Fishbowler

I make art in strange places and blog about it.

Tag Archives: Reno Nevada

The Lost Comic Debacle

This comic book was not going to draw itself so Laurence and I took up the job about ten months ago. It’s a sci-fi story about aliens taking over. 3075 is the year it takes place so maybe it’s an optimistic sci fi then. The planet (and mankind) survived. We call ourselves Mad Monk.

Screen Shot 2016-11-06 at 12.48.11 PM.png

Blood sweat and gel inks have us cross hatched into a hopeful bliss and this fuels us each night to draw more. We’re making something good. Twenty one pages finished means it’s just five more to go. We’ve slaved over the details, keeping it all low tech and high in love. Black and white is as pure as we could make it. Our name together is Mad Monk. This is an art book. We draw together on the couch in the artists’ lofts overlooking the river at the center of town.

I hadn’t even gotten the pages home yet. Kind of priceless really and it’s a safe assumption to say most artists would guard it like gold. It’s not something I own, it’s something I’ve created, with Laurence, we did. I should have been more careful. They fell out of my bag by the river. I’ve traced my steps three times and  a few people told me it hasn’t come their way. Homeless people don’t want to talk to me. They “don’t know nothin’ about no papers,” or another guy gave a swat of the hand and swoosh.. “I’m busy”.

I did, however, get to speak with a few folks. I got the word out that it’s worth ten bucks for anyone who found it. One lady showed me her tits and that was fun. Another guy pulled me aside for something that seemed to be something related to advice. There was alot of bumping of wings. What I call elbows he calls wings. There was a little laughing in the places where I couldn’t understand him and soon after I’d hear words like “That ain’t funny huh.” As long as eye contact is kept guys like this stay manageable.

laurence-fishbowl-logo-face

By the way, a homeless friend, who I met over this, got hit in the head, popped with a 2×4 last night (hospital stapled him up) and before that he spent 3 days in jail over ‘jaywalking’. Truly, what is jaywalking? Reno’s bringin’ down the Nazi hammer on the homeless and I’m not in agreement with this forced ‘relocation’ program of theirs.

Anyhoo, these are two pages that will be redrawn. Much more fortunate would have been to find the drawings at the coffee shop with the cute girl behind the counter.

I’m goin’ into the Fishbowl tomorrow for 40 days. Laurence will be visiting so you’ll have to tune in to see what we’re working on. And bring me some food!
A glimpse of Laurence a year earlier:

Advertisements

Dippin’ Toes in the Fishbowl

 

darknightsole-fishbowl

Dark Night of the Sole (fish) starts Monday and tonight I’m playin’ with cameras.
Camera 1, camera 2, Camera 1, camera 2, Camera 1…

I’ll be living in my studio, painting oils on canvas and lookin’ out the window.
I’m looking to visit. I want you to feed me.
Come for an interview, talk about your own stuff, feed me. Simple. Hit me.

Monday Nov. 7th will be my Opening Transparemony at 9am. Stay tuned here for updates.

NadaDada -Inspire The Self

Someone who needs no help inspires no assistants. We hope to shine as examples of how we can help our selves as artists co-succeeding. We’re all moving in the same direction wherever we’re at. But how are we helping others by helping ourselves?

We’re all in the same boat.  But maybe the lesson is in seeing how we might hurt ourselves if we were to close down and isolate. Our art has nothing to do with how we deal with others. The art is independent but hopefully the artist appreciates interdependence.

I observe events and projects–group movements–and the most unfortunate aspect is when there is a lack of selflessness on the part of organizers and participants. With each looking at the other to provide. Consequently alot of energy gets wasted and unused. Responsibility can be pushed onto the shoulders of others instead of the self. Autonomy becomes non-existent. From multiple perspectives, this is counter-productive.

There are too many that don’t know how to help others. Consequently they hurt themselves that way.

We could talk about charity but that’s not quite it. To my mind, being selfless is a tall order to ask of others and it’s not really a correct request to be made.

It is an internal attitude to work toward selflessness. It’s a personal endeavor for someone but the value of selflessness doesn’t mix well with a corporate-minded American trying to scratch out a living. So we have this challenge. In NadaDada we want each other to succeed because there’s always overflow and intermingling and the better someone in our event does, the better our event does.

