Tuesday, November 22, 2011
In recent years I have very much been tested in my resolve to a philosophy of art of life. It has indeed become for me an all-encompassing pursuit, a path that permeates my entire life and being. It’s a spiritual practice, a mental discipline, a physical way of being. It won’t always be pretty or perfect, that is not the meaning of art. It requires practice and dedication. A life of art, art of life recognizes that opportunity to tap into creative energy is everywhere, something worth exploring, and that yields great value.
Living a life of art is not a frivolous pursuit. It’s a way of being that colors the way one sees and experiences the world, filling it with magic and wonder. It’s not something to discount or diminish. It’s a path that shares many riches and has the ability to transform life and manifest possibilities. But if you are reading this, you likely already know that, but perhaps, like me, need reminding every so often. We live in a golden era, a burgeoning creative world, but we can easily dwell in the ill-usions of our society and the trappings of current culture and forget the true ever-lasting meaning of the art of life.
We are mortal physical creatures, but tapping into creative energy is limitless and transcendent. Our commitment is to consciously and reverently manifest the grand diversity of art and fulfill our role, add our voice, live our dance, paint our scene, write our manifestos, and be our being as best we can and in a manner that is true to our soul, not what someone or some society tells you. Do it consciously, peacefully, lovingly, blissfully. Live and love your life of art.
WIth that said, I give thanks to the many people who have inspired me on this journey of art. To all the various friends, peers, teachers, mentors, icons, and heroes who have shared their experiences along the journey and given the gifts of their life of art. I appreciate all the many colors that have added their unique influence to my palette. While I won’t list them all by name here, I am very much spending this time in appreciation for their contributions.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Walking always infuses me with a lot of art of life energy and experiences - and is an essential part of my art meditation practice. The streets of New York City are especially filled with adventure. I have so much to share from my time there earlier this month, like this simple encounter with balloons tied to some scaffolding. Sure watching it bounce in the wind was fun, but the rather common sight can become even more magical when the perspective is shifted playfully and used to yield colorful results. We see the balloons, but what do the balloons see? How can you apply this concept to your own path along a life of art?
Friday, November 11, 2011
|looking into the eyes and artistic soul of Gal Harpaz|
From now through the end of the year, Gal Harpaz invites us to “give the elevator a break” and instead “Take the Stairs at Samy’s Camera", where a selection of his artwork is hanging in gallery space located throughout the stairwell and hallways. So that is exactly what R. Sky Palkowitz and I did in honor of his birthday and the magical date of 11/11/11! Sky and I have been blessed to know Gal (pronounced Gaul) and his beautiful wife (Orit, an accomplished photographer in her own right) for 11 years now, since we were neighbors in West Hollywood at the creative vortex, art and performance space known as Phyllis’ Garage.
|Sky & Jason upon the stairs with artwork by Gal Harpaz|
Gal’s primary work is that of photographer, and he is a very skilled and accomplished one at that. He was born and trained in Israel before moving to NYC. There he spent four years as First Assistant to renowned fashion and celebrity photographer, Francesco Scavullo, and then moved to LA where he has held a long freelance career assisting on productions with some of the world’s leading photographers. During this time he has honed his abilities and cultivated a wide body of photographic work that pushes the medium of photography into other arenas. He merges the eye of the artist with the skill of a craftsman.
The show at Samy’s is a perfect example of that. It’s a stunning display of his photography on wood. He places his unique visual photographic style on various hand constructed wood panels finishing them off with thick layers of varnish to give a lustrous quality to the work and giving a sort of literal appearance of moments frozen in time. Sometimes the wood is painted, sometimes it is left raw, and the blemishes and/or worn, decay-like quality of them become beautiful. There is something both haunting and sensual about the works: some containing ghost-like half-developed images, are partially faded or are saturated in color. They exude a sort of fascinating and secret history in each piece that invites you in for viewing again and again.
|by Gal Harpaz: pieces of self #2 - 29"x24"x2"|
Gal works intensely with Polaroid film, utilizing all of its unique qualities, visual framing, and even limitations to great effect. Over the years he’s made a wide variety of work like that of his POLARAMAS or documenting the co-created work of art known as his son, in a series called THEO-ROIDS.
While a wide selection of his work can be seen online at galharpaz.com, the work should be seen in person to truly be appreciated in all its detail and glory.
Gal’s artwork is on display at Samy’s Camera, located at 431 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles 90036 now through the end of the year. GO! Give your legs a workout and TAKE THE STAIRS AT SAMY’S
Congrats and Happy Birthday to a sublime artist!
|washing negs, costa careyes, mexico - 11"x9.75"x3.75"|
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
This is a time to honor our ancestors, to honor the shoulders we stand upon for our physical and spiritual life, to honor the cycle of life and death, to honor space between those worlds, and to honor our connection to them. And it may seem strange to honor that in half glittery drag face and half day of the dead, but I am honoring too the nature of being a two-spirit, of male and female, of living in two worlds, of feeling life and death in every moment and action and purpose of being.
I've lived my whole life trying to make sense of the various emotions and feelings, thoughts and ideas, experiences and abilities that support someone who feels so strongly a sense of connection between worlds and the space in between. That path can seem an unusual one, and it requires diligent effort to follow, but it I am not alone. Many other brothers and sisters are doing our part to search for the strength to pursue our spiritual and sexual lives consciously and artistically, to pursue a path of love among darkness, through the fear, through the threats, through the chaos of the world. We are all creatures of duality and of more than merely flesh, so listen closely to the spirits from beyond and the history that has written us. I honor those who have influenced my story.
Today I give thanks to my brother, Solaris, my miscarried twin, the Polydeuces to my Castor of the Gemini archetype. He is my guide and my true love, and yet we shall always dance between life and death. His is a story of which there is always much more to tell.
I give thanks to my physical ancestors, the cherished memories of those whom have now passed. To Glenn and Gerry Lackender, who influenced me dearly. They were the grandparents I looked up to so fondly, and who disappointed me, but also allowed me to recognize ultimately that the disappointment was an illusion and that their love for me was true and their contributions to the community they served so very real and still valued to this day. I feel them through me seeking to address human mistakes, and help restore connection to the beautiful family they created. I struggled so hard covering up my two-spirit sexuality from them, but they recognized the true essence of me regardless and loved me and love me still from beyond; this I know.
So to I honor and feel the love of my great grandfather Julius, whom I visited as a child many times on the way home from school in the local nursing home. We bonded closely during his last years and even after his death I felt so connected to him in the other world. If he hadn't moved to America from Switzerland after WWI, I would not exist.
I honor all of my ancestors, and the lives they lived, the hardships they endured. I do not seek to let their work go forgotten or unrecognized. I thank them for giving me the opportunity to experience this life in this present day. I seek to make the most of it, in the way that feels right for me to blossom creatively and uniquely. Through their struggles, they have given me the freedom to be of choice and possibility. I hope to leave similar choices for future generations.
I honor my cousin, Mike, a dear friend growing up and to whom although we drifted apart, were connected in spirit. I hope he will have a long lasting legacy for his bold and brave vision that was being a true steward of the Earth.
I am two-spirit, and I owe my life to so many ancestors. While I may not carry on their legacy through the process of the bloodline, I serve a role and carry on the spiritual pursuits and contributions.
I give humble appreciation to so many spiritual brothers and sisters, not related by blood. So many artists, philosophers, creators, inventors, leaders, soldiers, lovers, poets, writers, activists, historians and the like who have given us this world of riches beyond imaging. Our life is filled with their contributions and I do not wish to take that for granted. I appreciate how my life has been influenced and affected by their lives. They live on beyond in various ways.
There are so many that I seek to honor throughout my blog on this day and others. And too there are so many living cherished ones who I am honored to be connected to and celebrating this experience of life with. I seek to bridge the worlds through living fully and artistically. Art is the language of life. It is through the understanding and appreciation of life, that we come closer to understanding death as well.
Much gratitude for the gifts given.