I am excited to kick off the new year working on a new body of work! My next show will be November/December 2023 at Pacific Grove Art Center and it's called Star Gazing. I had such a great time a few years ago when I did my Promiseland show there (see video below).
Star Gazing will be in the Gill Gallery, which is the largest gallery space in the Pacific Grove Art Center. I'm looking forward to creating a lot of new work for this show, including some large-scale pieces!
I'm calling the show Star Gazing because I want to spend the year looking up and recapturing a sense of wonder. I was inspired by this quote from Oscar Wilde:
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
No matter how difficult life gets, there is always magic to be found. For me, the best way to find it is through painting.
The first piece I did for this series is titled Star Power and it portrays Alok Vaid-Menon, a gender non-conforming writer, performance artist, and public speaker who inspires me immensely.
It was important to me to include young people in the creation of this piece because I want them to grow up in a world where gender, self-expression, and identity are limitless.
Big thank you to my friends at Salinas Valley Pride and Youth Arts Collective for allowing me to bring the community into this project.
I've always believed with an arsenal of cheap paintbrushes from Michael's, you can change the world!
This week I am starting two more paintings for the show. The first is inspired by this beautiful photograph by James Miille (used with permission):
In my version, the figure will be sitting on the edge of a cliff looking out into an abstract night sky (stars to come!).
The rose in the background is a reference to The Little Prince, one of my favorite books from childhood.
The second painting isn't as far along, and rather than telling you what it's about, I'll just show you a screenshot from the timelapse video I'm filming and let you imagine where it might be headed - kind of like looking for constellations in the night sky.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more studio sneak-peeks as I continue developing this series. I'm looking forward to bringing all of you along on this creative journey with me!
If you want to be a Star Gazer this year too, I have some new Star Gazing hats available in my online store, featuring the show logo designed by my friend Aaron Anderson.