West Coastal

Painting is much like any thing you practice to get good at.  Sure, those with talent wont lose much, but you still have to keep your skills tip top to stay at your best.  Lately, I've been pretty bad with updating my blog, and keeping the paint wet/brush moving.  Guilty as charged.  To remedy this, sometimes you just have to come up with something, and then PAINT IT.  This simple task proves to be difficult if you don't like practice.  Practice??? Practice.  We talking about practice.  NOT a, not a game.... But Practice??  

Shout out to The Answer!


 First steps.

First steps.

 Thought about leaving it here.

Thought about leaving it here.

 Was going to go with the midnight clouds rollin' in, but didn't have the patience to wait on the paint to dry.

Was going to go with the midnight clouds rollin' in, but didn't have the patience to wait on the paint to dry.

 Frame, Sign, Hang.  Studio feels one painting closer to warm. 

Frame, Sign, Hang.  Studio feels one painting closer to warm. 

Summer Search Commission.

The best thing about having a Interior Designing partner, is that she can almost use you like a swiss army knife (no pun intended) to any project that she's working on.  I do some design, web, and IT work for her fairly normally, however I sometimes get casted to play the role of "artist", which is dope.  

They needed a mural done for a non-profit they recently completed.  They asked me to step in and put it down, so I did.  

About 2 days later, I had a made-up, swiss inspired mountain view.  A quick, fun, write-offable project completed. 

 Wall prepped by construction workers.  Did a job on that wall, thats for sure. 

Wall prepped by construction workers.  Did a job on that wall, thats for sure. 

 Day 1 in the books. 

Day 1 in the books. 

 Lunchbreak, Day 2.

Lunchbreak, Day 2.

 Final : End of Day 2. 

Final : End of Day 2. 

Female Head Study.

This was a study that I was able to knock out in about 4 hours.  There was nothing really to it but a study.  I don't know who the model is, and I just basically found a face that I wanted to paint.  This was entertaining.  I should do it more often.  I just might.  

I realized the other day that I hadn't painted someones face since I've been in a relationship.  WHAT!?!?  I didn't even realize it.  I had to look back to confirm this was in fact, chronologically correct, and it was true.  My subject matter lately has been fair, "still". 

This painting was just me having fun with painting the figure again.  I missed mixing skin tones, and didn't realize I had.  Proportions are a bit off in a few places along with a few other gripes but for the most part, I found it to be mostly successful (Nah, let's say productive).  I was trying to get back into the swing of capturing a specific aesthetic the human face lets off, while trying to introduce the texture of my last works to this realm.  When I was paintings figures and faces, the application was thin and smooth, with out texture.  

I'm also just trying to stay in painting shape.  

I'm absolutely planning on painting Eva.  I just haven't gotten her to pose yet.   When she can shoot, I can't shoot, and vice-versa.  She next though.  Thats for sure. 

King Cashus

King Cashus, Lord of Utahouse, King of the Andals and the First Men, Prince of the Seven Oaks and Protector of the Realm was going to be his first name.  No Joke.  Then we figured it was a bit outdated, and entirely to long so we shorted it to just King Cashus.  Really, it's just Cashus.  We sometimes call em "Cash".... He even responds to whistles now.

Seriously though, we when with "Cashus" for a few different reasons.  Firstly, he's named after arguable the greatest boxer of all time (in his prime).  The prime part is important, lets be clear.  We are not talking about the Forman/Ali age.   I was aiming toward the Sonny Liston/Floyd Patterson Clay.  He's named after that man, in his prime.  Also, Eva's father was always called "Cassius" growing up (apparently for his shit talking and walking ability).  We are very alike in that manner.  And, it starts with a C, like yours truly.  (Fact : Everyone in my immediately family, has a name that starts with the letter C.)

Raising a dog isn't an easy gig.  It's just not.  It's much more like raising a kid and I know that you've probably heard that before.  Do you know how I came to this conclusion??  It wasn't the being called "daddy", or the getting up early in the morning to feed him when he's crying.  One very simple act I found myself doing made me feel like a parent.  Imagine this : Think of the typical American life vision that our society makes us believe is the america dream.  White picket fence, with a back yard where the mother is able to do dishes and peer directly out the kitchen windows to monitor her child's actions.  Same shit happened to me.  I'm here doing dishes, and as I'm washing away, I'm looking through the window of the kitchen for him, searching throughout my field of vision to spot him after ventured out my sight.  Parent. 

I'll talk about him and his actions more.  I'm sure.  But I'm just gonna post a few image of this guy.  For those who don't know, he's a Hungarian Vizsla.  We got him from a breeder in Sacramento.  I'm not even going to start talking about he process to get this dog.  I'm just going to skip all that shit (because that's exactly what it was) and just get to the images. 

Confederate Flag down.

Today marks a historic day.  Today (July 10th, 2015) marks the day that the confederate civil war flag which represented the south has now permanently came down from flying about the South Carolina state house.  My only regret, is that I wasn't there to see it come down personally, with my lady. 

This is a very big deal for South Carolina, my home state.  I could go on and on about it.  However, this passage of my blog isn't to educate, or disperse my opinion on the topic.  I find this occasion to be the perfect opportunity to explain a painting that I've done in the past, that is directly corralled to todays events, in a poetic way.  

The Old South is the New South's Nightmare.  

I did this painting back in 2009, and it came from a very positive, and proud place.  After moving away from the south,  I'd see that flag and always think of home.   Yeah, some would consider that to be a shame be it that I'm an african-american, but hey, I didn't see what everyone else did. I didn't grow naturally disgusted by the particulars of this flag.  All the whites that I knew never flew that flag in my face with malicious intent, so it was never a burning passion of opposition inside me when I saw the flag.   You learn in school, or your parents/grandparents have a strong reaction, and for those obvious reasons it was something I didn't particularly entertain.  

My intention was to create a narrative that would catch one's eye, and make positive commentary on a very unfavorable symbol, of the south's disgusting past.  After all,  I'm proud of the south and I'm proud of my past.  This fact is something I will not shy from.  My heritage travels with me internationally, spiritually, and unconditionally.  Pride gives a man solid ground to stand on, no matter how its viewed amongst the masses, so when doing this painting I simply thought of the image as a 2-Dimensional banner of my roots, AND what I believe our tree will grow into in the future.  

I used myself as the model, to represent all african-american peers from South Carolina.  In the reflection of the avaitors which the metaphor is wearing, you'll see a reflection of the south carolina state house post 2003 after all the rebel flag was originally taken down atop the dome.  This was HUGE at the time, and caused quite the stir.  The figure is gazing towards the right side of the flag symbolizing progression.   In the background/woven into the fabric in a more subtle manner which graduates to a much starker contrast as the eye continues right is a paisley/floral pattern.  Even though these elements are working together on this confederated layout, I was able (and determined) to represent all 16 stars on the flag in the design.  Once could make the argument that I missed one that should be placed in the eye of the glasses, but the focal point was placed in line of that last star purposely.  The odd shaped figure in the top right corner which is in place of a star is the state of South Carolina. 

The point of the painting is pretty simple.  WE ALL are looking towards growth.  WE ALL want a better tomorrow for our children and the south in general.  We get a bad wrap for plenty of things, but hope, and pride will not be one of them. The south is literally, headed in the "right" direction in this painting, and I do believe older southerns (responsible for all this mess in the first place) are rolling around in their graves.  But honestly, fuck em!  Their dead anyway!  A new south is approaching, and we are seeing change everyday, through our aviators!

 Facebook caption after news of the flag coming down became public. 

Facebook caption after news of the flag coming down became public. 

Boxing Fan.

Since I've came to the west coast, I've found myself immensely wrapped up into the art/sport of boxing.  Yes, the ART of boxing, and yes, also the sport of boxing.  The complexity of the form perplexes me on a deeper level.  Much like two-dimensional forms of expression through design do. Either way, I'm using this as a opportunity to speak about something NOT art related for once.  (Well, sorta). 

Boxing : Noun, the sport or practice of fighting with the fists, especially with padded gloves in a roped square ring according to prescribed rules.

Fight : Noun, a battle or combat.  a game or diversion in which the participants hit or pelt each other with something harmeless to inflict harm.

Contest : Noun,  a race, conflict, or other competition between rivals, as for a prize.  A struggle for victory or superiority.  

The recent Mayweather fight spun up a shit storm of controversy, that tightropes the line between sport spectacle and reality tv.  This is what makes the sports great, particularly boxing.  Shit can be talked, insults can be made and yet the most primal, and primitive means of handling any dispute is executed with the world sitting ringside.  Just that idea makes boxing great, and this fight was NO different than any others. 

