Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Where i shit most of the day. Wait, i mean SIT.

I get a lot of questions about where/how I work, even though you can see a lot of my studio space in most of my videos/interviews. But the basic answer is that I'm so caught up in my head I don't really know the answer to either of these questions. If you asked me in person I would probably say (excitedly): "I think I work in Atlantis with my assistant, Poseidon and his father, The Terminator from about midnight to 2029 every night."
But either way, here are a couple of photos of where I sit 17 hours a day.
Most of the time it's a lot messier than this.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Harley Davidson x Alex Pardee "Nervous" Video

Happy Presidents Day.
Here's a nice little video that VIMBY put together for the Harley Davidson "Art Of Rebellion" Show that I was a part of last week.
The video shows myself, Bob Dob, Frank Kozik, Shawn Barber and Mark Dean Veca talking about our contributions. And once again, I nervously talk loud and move my hands all palsy-ish like Will Farrell in Talladega Nights. Everyone else looks so relaxed....
I should start drinking.

Anyway, thanks to Brian Bonus of Vimby for putting it together and check it:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

*SPOILER ALERT* Witnessing the new FRIDAY THE 13th

I'm serious about that. If you haven't seen the new Friday the 13th and kind of give a shit, don't read this....

I just spent the night gazing my jaded eyeballs on the silver screen watching the new Friday The 13th and I now have the overwhelming urge to tell you about it. In an economy devoid of a lot of positivity I somehow seem to continuously still muster up a fistfull of hope every time I find out that a movie is coming out that I want to see. So naturally I was pretty excited to see Friday the 13th. Why, you ask? Actually, I have no fucking idea why. But nonetheless, I was excited, or at least hopeful.

Now, I'm not really against the "remake" idea. Hell, 3 of my favorite movies, John Caprenter's "The Thing" and "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and even Zack Snyder's "Dawn of the Dead" are all remakes, so I would be kind of a hypocrite if I was outright against them. I DO feel, though, that to automatically default to doing a remake of something because everyone is lacking original ideas is a pussy way of making money, but whatever, it happens. And since i LIKE going to the movies, and those are a majority of what's in the theaters, I still go, and i still have an equal amount of hope each time i enter that large room of strangers and uncomfortable seats where a kid probably shat himself during Madagascar 2 the prior week.

But if we were to compare my recent movie-going experiences to, let's say, a religious practice, like going to church or Temple, it would be like walking into a church every Sunday, sitting down waiting to get enlightened, and by the end of the Sermon, the pastor tells you he fucked your girlfriend with a tire iron, or that Jesus was a liar, or just flat out punching you in the throat and taking your money and buying Coke for your little sister right in front of you, causing you to leave in a hurry and never go back to that church. Yet somehow during the week, you forget all about that and head right into a different Church to try again, only for the new pastor to slap you in the face with a huge crucifix-shaped shit that he pulled from his ass. I think that basically explains my recent trips to the movies.

So on to "Friday the 13th" I guess. It's pretty tough watching this with unbiased eyes, basically because the major reason why the original Fridays are so dear to me are because they are nostalgic, not because they are good movies. I like them because when I first saw them, they were new, and raw, and other than JAWS i hadn't seen movies where the musical score dictated just as much suspense as the first-person POV shots and the moonlit sets. They scared me. Since then I have seen all 11 of them countless times, and while some stand the test of time more than others, all of them generally follow the rules that were set in stone in Parts 1 and 2. Even when Jason fought a psychic with mind powers, or got resurrected by lightning, or took a cruise ship to Manhattan, there were extremely easy rules that were established in the mythology that most of them stuck to. And the ones that didn't (like part 5, or Jason goes to Hell) were the most laughable of the series. It seems like an obvious choice that, if you are creating a remake of an established franchise, or even a "re-imagining", then you need to at least stick to the one or 2 main rules that made the original such an iconic franchise. Because if you are NOT going to do that, then just make a different movie, right? And the lamest argument that proves my point even more is this one:

