Come one come all. Bridge Gallery NY, 98 Orchard st. The EGO and The ID: Featuring the artwork of Lori Schuela, Sydney Cash and Myself opens this SUNDAY February 28th from 4:30pm - 7:30pm closes MARCH 29th.
All photos are reverse chronological order... which means a slight bit of explaining is in order...
Since we left Watsonville, we went down to LA and then drove from LA to Boca Raton, Florida. So the picture below was taken yesterday when I welded a coffee table for grandmother (who, by now you may have guessed, lives in Boca).
Remember folks, never weld in T-shirt, you may look cool, but it's never worth it.
Arm Wrestling Eibol in Watsonville the last night of our stay
Eibol's crazy texan stepdad Bill holding a plastic baby...
Chess, Scotch and Beer in San Fran with my buddy Lou (final score from that night 6-6)
Kickin a volleyball around on the beach in Malibu
This man was actually equipped with bear-mace.
Me meeting Robert Williams, Legendary low brow painter and founder of Juxtapoz magazine (an epic moment in my life)
My dad hiking in Nevada? Arizona? New Mexico? I dunno, one of those westerly states.
So if you look below, at the two posts prior they are both very long wordy posts. Before publishing both of these I felt a little hesitant to actually put them up, not because I don't want people to read it, I'm happy to have people read it, but because of this weird push and pull feeling that is created by our social networking blogosphere and all that jazz. It's a bit odd to write up some long diatribe and say "here you are people, read this." I don't know if I should expect feedback I don't even know if anyone reads it at all. At the same time I don't want to create tension where people feel beholden to read it or comment or something. So I'm writing this disclaimer (albeit mostly for myself) to say that it is not necessary to actually read these things; I occasionally feel that I should, based on the fact that I write a blog, keep some semblance of record of the things I've done. So It's there, it's in the ether for all to devour or not devour; if your curious go with it and if your eyes hang heavy with lethargy after paragraph one, than please, stop reading. That is all.
After rereading my previous post about my trip I realize it sounds a little silly to retroactively synopsize a journey such as I just went on. Nothing about this trip has been so simple as I made it seem in the post before, there was no "oh we're in LA now! Okay, this stinks! Lets go somewhere else!" It was just life, only with more constant changes. Nothing was stagnant, but it was never a simple : this is bad and this good. Most of the journey was much too complicated for me to wrap my mind around while I was in the moment, so I was never up for relaying a direct account of my travels, which is why I've chosen to do this sort of sweeping synopsis. So maybe I can make my account of the rest of the journey a little more human (without getting too long winded).
So back to Watsonville we went. Once we got there we negotiated a shop rental, stayed a few nights in a motel, until eventually we decided to turn the office of the shop into a temporary living space (we weren't in the lap of luxury, but we made do). Once in Watsonville at my 4 x 4 shop table, surrounding by welding equipment and scrap metal I decided it was time to put my nose to the grindstone (what a silly phrase). I had spent too much time on the road and hadn't had the opportunity to work in too long so, needless to say, I was rarin' to go. And go I did. I looked around for a place to show my work, set up a venue, and then cranked out 32 new sculptures in the first two weeks. Most of em' were little, but still, 32 sculptures is a lot of work any way you slice it. I had a show up north in Palo Alto, but the apathetic malaise we were beginning to grow accustom to in California was all too apparent and the turnout was less than spectacular. So the show wasn't great, no matter, back to the drawing board.
I took a couple days off work, went looking for some soccer games, started fraternizing with the locals and frequenting a nearby bar. Occasionally things would seem grim because there was no real potential for any monetary gain while we were out there, but the chance to make newer and better work in a different environment was too good to be true. It didn't take long before my hyperactive tendency to always kick a soccer ball during the time I wasn't working led me to meeting Eibol (pronounced Abel), the musician/woodworker who worked next door, who would come and kick it around with me during his lunch breaks at the mobile Taco stand. Eibol invited me to a pickup soccer game at a local indoor arena and also helped me improve my spanish every chance he could. Throughout the trip Eibol would come by the shop late and night and hang out, have a few drinks and even play some chess.
Over the next month and a half I would play soccer twice a week, eat nothing but mexican food (all there was were Taquerias), learn to love Mango covered in chili as well as rice pudding flavored ice pops, speak spanish to pretty much everyone and continue to make as much sculpture as I could (including a larger-than-life-sized bust of the mechanic who worked next door).
The people from whom I rented the shop were great ironworkers and metal sculptors (www.sculpturetech.com) and they graciously showed me how to operate some awesome machinery. I was equally fortunate to meet Paul and Forest Cheney (www.Cheneymetals.com) local blacksmiths of the highest caliber who relayed to me some awesome techniques, which I've already put to use in a few sculptures.
Watsonville was an amazing experience, highlighted by events such as the time I played Pictionary with Eibol's family and his friend Jaun who spoke english only slightly better than I spoke spanish (Jaun and I were one team, Eibol and his mom another, my dad and Eibol's Texan step-father a third [as it turns out Jaun and I would kick everyones ass]). The last night, in Watsonville was a wonderful culmination of our whole time spent there, when my father and I went out to the local bar and we invited Eibol and his family (and Jaun) to come meet us there. After a little while we convinced Eibol to fetch Jaun's guitar, a notion which was further supported by the bartender and the lone couple who was at the bar with us, and he and his mother and eventually the cooking staff would all join in and put on an incredible concert (including variations of Hotel California, Me Gustas Tu, Stairway to heaven, and a drunk chorus of La Bamba). It was a fitting ending for a an excellent trip in an interesting place.
The end... except more happened after Watsonville and I left a lot out and the trip is still happening. But hey, I'm trying to be concise about all this!
I feel like I should probably make this a two part post, but if I don't than consider the title (simply) a lame homage to John Wayne and Jim Stewart (and whoever else was in that movie).
To start off our three month journey, my father and I loaded up the truck with sculpture and headed out west. We bounded out, not wasting much time, until we hit LA. There we stayed for a few days, but the incredible vastness of the place was too much to handle and we left for northern California with a sour taste in our mouths. So, off we went, to San Fran to stay with my sister and, on the way there, we stopped to check out a metal shop in random little town called Watsonville (a major agriculture and industry town, replete with metal sculptors and strawberry farmers)....
At this point one may be wondering why we would set out on a journey like this in the first place. My reasons were simple: I wanted to escape the cold harsh winter of NY, I wanted to make as much sculpture as possible, I wanted to play soccer and I wanted to improve my spanish. Simple as that!
... Anyway we stop in Watsonville, check out a few metal shops and decide to stay the night. We spend the next couple days checking out the place, seeing what it has to offer... eventually we move on and make it up to Berkeley to spend some time with my sister. We spend a week or so in Berkeley until it dawns on us that Berkeley is simply a repository for brainy college kids and the relatively insane (an odd combo) and we needed to, pardon my french, get the fuck outta there.
So out we went, and here I mus note that things were getting hectic, tempers were flaring; I was torn in one direction and my father another and this joint trip to California seemed fruitless (come on a 22 year old and his 57 year old father, loosed on California, stuck in a city that is primarily college kids who are perceptibly mad: it's not hard to see this as a recipe for disaster). But we gathered our wits and saw that the answer was probably that mostly mexican farming town two hours south where we checked out a couple metal shops: Watsonville.
this concludes part 1.
Stay tuned for the second edition:
And maybe some photos.
Also my website has been super duper revamped and updated so go check it out!
(it's still undergoing a few tweaks, but you'll get the idea)