gallery will be closing soon, so if you haven't seen it yet now is the time! (Click Here for instructions on how to get there, and how to find it on UCLA's campus).  So what next?  Things continue to get better, as the next stop for a few of these pieces will be at the headquarters of Arsenic Magazine and at the Los Angeles Chocolate and Art Show! More details about those will be coming in the near future.

I'll have some more announcements coming very soon, including a new long-delayed music project that I'll be releasing within the next few weeks.  For those that don't know, though I don't highlight it on this site much I do from time to time produce music as well, for no reason other than "why not?"  You can check out some of my past instrumental albums on Bandcamp or stream the more recent stuff on Soundcloud. I've had a new project in development since early 2014 that I'll finally be pushing out, so be on the lookout for that.

I should also have some big film-related announcements in the near future as well. This is definitely looking like a good year, so keep your heads up and don't let any bright orange man-children ruin it for you!

Help Support My Journey to Art Basel

Help Support My Journey to Art Basel

The Obnoxious Liberals Series Is Coming To Miami!

I'm proud to announce that TXTURE Magazine has invited me to exhibit pieces from my Basquiat-Inspired Bodypaint Portrait Series "Obnoxious Liberals" this year at their annual Miami Art Basel event, #TheArtFactory!

Miami Art Basel is an annual international art fair in Miami Beach, seeing visitors in the tens of thousands as hundreds of galleries present works from countries and artists all over the world. The rest of Miami comes alive with art as well during this time, and TXTURE Magazine has teamed up with Art & Sol Studios in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District to put together an event on December 3rd to showcase new and emerging talents from across the US.  

I couldn't be happier to end this year with such an amazing honor, as it was only this past January that I exhibited prints of my work for the first time ever at the RAW:Hollywood showcase.

This Is Where I Need Your Help

In order to make my Miami exhibit the best it can be, I have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise a portion of the funds necessary to print and prepare this gallery.  Since the date is so close to last month's debut of the Obnoxious Liberals series at the Exchange Room Gallery, I'm having a bit of trouble covering these expenses myself while still in the red from my previous outing.

The Kickstarter campaign is essentially a fire-sale on prints, ranging from 4x6 tests all the way up to the 20x28 exhibition pieces I'd like to create for Miami.  Any donation of $10 or more receives an exclusive print in return, and 8x10s from the Obnoxious Liberals series can be had for as little $25.  Click Here to visit the Kickstarter to purchase your print and help me make my Art Basel exhibit one for the books!

Thank you!

Travel Notice: Miami

Travel Notice: Miami

Obnoxious Liberals will soon make its Miami debut!  I'll be there from December 1st through the 5th, booking shoots along the way.  Let's make some art!

Obnoxious Liberals: Opening Night Reception

Obnoxious Liberals: Opening Night Reception

Opening Night at the Exchange Room Gallery

This past Saturday my Basquiat-inspired bodypaint portrait series Obnoxious Liberals debuted at the Exchange Room Gallery of Il Tramezzino UCLA.  Check out some highlights from the night below:

All photos courtesy of ERG's own Antonio Renoj.

View the Obnoxious Liberals series online here, and visit the Print Store to pickup your copy today!

So I've Decided To Take Scanning Into My Own Hands

So I've Decided To Take Scanning Into My Own Hands

Luckily for me I routinely shop for things I can't afford in my fleeting spare time, as a way of keeping an ear to the ground for the general trend of fluctuating prices.  So like with the printer rebate, when I see a good deal, I know a good deal.  

A few weeks back I happened to come across a Plustek OpticFilm 7200i film scanner for $8. Yes, $8.  Eight dollars.  Gotta love Goodwill.  Now, this scanner is by no means the latest and greatest technology, in fact it's pretty outdated as far as film scanners go.  I think it may have actually been the first scanner in the Plustek OpticFilm line, and the first to be able to scan at 7200dpi, hence the name.  That would put it over ten years old.  But for that matter, that would make it about 30 years newer than the $65 worth of 1970s camera equipment I shoot 90% of my work on, so who gives a shit. Works don't it? 

When the 7200i was new, it only ran for about $250, which is still the very bottom of the food chain as far as film scanners go.  But when it comes to film scanning, considering how costly it gets to scan in print-worthy resolution, this was yet another no-brainer.  Photographers these days seem to have a habit of thinking more expensive = better.  The ability to self scan every 35mm negative I want to print cost me less than scanning one negative at a lab.  Yeah, I'll take it.  With this new (read: old) scanner at my side, I'll be able to offer a much wider range of prints in the store now, so look out for future updates there.

On a final note about the film scanners, I should point out that nothing in the roughly affordable price range for the average starving artist will be capable of scanning anything beyond 35mm.  A lot of people do have varying results with flatbed scanners however, and some even recommend them, but the size and workflow of those didn't exactly fit my (ridiculously busy and ridiculously cramped) lifestyle.  And even cheaper dedicated film scanners like the Plusteks are able to scan better quality high resolution negatives that the most expensive of flatbed scanners.  I knew a dedicated film scanner would be the right choice for me, and I'd just need to continue getting lab scans of my medium format work for the time being.  Any dedicated film scanners capable of medium format seem to run in the $1,200+ range.  And uh... That's rent.

I Guess It's Time To Switch To Instax

I Guess It's Time To Switch To Instax

You may or may not have noticed I happen to be particularly fond of film.  The whole civil rights thing aside, I think I would have really enjoyed growing up in the golden years of film photography rather than trying to play catch up to the past like I am today.  With the recent discontinuation of Fuji Pack Film, another piece of the art form seems to be meeting its extinction.  Unless Impossible Project picks it up, this will soon mean the end of the line for Polaroid Type 100 cameras altogether.  

It reminds me of when I was first getting into film photography myself, only to come to the realization that I had missed the opportunity to ever use Kodachrome by several years.  For me, the film vs. digital argument was never one about which was better or more cost effective.  It's always been a creative choice.  If film disappears, you're not just losing a less convenient way of doing the same thing a digital camera can do much quicker and easier, you're losing an entire medium of artistic expression.  "Why shoot film when you can just use VSCO?" is like saying, "Why bother with oil paints when you've got Adobe Illustrator and 3D printers?"  One medium of art doesn't simply replace the other just because the end product of each might be similar or one more cost effective in the long run.  They are two completely different types of artistic expression.

However, this doesn't mean that any new or similar innovations that take the place of dying technologies are any less of an art form, or should be viewed with any lesser regard than what came before them.  Which brings me to Fuji Instax.  Anytime you hear somebody say they're shooting "Polaroid cameras" today, what they're probably talking about is Fujifilm's line of Instax cameras.  While they're not actually Polaroid cameras (Polaroid was a brand, not a technology, think Kleenex), they are the most consistent, reliable, and cost-effective method of shooting instant film today.

Developed in the early 90s under an agreement with Polaroid, they took over the instant film market share when Kodak ceased production on instant film cameras and Polaroid went under.  Today, they're one of two companies (along with Impossible) still producing and innovating instant cameras and film.  When I started shooting instant film, I went with early Polaroid 100 series cameras (and FP-100C / 3000B film) and a Polaroid SX-70, mainly because I really wanted to experience the classic technology the way someone would have if they were growing up in the film era.  Now, with the rising costs and eventual extinction of the leftover pack film due to its discontinuation, it's finally time for me to switch to Instax.  

Truthfully, I'm kind of excited about it.  I've had my eye on some Instax cameras for quite some time, and have been eager for a more reliable and sustainable instant film solution when shooting in various lighting conditions.  So for me, it's time to embrace this evolved art form, and likely confuse the hell out of everyone when I insist on calling the cameras Instax and not Polaroid.  After all, if you wipe your nose on a paper towel, you may have accomplished the same goal, but you haven't used a Kleenex.  So I'll be happily joining the ranks of Instax users in the near future once I, you know, get a job... 

Speaking of, have you visited the Print Store lately?