Is it a proper sales pitch to say we’re bringing you culture? Dwelling on who it is that benefits most will bring us to the realization that this is a win/win from most any direction. We’re hurting no one. We’re only helping by bringing money and thought to the public in motel rooms. The inspirers inspire.

NadaDada needs your help and I need your assistance. Talk about this show. We have 16 articles in Reno News and Review and the New York Times wrote about us on 6/22/96. 10 years ago NadaDada was birthed by 6 artists and now we’re 300 strong. We’ve had two museum exhibitions and shown individually in multiple countries.

Get motels on board for hosting us. Walk in and tell them the good news you have memorized of NadaDada. Get your foot in the door and show them that artists bring good publicity.

Check out time is 11.

Here’s our event page for tonight (Wednesday’s) get together, NadaNite. We talk.

See you tonight?

https://www.facebook.com/events/852435801550088/

But in the mean time, this meeting went quick. It was our first. See how quick?

Warning: The following two vids are the full meeting that took place on Feb. 24th. It’s not the best quality but there’s alot of discussion in there if you need to see what we’re about.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 1.27.46 PM

NadaDada Sharp Edges

Over 300 creatives have expressed themselves through the freedom of the individual. Our collective is an experimental kind. We ask for expressions of ownership and cooperation through our circles of influence. Our connectivity with the public is of blurred lines and ever expanding. There’s not an agenda or theme and the diversity becomes ruler. We are independents. We’re about disbursing the power structure. It’s what we are not that is important. We’ve set a tone of absurdity, anarchy, and peaceful coexistence that reverberates still after a 10 year old big bang in 2007. The Dada movement is a 100 year old wave this year.

It’s a hard thing to wrap one’s head around, this workable anarchy. Conflicts can be a part of this path and coexistence is not a simple thing to harness. Friction can be creative. NadaDada’s beginning was birthed in friction with some professing a challenge to the establishment which is Artown. Others say we’re just an alternative to that route. From a polarity perspective we are opposed but from a dualist view each and all can exist. Either way a new thing has been created in our town.

The last minute nature of motels always tests us to remain patient and fluid. Instability is life for the many and artists exemplify what can be done without firm assurance. It’s hard to keep things together without a cushion but not impossible. We look at how our pyramids of needs are met. There’s so much to focus on but for those of us fortunate enough we have a responsibility to inspire. Our job is to make desire and we share it.

I’ve started calling it our strange attractor challenge, constant adjustment to our game plan(s) being necessary and to “bring it” is required for anyone taking up a new space, a new motel venue hoping to draw a crowd. They had better bring their A game if they want an audience. Everyone is told to think from the audience’s perspective. Make your venue a solid destination.

With clear thinking we can see that the world is getting co-opted into a unified system, streamlined and at odds with character. There can be no sharp edges, they’ll have us thinking. NadaDada is all sharp edges.

Right now we’re looking for motels. You can help. We need cold callers. Let’s talk to motels, get the word out.

Tuesday March 9th is our next NadaNite at Potentialist Workshop, 836 E. 2nd St. Reno downtown, 7pm–8 or 8:30

Cushion -Potentialist Fishbowler Post 6

 

It’s a cushion to have it in mind every moment that this could be art. It’s a soft comfort. You just transfer the energies from life into the visuals of a painting. That’s the job, the alchemy.

Or do artists conjure something from nothing? “Creatio ex nihilio”? The energy combines like spines of blue electricity entwined from nowhere. Or maybe it’s more like dithered rays projecting outward from a light house of inspiration? Energy combines in waves, crests and troughs and interference, this is everything.

Every good story needs conflict, I’m told, but it’s the conflict resolution that makes a story rewarding–high resolution. People mix with people bringing new things to life, new life to things. La tee da.

Witness the magnetism of an artist in the depths of obsession when he’s creating. Look on at the intensity of him like a caged animal. It’s all he’s got. It’s all that matters at the moment. Don’t fight his eye of the tiger.

Habitually making pictures is all I’m here to do. It’s not the only aspect of me but it’s my material keystone. My material existence, my creation, is centered on the reflection of daily existence–and the reflection of the reflections. Personal autobiography is my angle. My life with kitchen sink thrown in. Keep watching the vids.