My dude Everett brought this up to me when discussing my feelings on the recent Pacquiou/Mayweather fight.  He bought up the difference between boxing and fighting.  In a nutshell, he basically said you can't judge this boxing match without taking fighting into account, and as a fight, the aggressor usually gets the victory if it comes to a decision.  Pac Man was the aggressor, and was basically "bringing" the fight to his opponent.  Looking at the opposition,  Everett basically argued that in this fight, Mayweather did his fair share of blocking, evading, and making his opposition miss him, which isn't really "fighting".   Based upon the idea of fighting, he makes a valid point which is not to be knocked.  I don't see it this way.  

Boxing; to me, is poetic.  A boundless, artistic flow of athleticism cross-bred with chess like strategies.  A game, where as exhilarating the offense appears to be, lovers of the trade equally value the defense.  Boxing is the only sport, when refer to colloquially, the contestants don't "PLAY".  Football players play football, and basketball players play basketball.  Boxing is not a game.  Getting hit the wrong way, can kill you.  This underlying principle makes defense paramount, and necessary.   Boxing, is also a game of numbers and percentages.  One could make the argument that it only matters mathematically IF the fight goes the distance.  As far as deciding a victor when no knockout is present, absolutely.  But how does one make the distance, and not lose the fight.  You can throw inaccurately, and tire yourself.  One can choose to just block, to conserve energy and make the distance, but have no scored shots or knockdowns to show for it.  The right balance of defense and offense is essential to keep you in contention, keep your opponent on their toes, and keep the viewers interested.   This is EXACTLY what boxing is about. 

The Expectation : Pac Man is a holy man.  A man who gives back to the community, and came from nothing.  His natural persona radiates humbleness, with a soft spoken demeanor and an accent which woman refer to as, cute.  He reflects all that is "good" in the world. Pacquio is the best fighter in this weight class and the best chance for mayweather to suffer his first defeat.  His ferocity makes him elite, and will make the fight difficult for Mayweather and push him out of his comfort zone, resulting in a slug fest.  This combination is sure to crumble Mayweather.  He has not seen this kinda speed, mixed with combined power in anyone except Sugar Shane (whom he had a problem with.)  No matter the defense, Pacquiauo's offense would rein supreme and he will become victorious.  

The Result : Mayweather is not an outwardly holy man.  He too came from the bottom, in Grand Rapids, MI.  He takes his hard earned money, gambles with it and flaunts it.  From being sponsered by argubaly one of the most expensive swiss watch makers around (Hublot), and a legal fantasy gambling sport site (Fanduel), to naming his franchise "TMT', which stands for "The Money Team", Floyd Mayweather makes the sport a fruitful business operation.  A man who also has been to jail on numerous occasions for physical altercations outside the ring and domestic abuse.  He reflect all of which is "bad" in the world, while it continues to win.  Mayweather is THE BEST (pound for pound) fighter on the planet currently and has never lost.  There is a reason Floyd doesn't know what defeat taste like.  It's because defeat can't catch him. 

Pac Man was the aggressor, and bought his fight to Mayweather, and Mayweather managed to "weather" his storm of attacks.   Period.  This was the answer to many age old arguments.  Good vs. Bad?  Speed vs. Power?  Offense vs. Defense?  Well, I think you got your answer. 


New Work.

Finally.  My first show on the West Coast/SF.  It's been a long time coming, and I'm happy for it to be up so I can start a new direction.  I didn't name the show, simply because I didn't want a title to box the works together.  Yet, its the most uniform body of works I've done to date. 

Preparing for this particular show really tested me.  Specifically, in the "persistence" department. Being able to finally coming to a close and exhibit a visual commentary of that struggle, is a goal achieved.  Please, if you get a chance to come out and see it, please do.  The will be up for the next 3 months.   Thank you. 

Artist statement.

I get the question, "CB, what's up with the food paintings."

I let em know.  

Inspired by the monotonous routine of american cuisine, my latest works explores the decadence, and visual allure that our society has designed into the appearance of our daily diets.  American’s indulgence and obesity issues, and unhealthy consumption habits are triggered by delectable presentation, and lowered price points feed on the middle/lower class.  My work is a visual depiction of idealized american food presentation, the struggle to ignore it, and its power to feed on/to americas’s unhealthy majority.

Close the book on that one, son.