During the last week of June in Trenton, New Jersey Artworks hosted it’s annual “Art All Night” at one of the old Robeling wire cable plant buildings (where a lot of americas suspension bridge cables were manufactured.) that attracts well over 30,00 visitors within a twenty four hour period is a huge success!
This year the writer of this article was invited to do a master workshop class which I opted out of to focus on trying to submit one of my own works of art for this 24 hour extravaganza of which I haven’t shown any art in quite some time since I moved from Trenton six years ago. I wanted to use my time as effective as I possibly could with the understanding that my time is very limited.
I knew I would run into any and everybody I’ve ever encountered in the art community during my active artistic years in the entire Mercer’s County just by hanging out checking out all the art & people who flood this massive complex to become one creative community.
The next best thing was the after sale & directors choice exhibition held at Artworks on Saturday June 28th where the buyers could meet the artists in person and co-mingle over some cocktails. I thought that was a brilliant idea and so; kudos to the organizers for recognizing this very important step to creating an community that supports itself and in the end supports the city in terms of generating sales & use tax if in fact these artists are registered with tax ID numbers and are doing the right thing?
I was one of the lucky ones who’s artwork became an “Object of Appreciation” and although I did attend the reception to meet the purchaser that never happened [Lol] during the course of the evening but once again I had a great time just talking with fellow artists who were just as happy as I was to sell or be selected for inclusion and be appreciated for just that moment.
I did ironically find out a little bit about the woman who just loved my digital print and couldn’t wait to hang it on her wall once she got home. I was told this by a young woman who works at GELAVINO gelato & cafe at the shopping center here in North Princeton the very next day when I walked in for lunch. She was a volunteer that previous evening at Artworks who gave me my check in number so the buyer could find me. It just goes to show you that the art community in Mercer’s County is abundant and plentiful with lots of creative souls who seem to find each other.
A brand new medium for me as an artist has come to fruition accidentally but if you believe in your own talent and try everything that comes to your mind; wait for it…. and, act on it something just might happen that will lead you to a brand new horizon or beginning.
I was once told by the late iconic pop artist Keith Haring [his words] “Don’t just depend on one thing, do a lot of things!”
He said this to me as I was carrying a rejected canvas for an exhibition I just knew would be a knock out for the jurors of a particular gallery.
I never forgot those words and he was absolutely right because I have experimented with many things in my life most of which have remained experiments and out of the public eye.
Thirty years ago I wrote a poem describing an imaginary woman after breaking up with a girlfriend and put it away and out of my mind.
As a result of simply getting in the habit of writing things down in note books (instead of trying to remember off hand) I now have created a song out of this poem with the help of my cousin Scott R. Trent (singer & music arrangement) and “DJ Ed Gusto” Green (producer) of Signature Soul Records.
I find it quite ironic that I have been into dance music for well over thirty years as a serious club goer which is very well documented in the last blog article and, countless others with real flyers of party events.
I’ve also kept old membership cards complete with some great stories attached on this website.
But due to my back injury I can no longer dance. So I can’t dance to my own song but I would love to here it in a disco and witness other people enjoy it! “you can’t beat that with a bat!”
Ok, so lately I have added to my reading material two very much anticipated books that were released in the past year. The first one is titled “No Slam Dancing No Stage Diving No Spikes” which is an oral history of the now legendary City Gardens nightclub located in Trenton, New Jersey where I spent most of my young adult life trying to get my footing in this journey called life when I wasn’t doing the same thing in New York City, when I could afford it. I’m quoted in this book as saying “I didn’t go to college, I went to DISCO!” The second book “Fun Gallery the true story” is about the creation of the east village gallery scene plus the graffiti/Hip Hop cultural migration from the South Bronx to downtown Manhattan told by a very courageous woman named Patti Astor (her public name) who was brave enough to follow her instincts and promote art that was deemed a public image problem and worthless along with its creators [I wish we would have met back then] in New York City at the time. We hung out at the same clubs and probably attended the same art openings when Soho was the art capital of the world. Both books combined basically tell my life story through the images and stories of other people who lived the same creative-driven life which is now considered the most money-fueled art boom of the eighties in New York. And; as far as Trenton is concerned, this also was the most energetic time that reconnected the city with the rest of the world musically as opposed to the industrial background it once had well over fifty years ago. Also both books have films produced. The former “No Slam Dancing No Stage Diving No Spikes” will soon be released under the new title “Riot On The Dance Floor” and will be screened at this season’s Sundance Film Festival and the later has been the subject of many films most notably “Wild Style” which Patti herself stars in with costar Fab 5 Freddy and a whole cast of scene makers that were real artists and not Hollywood actors pretending to be part of the real Hip Hop Nation!