Here’s the sunset live. 11 minutes is a bit surprising how fast it goes bright.

And this one became a favorite instantly. You have to invest a bit of time to get the goods..

Bowie And Art Outliving Me -Potentialist Post 4

 

I’ve been doing realistic portraits lately. These new canvases are small, eight by ten inches, 9×11, featuring bright solid colored backgrounds behind the heads. I painted Jean Michel Basquiat on a purple grey canvas. Next after him was Georgia O’Keefe on Red and then Pablo Picasso on orange. For now I’ll stick to the artists but I want to do the Dalai Lama and Noam Chomsky eventually as well.

Realism scrutinizes. Practice makes perfect. With these I’m seeing the progress I’ve made. It’s paying off. Each painting progresses often outside of my control. Colors come together as long as you’re methodical about it. I can feel it when it’s right. The brushstrokes dry on their own time usually over the course of a couple days and in between are periods of sticky paint layering. The behavior of paint as the canvas cures is the variable duty action. Get it while it’s hot.

I’ve worked on this one single skill selfishly my whole life and in doing this for me I hope to accomplished something for everyone. To be a painter is to say “I’ve changed. Once again, I’ve changed. Nothing stays the same. We can evolve.”

Bowie’s death inspired a lot in me and still is as I write this. My awareness of ideas felt piqued by his art. These ideas are of the subject of death and transcendence. The Buddhists say we should practice our own death everyday. For me, each portrait is a meditation and this one took me to interesting places as my important figure of creativity passes on early January of 2016.

My meditations with Mr. Bowie’s work has pierced me deeply on the subject of living my art, I kiss it farewell into the world as something I leave behind to outlive me. My art will endure because the paintings cause desire in their audience. Well, I mean they’re supposed to do that and I hope they do. I didn’t give my life to my art, my art has give new life to me, extended, expanded life. Reciprocation. We need each other as creator and audience. And then there’s reinvention like Mr. Bowie. Tune to the flow.

There are the songs which talk of space travel

the courage to move toward the unbound

elaborate on feeling the loneliness of space

being out there all alone in a tin can.

The untethered one gets lost

but at his own command unattached

Left to one’s own device

we create, we build

we fly

Spaceboy.

Finding fast motion was a godsend. Here’s 2 videos, quickly.

Post 3 Potentialist-Riding Bukowski Bus & Bowie 1

Riding the bus across town today, I’m going for canvases. A book of Charles Bukowski’s letters to editors accompanies me. The letters are so personal it touches nicely a nerve to see how he was. I’m sitting in the back enjoying the sights and soaking up this man’s mind. I’ll need to pick up a pen before the art store.

It matters who my heroes are. Who is more “every man” than Bukowski? It tells me what’s important to me. I study the photos of the writer seated at a humble desk facing a wall with plaques, he’s in his underwear and with a drink. Scotch was it? Sacrificing for the art is an important concept and we’ve seen plenty of examples of the wrong way to carry out that notion. Bukowski is one of those who died younger than he should have because of the drink and the smoke which were the comfort he allowed himself. Other things like wives and lovers could go to hell but these two, they would never leave him and his typewriter.

So many of us want to speak for others but that’s not going to get us to the finish line is it? Riding the bus today has me on the subject of collective action and how does a project get carried out? How do humans do big and good things? The like-minded unite, right? People come together in agreement. Perhaps their agreement is centered on something rejected–something their group dislikes–but their aim is to achieve something. The concerted effort is what reins in the change sought after. Some individuality must be sacrificed for the collective and that is a voluntary action. It’s an agreement entered into.

Is this a gift? Is it altruism to enter into this agreement with a group to collectively enact something? Is there personal gain expected from the agreement? If it makes you happy to help the under-served, then this happiness is a fair outcome. It’s a harmonious goal. This is compassion. Win/wins do happen in life.

The only way to make myself a bigger person is to let go of more ‘self’. Debts and balances can’t overshadow what’s right. “You owe me” is not a mindset cohesive to healthy inter-dependence. Healthy co-existence depends upon a sane level of true compassion and compassion is not keeping track.

So often we see a power battle ensue while objectivity evaporates from existence. It’s a subject important in politics, love, and life. All interactions happen in relation to compassion. Some have no compassion at all.

Even Bukowski’s compassion comes through in these letters of his. Most of them are in regard to rejection letters he’d gotten but you can see that literary imagination and courage light him up and he expects these to light others up as well as he accepts his fate, continually. Such is his craft. It’s his gift to the world. Bukowski sacrificed himself, in ways, to his art. I’m grateful.

At the very end of that one you see my just start to paint Bowie, that was the night I learned of his death and started painting.
The next one is painting Bowie but sped up. It’s so much better in fast motion. There will be a part 2 of that theme.

Here’s the previous post, Part 2:

https://fishbowler.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/fishbowling-potentialist-post-2/

Post 2 Potentialist-Brick Building

Potentialist Workshop & Gallery is a brick building on 2nd Street in Reno with big picture windows framing 2 front doors. It’s in a very old neighborhood sprinkled with Victorians in various states of maintenance. Fairly forgotten by the regentrification crowd. There’s still rawness in this neighborhood. There’s a walled in daycare right across the street, nice looking, plus mechanic shops and next door are glass workers in their shop. The hospital, Renown, dominates our view from the backyard. The homes right next door feature dirt yard squats filled with young families and tough dogs. We have nice parking off the busy street.

There’s a gallery, workshop with 10 or so studio spaces, and a 40 seat theater. Art all over the place. It’s a fully functional place with a large number of people coming and going here, most are creators of some kind. The gallery and workshop brings lively energy. Many people stop in. Characters, the lot. I like everybody who comes here. Their eyes are open to what this place is and that makes for a nice vibe between us. People are curious here and it’s an unusual place to be in for most. It’s exciting to see where artists create and I’m proud to be one. Playing gallery maiden puts me right in the middle of it all. I meet everyone.

Environment is everything. The informing characteristics from brick plate glass to overcast afternoons and neighborhood bars shade every brushstroke. Every car crash at the 7-11 and altercation in front of the Launderland boils into aromatic broth for my reflections and the art will always be unique to my experience. I hold to the energizing ideas in this very real life.

We create something new together by our combinations and outside of the gallery even. They’re not even thinking about things like art, perhaps, but our paths cross like rocket exhaust trails. Even if it’s not collaboration between us we might influence each other just by being. We live at the same moment in time. I tied my red and grey scarf around my pony tail yesterday, hanging off my head slanted. That might have given somebody something to chuckle over. I made something for them instead of nothing.

Autobiography brings honesty and plainness. In what other form would I narrate? ..or not narrate. Most of my videos have been without words. They’re open to interpretation but it’s mostly just the way it was. The pacing is all about frequency.. the output, but online attention must be maintained. Viewers must be entertained. Editing must happen quickly. Post frequency, you see.

So the week after I took down my show in the gallery I was painting Tesla to the point of being finished and then on to a couple small abstract landscapes. It was cold, hovered over the heater and we’d play music in the studio while the improv people practiced in the theater. Pan and Kelsey had their little baby at Christmas by the way. Axiom is a little handsome guy. His facial expressions are pronounced. He will rule his own art empire some day.

Here’s Post 3 from Potentialist Workshop in Reno, plus Bowie Portrait video Part 1:

https://fishbowler.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/riding-the-bus-with-bukowskis/

Fishbowling Potentialist Post 1

In the studio none of the thoughts should seep in through the window seals but they do and with a whistling draft and rustling frames. Through the mist of grey snow showers outside my window I stare toward the new hospital tower’s neon. Renown. Yellow hazy city glows over night. Helicopters take off from the rooftop 3 times a day or more and I kinda’ like the sound. I haven’t lived downtown in awhile. Years. Memories of places I’ve been since then. Scene 1.

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 5.21.09 PM.png

I’m in my couch tent of my studio space which is made from a theater curtain, heavy black and an aluminum U shaped ladder. The space heater warms just me in this draped enclosure over me. This workshop building stays pretty cold at night–drafty. The back door is just beyond my curtain. Last night was the first significantly warmer night for a couple weeks. These 12 section windows leak alot of cold but they let glorious light in.

At the curb I’ve been chopping away at the ice in the gutter many afternoons. It tends to solidify to little icebergs and I jump at the chance to break them up like Thor when I get a warm day. Today my work is done, there’s nothing left to clear from the curb. I took care of it. The neighbors, I wonder if they’ve even noticed their gutter is a little clearer. I can’t help myself. Walking up and down this sidewalk every day it has become my trail so I try to make it better. Why not.

Reno streets might feel lifeless but I know its only the cold. Other lifeforms are hopping the curbs with me but we cross paths, often without a nod to each other on the foot commute, just moving. Under the neon, beside the river, occasional awkward exchange. The snow drifts on mountain ridges think it’s all funny, the human drama. What is lonely to an aspen weighted by snow?

I had an art show here, up until January 4th. It was called Small Talk because the genres were from abstractions to portraiture and I wanted them to jive small talk. I put out a strangely large number of videos of me sweeping the gallery for some reason. I was just starting to stream this time around.

I’ve fishbowled like 12 times now. I like to share some edited videos to touch base with folks, let them see my environment. Not much need to explain if it’s all in visuals.

One Essay and One Poem, Submissions For Harbinger Asylum

The Truth About Nada

The truth is a joke. At least it’s a joke as it’s used here in the title of this essay. There is no truth–there, I said it.

When a word is created an entity is born. Dada proposes absurdity and Nada points toward negation or nihilism, so either a) we stand for the negation of absurdity or b) we’re about absurd nothingness. These are contradictory notions but I plan to dispel neither of these myths.

If the Socratic method were to be applied, no answers would be offered but instead, only questions. Is this some kind of Buddhist koan then? What is NadaDada? What is not NadaDada? How necessary is bureaucracy? What is this, an autocracy? From where does our power come? How necessary is money? Are artists entertainers? Is art a commodity? We all have to make a living, right?

What it is and what it is not get discussed alot but the truth about NadaDada is in the motto: Get a room, make a show. That’s it. I can share this one central tenant of our little art movement and that is the motivation that NadaDada has always striven for since January of 2007. We are a working model of non-central governance–horizontal alliance. In other words we are all our own bosses.

We start to see how endless our unrestricted, individual universes can be. We start to meet the co-creators and our wider audiences: we share in the appreciation. Connection is a multiplier and the gestalt broadens the experience of art. There’s no one to herd us toward what’s appropriate, either in terms of morals or in terms of style. There is no jurying.

The challenge in putting such a philosophy to work is in finding how such an elusive organization as is one made of individual creatives could work toward any singular goal. But this singular goal amounts to opening up an unrestricted flow of freedoms in creative expression–individual expression. You know, fine art.

A commercial commodification has been adapted to the art industrial complex and the danger is in taking this for granted… like I said we all gotta’ make a living but we cannot forget that art is an action, not a thing. If you don’t think that’s true, you haven’t experienced the changes our relationship to art goes through: I hate this piece or artist and then someone enlightens me to the truths/intentions found in this piece or work of this artist.

Maybe our contemporary eyes have latched on to the attractiveness of something in this world that might live beyond our own DNA but the materiality of a painting is the by product of something far greater, something ever changing. Creativity is an action/activity/occupation and as close to the divine as a human can get.

“Creatio ex nihilio”: creation from nothing.

Artists are open to possibilities and what “can be”. Art is transient. Nothing is permanent. We show art in motel rooms. Check out time is 11.

__________________________________________________

Sugar Dance Dream

Sugar comes from space.

This harnessed specter

painted on somber face

hallowed this nascent grace

This femme framed

held she in place

by hundred yards of dress

this performance space was her nest

her prison

And I, drawn in

at third floor

a wordless behest

for a moment waned a lunar gaze

afternoon from the west

sunlit chest

the enticement of the taste.

This prohibition dream I had

in 1931 from end of the hallway

at an elevator shaft

Riveting was this dazzlement

this suffragette

lingering

was this one ghostlike

a confectionary enslavement

enrapt a nimbus

this love a lingua

metastasized between us

the heartbeat found quickened

and when the dance:

a noose.

This luminess

the minotaur

in her maze

and then..

she let me loose.

I’m lucky to be alive

and the cookies were delish.

-Chad Sorg

%d bloggers like this: