Sunday, July 01, 2007

Storm Clouds

Man, I should update this more than once a month. Been working and painting alot, no time for the interweb. Here is some information on my upcoming show:

Storm Clouds
Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York City
Sep 8 thru Oct 6, 2007
Opening reception- Saturday, September 8th, 7pm-9pm

For me, the new work is more political than in previous shows. My work lately has been dealing with politics and being a father. I’ve been exploring my fears for the planet that Shannon's generation will inherit (I’m also concerned with how fast kids have to grow up these days!). The paintings are usually related to these fears and deal with topics such as the war in Iraq and our carefree attitude towards preserving nature. Most people are very good at not worrying too much about these things. I think in America we're getting numb to what's going on around the world. We are so disconnected because it‘s happening overseas in a foreign place, and most would rather not think about it and veg out to the latest news on Paris Hilton’s jail drama. It’s not right, I wish more Americans would take a stand, get educated and try to make a difference. There are many here who really take things to heart and are trying to turn the tide and get people to be involved. I know making paintings is like preaching to the choir, most fans of my art are aware of what’s going on on a global level. But I might be able to reach a few open minds here and there. That's why there's always a hint of optimism in my paintings. I think we can make things better somehow.

Anyways, I'll have around 30 new works for the show. Most are on wood panel and several are on paper. After NYC I'll be taking a break from showing in the U.S. for a year or two to concentrate on showing my work overseas and to finish up some long neglected projects.

Some random photos...

A big garbage fire a few streets away from my studio.

Aaron getting some work from Regino Gonzales.

June is birthday month for the Soto's. Soo many birthdays...

Ron Jeremy (AKA Jonathan Levine's Uncle Ronald) picture in my bathroom. Why do I have this?

A website called just did a little article on my studio. Here's a link- Soto's Studio. It's a really neat site to be able to see all these different artists' work areas. Some are clean, some are messy (like mine). It's fascinating. I started out years ago in a corner of my bedroom, moved up to a garage and now I'm in a pretty big workspace- which is awesome but in some ways doesn't mean shit. All that matters is that you're making work you feel good about still. Always makes me think of some lyrics Jennifer brought up once from a White Stripes song:

When you're in your little room
and you're working on something good
but if it is really good
You're gonna need a bigger room
and when you're in the bigger room
You might not know what to do
You might have to think of
How you got started sittin' in your little room

Happy 4th of July....


Mike Maxwell said...

The washes in the backround behind the skull are terrific!

Anonymous said...

glad to see everything is going well. i cant wait for your show in nyc . . . whats even better is that it opens on my birthday! what else could i possibly ask for?!

shawn said...

I'm feelin' you on the way your kid affects your work. I have two kids and my five year old daughter just guts me with how fast she's growing up. And the side effect is that, as a result, it makes me realize how fast I'm getting older as well.

At any rate, if I don't use a deliberate image to capture this feeling, it's a safe bet that the overall mood reflects it anyway- usually in the form of the color palette used or whatever.

What I'm trying to say is- keep rocking it. I've been a big fan of your work for a while now and your feelings on fatherhood give me one more thing to relate to in your work.

Anonymous said...

I share your concerns about the destruction of the environment. You (and everybody) should read the essays by the late Gregory Bateson "Steps to an ecology of mind" (in french, "Vers une ecologie de l`├ęsprit")
Meanwhile, in a somber note, that british scientist who came up with the Gaia theory said recently that there´s no coming back from the brink of disaster that humankind is living, and we better start moving orderly to near the poles, because there will be the only land that can be cultivated; and that 80% of humankind will desapear...