"Well, everyone has SEEN the original and they know the twists and turns, so we need to change it around a little and make it FRESH. It's going to be a LOT different but still have the same SPIRIT."
"Really? You're adding some supposedly creative and original ideas and rules and shit into an idea that someone ELSE already did and you're arrogant enough to butcher something that is already done because you want to USE the name that someone else already made great, but add your shit-for-ideas into the mix because you want some credit for making it COOL and DIFFERENT? Then make a fucking ORIGINAL movie. Shit even make the SAME kind of movie, call it something different, then when someone says you just copied this other old movie, THEN you can tell them its an HOMAGE. It's simple."

Whatever. The new Friday The 13th wasn't the worst movie in the world, and not even close to the worst remake as of yet (See BLACK CHRISTMAS for that one), but it sure as hell had some pretty bad dicks-to-the-faces-of-the-fans. Main case in point: What is the main motivation of JASON, as established in the first 3 movies? It's simple. He KILLS camp counselors that work at Crystal Lake out of VENGEANCE for a camp counselor killing his MOTHER. Thats what Jason does. He DESTROYS camp counselors and sometimes other people if they get in his way of killing counselors. Every FRIDAY movie has camp counselors re-opening Crystal Lake, or working at a camp nearby, or whatever, but they are always camp counselors. With the exception of part 5, where "Jason" killed insane kids in an halfway house, but that wasnt Jason anyway, it was a copycat. So yah, Jasons mom gets killed by a camp counselor, and he in turn kills counselors. Easy.

Now lets look at the new remake version. Does Jason kill camp counselors? No. Instead, he is protecting his MAGICAL MARIJUANA CROP and killing PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO SMOKE OR STEAL HIS WEED. I am not fucking joking. At all. In fact, the premise was so absurd that I didn't even let myself believe it until an hour after i left the theater. There is no active Camp Crystal Lake. The Camp was closed years ago and thats it. There are no camp counselors. Instead, there is a hillbilly that steals weed crops and jacks off to mannequins, and a group of teenagers that like to smoke weed and hate each other so much that it's obvious that going away on a weekend trip into the woods must have been some kind of punishment from the high school principal, where I imagine the sentencing must have gone something like this:

Principal: "Each one of you, on separate occasions, have been caught with marijuana, so i am sentencing you all to a retreat in the woods where you CAN smoke weed, but someone will kill you for doing so."
Black Rapper: "Damn, son, you KNOW i aint goin out there with this Honkey, he likes BASEBALL and shit! Look at his hair, he's got HONKEY hair!"
Rich Jock: "Yah bro! And I am NOT letting that black guy next to me, he will BREAK and STEAL everything to pay back his drug dealer! I'm rich!"
Some Chick: "Youre gonna smoke weed in the woods??! Sick, i'll blow all of you guys if you let me go."
Asian Silly Kid: "Does that mean you'll blow me too???"
Some Chick: "No way, dummy, you're just comedy relief, but you can bring the fortune weed cookies hahaha."
All together: "Great, let's go, but remember i hate all of you."

And their adventure begins!

Almost every horror movie has insanely large holes in the plot and unbelievable action in it. But the GOOD ones dont let you notice that shit because you are too scared or having too much fun with the ride, like the original Nightmare On Elm St, or ALIENS. But this new FRIDAY has a HUGE hole that was overlooked so quickly i'm wondering if anyone even questioned it during production. They make another drastic decision to make Jason NOT supernatural. He isn't a zombie, he doesnt get revived by lightening, he's not a monster, he's simply an aging survivalist that is revenging his mother's death. OK, fine, i can accept that decision, make it more REAL and GRITTY. The filmmakers have gone to lengths saying that this new Jason ISN'T supernatural. However, in the beginning of the movie, Jasons mother says that Jason has drowned and he is DEAD. Then, an 8 year old, naked, retarded Jason is seen ALIVE witnessing his mothers death. So I have 2 questions that were bypassed like Mickey Rourke's heart in The Wrestler.
1.) If Jason WAS dead, how the fuck was he standing there watching his mom die, and then AGE and GROW over the years. And if he was really ALIVE, what kind of fucking mother would just ASSUME that her retarded and deformed son is dead just because she saw him swimming??!!
2.) After witnessing his mothers death when he was 8, standing in the rain, in all of his naked and retarded glory, how the fuck did he SURVIVE for 30 more years after that. He lived by a lake and he COULDNT EVEN SWIM! And he was mentally and physically handicapped??! Excuse the pun, but I find it retardedly hard to believe that a clueless mentally challenged deformed kid wouldn't try to at least ask SOMEONE for help over the years, if he even survived that long.

