Not gonna lie, my first rollout at a major museum has me walking on sunshine!!
Only took 17 years. What fills me with glee is how it’s happening … with an idea brought to life with friends and fellow dreamers. A project that celebrates excellence and fearlessness. And shines light on my birthplace, a city I ran from in my late twenties and returned to in my forties, only to find it utterly transformed – from ugly duckling to beautiful swan. So, next Thursday, June 22nd, I’m raising a glass to my town, to my collaborators and to myself, modesty be damned. Join the party live next week at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) or watch the show on your own time right here:
Meet Your Makers, in collaboration with the rainbow unicorns at The New Tropic and PBS, spotlights the fearless, razor sharp creative minds that populate South Florida. My friendship with these fellow makers affords me a unique and intimate perspective on their practices, what they’ve done and what they’ll do next. Together, we tiptoe into the kitchen and get a lil taste of the secret sauce, as these artists share their motivations and aspirations. The latest episode features Rob Lee, founder of the wonderful open mic, Speak Fridays. Check it out next week on the big screen at PAMM or hit the link above and tell me what you think.
Keep running at your dreams. But remember to stay hydrated … because it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Other ONGOING Exhibitions – Hit me up for a private tour:
My dad represents what is right about America. Born to immigrant parents, he grew up poor in Miami, attended state college for a pittance, served in the Army, then started his climb up the professional mountain. He eventually started his own construction company, Florida Fill, and made a decent living until Florida’s whipsaw economy got the better of him. But it was this “failure” that exposed what I consider one of his great successes. As he shuttered his business, he faced a difficult choice: make his final payroll or tell all his people who’d been with him forever and who’d toiled to earn that check, sorry, but the till is empty (which it was). Though he had no legal obligation to do so, my father cashed in his own retirement to make that final payroll, leaving him with very little as he faced a dark and uncertain future. He searched his soul and found himself … in lieu of funding himself.
In my most recent site-specific installation, America’s Moral Dilemma, stacks of literary criticism text books invite us to spend some time pondering how our nation’s story shifted so drastically, to one of profit at any cost.
Just last week, the new regime at the EPA voted to relax clean water standards. This is not a liberal or conservative issue; dumping industrial poison into our drinking sources is a basic human health issue. I’m all for minimizing bureaucracy and maximizing profits, but let’s not commit suicide in the process. Back in the 80s, I was actually there, as part of the Wall Street guys selling his casino bonds, when our current president used every trick in the bankruptcy book to get out from under his bad business decisions. All of it was legal. But was it right? What would my dad do? What would you do?
On a lighter note, it’s been a busy week. In collaboration with my good friends at The New Tropic, my series, Meet Your Makers, debuted on PBS as a segment in the show Art Loft. This episode features my soul brother and art beast, Typoe. Check it out above and tell me what you think.
I also have a solo show opening tonite (March 9th) in Miami Beach. It features American flags cut to shreds, deconstructed and then reconstructed into beautiful new forms. This is my wish for our country – that we survive these dark times and come out the other side with an even brighter future.
My friend, the poet Aja Monet, recently said, “It is the duty of artists to make revolution irresistible.” I must admit I am angst-ridden trying to figure how to do this – to Find Myself AND Fund Myself simultaneously. To build bridges … and light a fire under others to do likewise. For starters, a percentage of my art sales this month will be donated to the ACLU and Anti-Defamation League. Hopefully, that still leaves money for me to enjoy the fruits of my labors.
While that alone is clearly not enough, I believe that’s what my dad would do.
I’m generally a happy guy. Cute wife. Bouncy kids. Fuzzy dog. So it’s hard to wake up each morning to something like this:
“How does a lie come to be widely taken as the truth? The answer is disturbingly simple: Repeat it over and over again. When faced with facts that contradict the lie, repeat it louder.”
This NYT editorial from earlier this week discussed the remarkable success of the voter fraud myth. Despite being statistically non-existent (31 cases in over a billion ballots), this false narrative has convinced nearly half of registered voters that voter fraud is a problem that justifies making voting more difficult for many (read brown people). While this makes me want to throw up in my mouth and this mass deception is being created almost entirely by one party, I’m not going all political diatribe here.
Instead, to keep me from walking into a Dairy Queen and punching everybody in the face, I will pivot to something utterly joyful. I’m thrilled to introduce my newest project, MEET YOUR MAKERS, a collaboration with the phenomenal editorial team at The New Tropic.
For each episode of MYM, I sit down with creative geniuses and pick their brains about their process and what makes them do their thing. Our first episode features uber worldwide muralist Douglas Hoekzema aka Hoxxoh. Here’s a little taste (the main event is at the bottom of this post).
Over decades, Hoxxoh developed an instantly recognizable style based on his dedication and fascination with a particular mark and its infinite variations. His work graces the far corners of the globe, and he’s currently painting (as you read this) the largest commission of his life, a 25,000 square foot wall on a gorgeous beachfront high rise.
Through these delightful artist-to-artist interactions I, and hopefully you, are reminded that our world is not just a giant shit-storm of hate and lies. And that our best impulses can and are being put to their right uses by many. And that magic dust is real and is being sprinkled daily by makers and thinkers who cannot and will not be influenced by anything but their own inner compasses.
Meet Your Makers honors the good guys. The fearless. The heartbeats. Those on an endless quest to express the truth for the greater good, whether that truth hurts or not. We fight the spineless who cheat via falsehoods, paying attention only to their personal benefit without caring one iota for what is fair or just or globally harmful.
In these dark times when politics often ruins my days before they begin, I am tingly all over to be a part of something solely aimed at celebrating smart people being really smart.
Ladies & Gentlemen…it is my distinct pleasure to present to you the inaugural episode of Meet Your Makers!