February 2013 turned out to feel like I was being transported through a portal of emotional time and space combined with a certain escalation of my recognition as an artist but not in terms of any monitary gain; I ‘m speaking of a fantasy is reality kind of existance where there’s no distinction between the two and everything feels normal to deal with a certain dissadvantage and turn it into a positive outcome!!
One example of this directly is organizing this exhibition “Cross Your Heart” that was quite an undertaking on my behalf because I had to recruit the assistance of my friend Tobias Grace who had to sort through my storage space with me to put together a show within one half hour of the day of installing the show because I was sort of censored for the work I really wanted to exhibit and,the Trentonian contacted me the day before scheduling an Interview with me the same day while the work was being placed on the walls so there was all this kind of distorsion in the sound quality but it turned out fine because its history now.
I almost didn’t make it to the reception because of my high levels of pain I was experiencing because I was in way over my head in physical activity;and,if it wasn’t for my friend Jacquie Nicholas Nelson who offered to pick me up and bring me back home I would have just stayed home just lying on my back until the next day. She convinced me to go because she said a lot of people would be there to see me and she was right! When we arrived to the Trenton Social the place was packed there must have been one hundred people there shoulder to shoulder and I greeted as many people as I could before it would ruen my night we emediatly found a table so Jacquie and her friend Lynette could have something to eat while I worked the room and try to speak with every eye that caught mine because people are more sensitive when their at an art opening and they know the artist;they kind of get offended when you don’t greet them when they want your attention.You have to be a good social politician to navigate through all the personal perceptions folks have of you until they see you in full ragailia holding court.
The show didn’t go over without its drama but to speak on that would make the reader get the impression that I enjoy such a thing;which I don’t. I much perfer a more classier approach and keep my lack of knowledge about a particular subject under wraps and say “Oh I didn’t know that?” insted of trudging forward with my own personal opinions that become a merry-go-round type of experience. I’m happy about all the indirect opportunities that sprang up as a result of the show or something else, which is why I call this blog post the [wonderment and enchantment] because after all the effort I put out to do this exhibition; I got back so much more in terms of confidence and being able to explain myself and what I’m about while being interviewed in front of a camera without falling apart. I was radio interviewed by Jacque Howard for WIMG 1300am which aired publically on television WZBN channel 25 which again becomes a part of my historical archieves for just one month.
One thing that also seemed weird about the show is that at one point after returning to the exhibtion to see how sales were going I noticed a painting was missing off the wall. Another thing that caught me by surprise is that on the same day I witnessed two more paintings were placed on the floor so the restaurant staff could watch television (Telemundo) with the LCD projector because;I was told,it was a slow day. I couldn’t (or maybe I could) believe that nobody noticed the one painting missing until I posted the observation on facebook with a picture of the alledged missing painting.But when we did the deinstallation the day the sow closed the painting magically popped up? I’m not judging anybody, I’m just stating what really happened during this homecoming of sorts of an exhibition I survived.I know everyone enjoyed the show regardless of my experience anyway so it was a great success!!
The Tyrone Miller Show.Where do I begin with this one? I first want to say that I’m glad to be back in familiar territory exhibiting in my home town of Trenton New Jersey especially in a place where I put a lot of blood sweat and yes, plenty of tears into while dealing with the tremendous devastation of both my parents dying within one year or so of each other. Neither one of them got the chance to experience that fruitful time of my life; nor will they get the chance to see this great impromptu ( at times funny) Interview with the host Tyrone Miller who inadvertently just happen to be there in his own studio space directly across the hall from me when I lived in my studio [Red Balloon Studio] at the time;it was a great productive period. So it wasn’t always morning death there that I was doing, I was getting busy in all senses of the word in my third floor suit with roof access to add an extra outdoor patio to the whole experience. Many people who attended Friday nights opening remember those times and they represented strong in the house showing me crazy love & respect!
The opening experience was nothing short of a huge success due to the fact that there were at least 100 patrons in attendance at any given time and I was so busy greeting folks that I almost felt overwhelmed because I didn’t want to appear rude if I didn’t get a chance to speak to someone I knew so I had to “Work the Room” as we call it as professional artists.
I had so much fun at the show but,only after fearing that I wasn’t going to make it there to the opening reception because of all the time I had to spend preparing for the exhibition. I had to throw a show together in less than one hour because the work originally submitted was rejected due to its controversial subject matter.