Also, assuming that Jason DID survive, and grow up, how did he become trained as a Navy Seal, master the art of walking like a ninja unless its to be scary then he walks like a dinosaur, and study to become a contractor and architect who specializes in granite digging? They made Jason into a mix between Bear Grylls from Man vs Wild and a fucking FRAGGLE, who spent 20 years forging an intricate tunnel mansion underground and collecting way too many old bicycles to decorate his lair with.

Ahhhhh, oh well, it had some good kills, and i'll probably go see it again because I'm just as retarded as Jason.
Now to get my hopes up about the Nightmare On Elm Street remake and the Pirhana remake.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Exclusive Zerofriends x Greg "Craola" Simkins Print Release

Greg "Craola" Simkins has not only been an amazing friend, but a huge influence on my art, as I am sure he has been on many other artists. So with that, it is an amazing honor to announce Zerofriends' second print release with my favorite artist. Check it and get your hands on one before they are beautiful dust in the wind.
We love you, Greg.

Direct link to product:

The Gauntlet
By Greg "Craola" Simkins
16" x 20"
Giclee on Acid Free Velvet Cotton Rag
limited edition of 100
signed & numbered
Available ONLY at zerofriends.com

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Choppers, Crayolas, Meat & Superpowers

"If you are made of glass, I will most likely DESTROY you, peasant."
- Me, conversing with anyone made of glass, over this past weekend.

So, I have returned to the land of home for a couple of days after a long week of traveling which included seeing Craola's new show, reconnecting with old friends, making new "rebellious" ones, and discovering my never-known mutant ability.
And instead of bore you with words, like a teacher, I will bore you with an overabundance of photos from the journey.....
Wait, i forgot to bring my camera. Damnit. OK, well, here are a few photos that I managed to steal from other peoples' cameras and blogs:

Photo first, caption second. That's how this game works.

First stop, Greg "Craola" Simkins' solo show at 5024SF in San Francisco. Greg (middle) has been a good friend and huge influence on me (and a ton of other young artists) for years and it was amazing to see his new work in person. And that's another amazing artist, Robert Bowen, silently growling next to us.

Since it was my birthday, we then went out to eat at The House Of Prime Rib in SF, which, to my dismay, was not a castle made of meat. But nonetheless, it was delicious. And they let you steal their nice steak knives as long as they arent looking. They let us keep 4 of them when they looked away!

Savage Paul's prime rib was twice the size of ours. And he cleaned his plate like a good cannibal.

Captain Pierce ate his salad so hard he shit while doing so.

And i guess, after all, you are what you eat, as I ordered the French Asshole Steak. Happy Birthday to me.

Next I went down to Santa Monica for the opening to "The Art of Rebellion", a group show that I did for Harley Davidson where me and a handful of dope artists painted on Harley gas tanks for charity. you can read more about my involvement HERE in my previous post. A bajillion people came out to see it (most likely because the lineup of artists was pretty insane) and this is what it looked like outside most of the night.

The entrance to the show.

This is what it looked like most of the night on the inside. I think i'm in this picture somewhere, but maybe not.

One of my favorite painters, Shawn Barber's tank.

