I spent the other night listening to my favorite performance artist Ask a Chola on her brand new radio show. Between the gully banter and crazy music I loved every second of it. I wanted to do what I could to support Chola’s new endeavor so I thought I’d create a new portrait to help get the word out.
My first portrait of Ask a Chola, circa March 2007, is a good marker for how far my technical skills in illustration have evolved. I wonder sometimes if I’ve gotten too far away from my original style but I’m really happy with the direction the tablet has taken me in. There’s even a noticeable difference from my first couple of piece with it. Things are looking up!
Alas, I’m triste because I’ll be in LA next Wednesday and will be away from a computer to listen to the show with. Someone will need to fill me in on the jams Chola throws and if there are any more breathless phone calls from the mysterious Anonima. Radio Chola airs Wednesdays from 7:30pm to 10:00pm at Kill Radio.
Life is good. My first solo-curated exhibit is a success, my Andy Warhol programming launches at the de Young Museum this Friday, and the reception to this year’s Valentine’s Day cards has been amazing. Sitting here at my computer tonight I feel like a lot of toil and hard work is really starting to pay off. The icing on the cake has been the warm welcome my Valentine’s cards received. I got them out a little later than usual amidst my crazy schedule but was really happy to see everyone get into them. Many thanks to everyone who posted them around and shared them with their special someones. I really want to send a special thanks to Sacred Yoli and Cindylu who have been great advocates of my work and have both put in extra effort to get the cards out there.
Speaking of Cindylu, the last post I wrote detailing our colloborative project was actually started months ago but I left it unfinished in hopes that I would create some additional artwork out of the images. I’ve been carrying those intentions with me for some time and I finally caught a break to get some work done after Hybridity finally opened. I sat down and created the piece below. I worked with a slightly different color aesthetic that de-emphasizes solid blacks and I’m really happy with the results. It gives this portrait of Cindylu a look like that of a silkscreen print. The final layout is styled in the flavor of 90′s era indie comics. I hope ya can dig it.
Recently my homegirl and esteemed peer Cindylu came into town. Cindylu has been a subject of a good number of portraits I’ve created in the last couple of years. I credit the autobiographical narrations on her blog and flickr page for inspiring me to becoming active with my work online. I’ve always wanted to do something collaborative with Cindylu and her afternoon in the city was the perfect opportunity.
Our original concept was to photograph Cindylu with a deck of Loteria Cards amidst the backdrop of the Mission District. We spent a lot of our time dodging the rain. After ducking into the Revolution Cafe to hide from the weather we quaffed some ale and brainstormed on what to do next. We came up with an idea to do a Loteria scavenger hunt in the Mission. We hit the streets and shops looking for analogs to what each card represented.
The results can be seen in our Loteria Scavenger Hunt series: Part 1 and Part 2
Our other series Loterialu features Cindylu and symbolic combinations of Loteria cards: Check it out here
I should be working on some artwork right now but I came across this amazing photo of Verbal and Kid Cudi. These are two of my favorite artists working in music right now and I was both shocked and amazed to see them in the same photo. Taken from Verbal’s blog: http://ameblo.jp/m-flo-verbal/
For the record, Kid Cudi’s mixtape Plain Pat & Emile Presents a KiD named CuDi was my favorite album of 2008. Download it for free at http://sharebee.com/3194c039
As always, Verbal and m-flo continue to amaze and inspire me after ten years.
What’s up to all my friends and lovers? El Rio’s Valentine’s Day Cards are back in the mix for 2009! This is the 3rd year of my cards that celebrate love and culture and I’m determined to keep the series going.
As always, please post these cards on the pages of your friends, enemies, shorties, sanchos, and booty calls. To see an archive of cards from years past CLICK HERE.
In My Sights
Peace n’ Love,
More images and such are coming in from the Hybridity opening reception. Below is a video shot by SOMArts’ own George Aguilar.
Hybridity artist Nicole Schach has also uploaded a selection of images to her flickr page. Click on the image below for the gallery.
It’s 4:30 AM and I should be sleeping but I came across this video of Chilean singer Jessica Toledo that has got me so excited. Here’s a video of Ms. Toledo singing my all time favorite theme song Yakusoku wa Iranai from The Vision of Escaflowne. As best as I’ve tried to convey the concept of hybridity with my own artwork nothing says it better than a Chilean singer performing a Japanese song live in Mexico (¡Ajua!). Apparently she is a hardcore Latin American anime fan that has created Spanish language versions of popular theme songs. If homegirl is covering Yoko Kanno compositions I know she’s got good taste. Without further ado, here is Jessica Toledo singing Yakusoku wa Iranai in Mexico, she gets mad love from yours truly for the little strut she does when the bagpipes kick in.
For the record, I was obsessed with The Vision of Escaflowne back in the day. Circa 1998, when I was working for Viz and Animerica, I would hoard the Escaflowne screeners as they came into the office and watch them in marathons with my friend Charlie. This was in the days of videos and the screeners would come in these nice clean white clamshell cases as part of their marketing gimmick (this was back when Bandai distributed their material as Anime Village). It’s probably my favorite television series of all time in any language, medium, or genre.
So there it is y’all, Hybridity; much love to Jessica Toledo, wherever she is out there. To download a .rar file of some of her Spanish language anime themes you can CLICK HERE (92.19 MB).
Okay I better stop talking about nerd shit before my ghetto pass gets revoked. I’m out.
Peace and hybridity,
Last night’s Hybridity opening reception was one of the best nights of my life. I’m still processing things but the response to the show has been incredibly positive. Photos are coming in from different sources and I thought I’d share some with you.
To see photos from the official SOMArts flickr page click on the image above
To see photos by Hybridity artist MariNaomi click on the image above
To see photos shot my Michael Ohta on my flickr page click on the image above
That’s it for now but more to come soon. Peace!
My I Have Forgiven Guadalupe print hanging in the home of Culture Clash’s Richard Montoya. I feel like so many great things are happening for me in February and a lot of hard work is starting to pay off. I’m keeping my head up.
The dream is coming true! My first solo-curated show is coming together like magnets. See ya at the opening! Thursday February 5th, 6pm-8pm!
Art by MariNaomi
Art by Rio Yañez
Art by Miho Toyoda
Art by Niz
Artist Tonia Calderon and her portraits of Tupac
Art by Mae Suzuki