Without boring you with the minor details of the small stuff I’ll try to post just some pictures later so you can see the results of hard work;very hard work that has left me exhausted and happy!! Article: Former Trenton artist coming back to city for show.
The last time I heard the names Leon Rainbow and William Kasso together it was just a short time ago back in early August when TerraCycle held it’s annual Jersey Fresh Graffiti Jam which has turned out to be a gathering of the artistic tribes if you will, a super communal event where painters [writer’s in the graffiti world] come from all over the tristate area and beyond to reface the entire building inside as well as out with their latest black book designs specifically for this location.
Now we have another event on the heals of the last which will focus on one entire city block of Downtown Trenton that has been neglected and once stood as lawyers Row in better times of the city. What the two organizers plan on doing is reface all the buildings that have plywood windows and doors on their facades into an outdoor art gallery that will be a much needed improvement for this strangely abandoned block that is one city street away from City Hall. The plan is to invite artists (Of all kinds) to contribute a work of art to be mounted on the plywood filling as many as they can up with beautiful images. Also in the scheduled will be an official indoor art opening at gallery 219 and a closing event block party on E. Hanover Street featuring local talent and BBQ to keep the party nourished and in full effect.
This writer hopes to add his two cents creatively to this awesome Idea;It’s due to the fact that I am a big supporter of positive change for Trenton and just can’t pass up the opportunity to give my home town a little Souvenir to remember my by since I moved from the area four years ago. I will write a follow up report that will include some photos with it so you can see how art can transcend the negative image that Trenton has been trying to shake for over thirty years.
This years event was almost ruened partially by the rain that kept haunting the area but the true diehard folks of Trenton triumphed once again with this awesome 24 hour extravaganza held once a year.The outdoor sound stage dried out in time for the music lineup and the fire pits were burning brightly when I arrived so I knew this would be no different than the previous year which was a mindblowing experience being inside one of the massive Roebling complex buildings that still exsist and this particular one was responceable in the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge cables.
I ran into most of the artist friends I know hovering around the beer stands with huge smiles on their faces and I almost didn’t get a chance to view the art on display inside because of the socializing with all the people who know me.Once I did do a walk through I was really impressed with the amount and quality of art that is submitted for this showcase and I know that there is no doubt that Trenton has some awesome undiscovered talent that is waiting to be recognized by the rest of the country just like the major manufacturers that use to exsist and were household names around the world.
Ref. Pictures of Nothing abstract art since Pollock. by Kirk Varnedoe
One of his statements about the origins of modern contemporary art in the twentieth century reads like this: “This kind of art is conceivable only within a system that is in crucial sense unfixed,inefficeint,and unpredictable-a cultural system whose work is done by the play within it,in all sense of the word,in a game where the rules themselves are what is constantly up for grabs.-Kirk Varnedoe
“Even the most trained painters cannot escape the confines of order, structure,and free themselves from the grips of geometry. What has been deemed abstract I find has a basis in mathmatics to a large degree.
Anthony Fearron’s work is devoid of these basic rules and code, his foundation is sprituality with cosmic vibrations of universal music flowing over the surface of the canvas, it cannot be equated by numbers,formulae, or abstract conceptual theory in general. Each painting has its own personallity and color palate separate from one another even though they could have been painted in the same studio session.
Destinct graffics,bold color and text is how Thom Reaves chooses to express his passion for the art nouveau period of nineteeth century France.His love of order and beauty translate a very romantic essence of communication that he has totally made his own by starting with references to Degas and Lautrec pretending to paint subjects like Sophia Lorren or Josephine Baker if you could imagine, he modernizes the illustrative style these artist used to make advertisements, and, to add more fun to the paintings meaning he makes fake products with which the artist himself cleverly concocks in his own mind and he uses equally creative typography to complete the compositions.
My work serves as the anchor with its references to modern art dating back to post WWI era starting with the Datast to Surrealism to Pop art, and ending with the new trend of Pop Surrealism or “Low Brow” art that include my vinyl toy sculptures which relate to my new found interest in Japanses Anime and Manga which is represented today by this “Do it Yourself” movement that has surfaced in the last decade here in the United States.
The game has been totally changed when trying to identify a certain type of artifact connected to a specific race or ethnic group of people.This show truly reflects the current trends in painting & sculpture and updates the Trenton arts community into the twenty first century and beyond… tradition has been reassesed,reexamined and manipulated in the hands of these III Guys who share contemporary thoughts about society and choose to ignor the barriers of exclusion by being identified as solely African American artist, they are artist who have the same access to information and materials as anyone else which has leveled the playing field in contemporary art.