My tank.

My new friend, Bob Dob's tank. He has a show this weekend at Billy Shire Gallery in LA. Go there.

My other new friend, Tara McPherson's tank, which is beautiful. I've been a fan of Tara's poster art and paintings for a while so it was refreshing getting to hang with her too.

Mark Dean Veca's tank. I didn't get to meet him, but I would have liked to. His installations are insane.

Oh yah, it was a Harley show. There were motorcycles there, too.

From West Coast to East Coast, Tara McPherson, Me, Artist Steven Daily, and Bob Dob.

2 of my producers (Shanna and Marti) from the CHADAM project that i am working on with Warner Bros came to show their support. Marti's eyes arent usually sleepy like that, but it was the only photo I had as evidence.

VIMBY.com came by and we talked about things while I held some kind of device.

Mr. & Mrs. Stab-You-In-The-Face hanging out in front of my painting.

Jeph Howard of THE USED came to hug me.....

As did CW Bergermill and his trillion dollar grin.

Southpaw to the opposite of wrong: Oliver Vernon, Evan C (the curator), David Trulli, Shawn Barber, Tara McPherson, and me.

Then once again, it was dinner time....PS, one of the guys in this photo ate Chicken Hearts with his hands at this dinner....

Now, as the weekend came to a close, I needed to reflect on a couple of potentially life-changing instances that occurred throughout the week. I loved the first season of HEROES. it was what i needed after being pissed off at LOST for 2 seasons in a row. However, after trying to watch the second season of Heroes, i stopped completely and hated it. Maybe i didnt give it a chance, and I have no idea if it has gotten any better. But who cares, that second season blew dicks. I am starting to realize, however, that perhaps one of the reasons why i didnt enjoy it was because I MYSELF HAVE A MISUNDERSTOOD SUPERPOWER and this show just hit a little too close to home and made me feel subconsciously crappy. What is this superpower, you ask? Well, i wish it was the ability to punch Chris Brown from 400 miles away, or perhaps the ability to fart the legend of zelda theme, but instead, I just discovered that I have an amazing and explosive ability to shatter the glass of anything that I am close to just by staring at something else and not paying attention. Allow me to explain my discovery.
A week ago, a subtle but annoying crack in the windshield of my car appeared while i was looking down at my ipod. No big deal, right?
Sure, OK.
2 days later, at Craola's art show, the second incident occurs. I've seen tractors run over my friends' iphones and they are fine. I've seen dogs swallow them, shit them out, try to eat them and they are fine. A friend of mine dropped his phone off of a 2 story parking garage and it didnt even have a scratch on anything except the plastic cover. However, I simply took my phone out of my pocket, loosened my grip accidentally, and it happened to fall 2 feet to the ground, face down. No worries, I thought. I bent down to pick it up, turned it over and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. This is what it looked like:

I know what you're thinking. Dude, you fucking dropped it. Stop crying and move on. Well, thats what i thought too. But in comparison to the windshield crack, the instances are getting stronger, more destructive! And then....the third incident.

While staying at the beautiful HUNTLEY HOTEL in Santa Monica (pictured above), my fate was sealed and my powers unleashed. Merisa stepped into the shower, got out, dried off, and went to bed. I then stepped into the shower, got out, dried off, and 20 seconds after exiting the shower, i heard and felt an invisible shotgun blast in my chest and the entire SHOWER DOOR EXPLODED OUTWARD! And all I did was stare at it. Im not joking. There was no weird shit going on, the door wasnt sealed or too hot or whatever Mr. Wizard might say. It simply exploded because I wasnt paying attention to it!!!!
This is what it looked like:

The picture doesnt do justice to the simple fact that had I exploded the door with my mind 20 seconds prior, i would have been naked and pummelled with glass! So in a way, i saved my own life by delaying my accidental mind power. Good job me!

And thats how my trip was. I have since removed everything glass from my life, and i drink by pouring liquid into my hand like a caveman. I need to learn to control my powers.....

Until next time....

New Painting for "Movers & Shakers" this weekend.

Like my favorite hovering and hot pre-teen fairy, Tinkerbell, I will play a SMALL role in a HUGE art show this Valentine's Day In Los Angeles, CA.
My good friend Gino Joukar has collected an insanely large number of amazing artists (i think its like 75 artists) and is curating a show called "Movers & Shakers" @ The POVEvolving Gallery this Saturday, Feb 14th, In LA.
If you are around the area, I suggest you go. Heres a flyer, some info, and below is my Tinkerbell-sized contribution.
Word, nerd.

Opening Reception: Feb 14th, 7pm - 11pm
@ POVEvolving Gallery.
939 Chung King Road
Los Angeles, CA 90012


ANd here is my contribution, called "They've Always Been Here":

Sometimes its neat to pretend you have super human, CSI-like enhancement capability and can zoom in really close to see some details. So i did that for you, via my amazing Photoshop Zoom skills. Its almost as good as being Bionic:

Finally, most of the time my sketches for my pieces look like scribbles, and this is no exception. Here is a side by side comaprison showing the "before any effort is put in" and "after i go through with the decision to paint something weird". Enjoy.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Alex Pardee x Harley Davidson

So, after hitting you with that new WATCHMEN PAINTING that i did for NYCC, I started feeling weird because I hadn't updated much lately, and I didn't want you to think that I haven't been working hard.
After all, I woke up coughing blood yesterday and I have been feeling dizzy a lot lately and if I was going through all of this just for one painting, you'd think I was slacking off.
So, on with the updatingness.

This saturday, Feb 7th, at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica I will be participating in a small, one-night-only group art show for Harley Davidson called "THE ART OF REBELLION", where myself and 10 other insanely talented and amazing artists are painting Harley-Davidson gas tanks along with some additional art for a charity called ART MATTERS.
It is pretty humbling being able to showcase my work alongside these artists, as some of them I have looked up to for years.
Anyway, here is the press release and info, and scroll down to check out my contributions and some in progress photos of the art.
word. maybe I will see ya there;)

Harley-Davidson have gathered 11 of today’s most relevant and exciting artists to present their take on the theme of rebellion.
The Art of Rebellion is a one-night only event taking place on February 7th, 2009 at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station Arts Center. All the artwork is for sale and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Art Matters, a foundation that assists socially and aesthetically groundbreaking artists.
There will also be giveaways of a limited edition Shepard Fairey poster, an open bar and DJs.

The featured artists are: Shawn Barber,  Christian Clayton,  Rob Clayton,  Bob Dob, Shepard Fairey,  Frank Kozik,  Tara McPherson,  Alex Pardee, David Trulli,  Mark Dean Veca,  Oliver Vernon.

The Art of Rebellion
February 7th, 2009 | 7PM - 10PM
The Robert Berman Gallery
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Ave., D5
Santa Monica, CA  90404
310.315.1937 | www.robertbermangallery.com

Here is my finished gas tank, front and back, done with acrylics.

And here is my additional piece, which also includes (below) the inspiration for the piece, which was a really powerful and sad journal that I found in by the creek behind my studio.

Detail of the piece:

There wasn't much in the journal other than this page and a couple of other entries that talked about hating his dad. But here is what this page says:

"October 24, 1987
I never really wanted to write anything in here except stories about dragons and Cyclopses and stuff before. But today is different…
After I was born my mom produced an overabundance of white blood cells in her body because of a disease. So whenever she would try to eat, the blood cells would think that the food was an enemy, and they would attack the food by making her vomit it up. By the time I was 4, Mom weighed 79 pounds and all she could eat was rice, bananas, and plums. Dad never believed she was sick. He used to say it was ‘cause of guilt for her cheating on him before I was born. He said she felt bad ‘cause she knew in her heart that he wasn’t my real Dad. But Mom never cheated, and Dad was really my Dad. Either way, Dad’s always hated me. So when Mom starved to death when I was 9, Dad started being extra mean to me.
He made me mow the lawn every day, which wasn’t that bad, except he made me bite down on a piece of wood to keep my muscles tight while I did it so that I would “get my man-strength”. But all it did was cut my mouth with splinters. He hit me a lot. Mostly when I would talk about Mom, or when I would beg to sleep inside ‘cause it was too cold in the shed. And he would make me shoot things too. “G’head, you point that rifle at them bunnies and you pull that trigger to get some fuckin’ hair on that little girl chest ‘a yours!” So I did it. Bunnies, squirrels, even the occasional cat that hopped our fence just because it was OUR property, he said. And it wasn’t even for food. Dad was a vegetarian.
My childhood was disgusting.
But after 13 years, I finally rebelled.
Today was the day that I killed my father.

October 25, 1987
I slept through the night. And for the first time in my life, I remembered my dreams.
I dreamt that my life is finally…going to be beautiful."
And finally, some in-progress photos of the tank:


New York Comic Con, Me and the WATCHMEN!

New York Comic Con is coming up this weekend, and for the first time ever, my clothing / art company, ZEROFRIENDS, will be there slanging goods on the cold-as-Christian-Bale east coast. And what better way to celebrate than offer you New Yorkians a little exclusive???
In so many ways, this recent painting that i did is perfect for a New York Comic Con exclusive limited fine art print. So check out the press release below:

Zerofriends & Alex Pardee are proud to announce the Exclusive New York Comic Con release of Alex Pardee's new, never before seen print, inspired by his love for Alan Moore's "WATCHMEN" graphic novel.

"The Secondmen" Giclee Fine Art Print
By Alex Pardee
17" x 22"
Printed with archival inks on Velvet Fine Art Paper.
Limited Edition of 50.
Hand signed and numbered by Alex Pardee
Cost: $80.00
Available Exclusively at the Zerofriends / Snafu-Comics Booth # 1709 only at the New York Comic Con Feb 6th to 8th @ Jacob Javits Center, NYC

For more info on the NY Comic Con, CLICK HERE.

And here are are some words from Alex regarding his long-standing love for the Watchmen comics:
"In addition to a lot of movies, my Dad introduced me to Graphic Novels shortly after i got out of the hospital when I was 15. About the same time as I discovered THE MAXX, my dad got me Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight", which then led me to The Killing Joke, A Death In the Family, Hard Boiled, Frank Millers Daredevil, and Alan Moore's WATCHMEN. With the exception of The MAXX, Watchmen felt the most real, despite the whole particle teleportation to Mars thing, and the airships. Maybe it was because most of the Minutemen didnt even have powers, they just WANTED to be superheroes, and the world hated them. Or maybe it was because Silk Spectre fell out of love with Manhattan because he was a workaholic, or because Rorshach saw dead dogs when he looked at an ink blot, but never really told anyone what he felt, or maybe it was the fear and the desperation of the guy who was scared of the Black Freighter, and where else can someone like the Comedian be a rapist AND a hero?
Regardless, I was unknowingly obsessed with it back then, as most of the superheroes i drew at that time were just bunk combinations of those characters.

Looking back now, a lot of things from Watchmen stuck with me, i always said my first tattoo was going to be a Rorshach test. I have always looked at owls as lonely but heroic animals. I BELIEVED that when you teleported, you vomitted, so much so that I called bullshit on Seth Brundle in The Fly. I never saw anything wrong with Dr Manhattans work ethic and his complete disregard for the rest of the world and his relationships. I subconsciously adapted his work ethic, which is probably a bad thing. I kept sugar cubes in my pocket when i worked at the credit card processing company in sacramento. I liked the 12 monkey's movie marketing because it reminded me of "who watches the watchmen?" and I even repeatedly dreamt of going to Mars for a day. 
In fact, i still do"
Detail of the print: