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Autor: KaM©

~ 08/08/14

US1 cover of (artist sculptor) Seward Johnson

I just picked up a copy of the local “What’s Happening” news paper US1 that serves Mercer’s County with vital information about current businesses/ people profiles/social events/community networking opportunities but thats not all.

For years since the paper was introduced to the public it has been a vital source of information about people and what their passion is and how it relates to the rest of us in a tangible way.

“Something you can sink your teeth into if you know what I mean?” In other words the information can be useful and when it comes to covering the activities of local artists I can’t think of another person [I stand corrected: Ilene Dube & Janet Parcel] who has consistently reported on the State of The Arts more than Mr. Dan Aubrey who I have known since my brief college years at Mercer County Community College and my off and on relationship with TAWA (Trenton Artist Workshop) over the past three decades.

Dan has managed to be where the action is consistently in his writing about the local art scene which is very well known at this point thanks to his heads up reporting for example his latest article on Seward Johnson founder of Grounds for Sculpture and the man I like to call the Walt Disney of art for the common man.

Trenton in particular seriously needed someone passionate enough to capture what has been going on underneath the radar (now computer) screens of the world actually. I often though about doing the job myself going around to different events and giving my opinion about it but I didn’t think people would take me seriously because of a lack of academic credentials on my part. So I’m glad we have a person like Mr. Aubrey who has been around long enough to sift through the sh_t and only write about the Shine-Ola!! Great Job! Dan Aubrey I solute you….

My Seward Johnson story begins right when the family was going through all that Estate problems because it was highly publicized. I was working at the time ironically right down the street from where I currently live. The department store named Epstein’s is where she [The Mistress] would pull up in a limousine and buy her shoe(s) and; everybody always gossiped about the help (Maid) inheriting Jasna Polana the family Estate on route 206 that is now a world class golf course and country club for the elite. I also use to live walking distance from this unbelievable property and had the pleasure of attending a couple of events there. To describe how the Johnson’s lived in that particular location would be exploitive if I went into detail about the decor. Lets just say no expense was spared!

Shortly after those events and a few failed attempts to join the foundry as an apprentice sculptor I ended up working in 2001 at the restaurant RAT’s inside Grounds For Sculpture and I met Seward a few times while he was entertaining people in his private studio which has a door located in one of the dining rooms upstairs of the restaurant. His journey is unorthodox and I certainly can relate to that and truly believe in the karma that he spoke about in Mr. Aubrey’s article.

Autor: KaM©

~ 01/07/14

KAM© at Trenton Art All Night 2014

One badass band. Trenton's Art All Night 2014

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.

Autor: KaM©

~ 17/04/14

Unofficial cover art for the Ep with 'Masterpiece' track.

Masterpiece

A brand new venture 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 “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 and as a result of simply getting in the habit of writing things down (instead of trying to remember off hand) I now have created a song with the help of my cousin Scott R. Trent and “DJ Gusto” 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 (documented in the last blog article and countless others with real flyers of party events along with old membership cards complete with some great story attached) but due to my injury I can no longer dance. So I can’t dance to my own song and “you can’t beat that with a bat!” Enjoy the music while you travel on your own journey!! -KaM©

Autor: KaM©

Parallel Universe NYC & Trenton.

Autographed "Fun Gallery the real story." signed Patti Astor

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!

Autor: KaM©

~ 28/01/14

(RED) Art for AIDS release. Kidrobot x Keith Haring.

Central Voice article featuring Haring mural & Karey Maurice.

Central Voice article featuring Haring mural & Karey Maurice.

I’m a couple of months behind in writing this article but; the theme of red is still very appropriate for the first month of the year. The color of red represents a lot of meanings all of which indicate a state of urgency either exhilarating,fearful or even meditative. I’ll start off by saying that in my case all the above descriptions apply so bare with me on this reporting of two events that have guided me in real time to a major change in my life experiences. The first thing was the release of a great article about me and my experience hanging around the late pop artist Keith Haring over twenty years ago now [Wow,where does the time go?] and, a new restoration project of one of his murals painted in Philadelphia during or around the same time I met him which is the irony of the whole thing because I never seen the mural until I looked it up in a retrospective catalog prior to seeing it in the Central Voice news article. At the same time Kidrobot™ x (PRODUCT) RED™ x Keith Haring foundation teamed up and create a limited edition designer toy mascot release to fight the global AIDS epidemic and I was invited to the release party @Kidrobot™ New York but was unable to attend because at the time I was in Philadelphia [more irony?] but I made sure I got my hands on two of the 7″inch figures before they sold out! Now,the flip side of it all is that I have been worried or (Seeing Red) about a situation that has been wearing me down slowly for quite some time and without sharing “TMI” (To much information.) I’ll just say that time will be the conduit in which I travel through a maze of O.P.S. (Other Peoples Shit.) and arrive at some place of peace and tranquility with all my special needs met. I remain optimistic as ever that everything will fall into place just like a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle.

Autor: KaM©

~ 03/12/13

Dunny (Evolved series) Opening SoHo NYC. Frank Kozik & Karey Maurice

I had the rare opportunity to hit the “City” for not just one event, but two in the same night and in the same neighborhood which I was very familiar with called (SoHo) and lately the event invitations keep pulling me not only to the same section of town but; ironically, the same street.
The first event was a fundraiser to gather money for the annual Halloween Parade which I thought like most people was funded by the Cultural Commission of New York or something and the money was always secured somehow? But the truth of the matter is that the parade is privately funded and is supported by only the people who seem to want to keep the tradition alive!
The event was held at a place called “The Fun House Gallery” which I had never heard of before but was curious to check it out because of the convenience of it’s location to the second event at Kidrobot just around the corner on Prince Street where I knew there was going to be a photo opportunity and a chance to meet some of my designer toy heroes like Huck Gee and Frank Kozik (seen in photo) who were doing a signing of a new Dunny release in conjunction with New York Comic Con this year. I got a chance to speak with Mr. Kozik outside the store and was able to grab a snapshot with him after having him sign one of my purchases that night.

Autor: KaM©

~ 17/09/13

Lotus & Karey Maurice#Brillo#Box

Nobody can complain about the weather this year thats for sure;I thought it was the perfect mix of warm hot & sticky just like I like it although there’s were record breaking rain showers. I was productive in a sense that I took full advantage of the best days to get some new projects underway that will have an interesting outcome once they are completed. I will go into small detail but that’s about it for now; all I can say is that I have improved my sculpting skills and have learned to allow time to actually slow down the process for better results.
My travels were very minimal but I did manage to go to the Jersey shore once which is always therapeutic for me,I just wish I could stay longer than just a couple of hours when I get there. I have been spending quite a bit of time in Philadelphia and the last visit produced a very unique encounter with none other than Justin Timberlake as he was leaving the Four Seasons hotel the day after his concert with Jay Z at the Citizens Bank Park stadium. I also discovered a new restaurant/lounge “Vango” that I enjoyed very much due to the fact that they have real good Dj’s who play House music and although I did not order any food while I was there I heard that they got some tasty dishes on their menu so next time I visit I’ll be sure to try and sample something.
This year I was asked to teach a Master Class at Trenton’s ‘Art All Night’ which I was pleased with however I wish I had time to submit some artwork so everyone could see what I have been up to in the studio. I was involved in an exhibition at the Shakespere Theatre in Philadelphia titled “Envisioning Othello” of which I won best in show (Blue Ribbon) with one of my self-portraits that I created before leaving my studio located in Trenton five years ago.
I think the highlight of the summer was towards the end when I released one of my poems and have now turned it into a song with the help of my cousin who wrote the music that inspired the collaboration. It will be featured on an LP just as soon as it is completed sometime before the end of the year. I also was interviewed for a book about the defunct night club City Gardens titled “No Slam Dancing,No Stage Diving,No Spikes” which will include some of my photographs and artwork that I installed inside the dancehall during its most fruitful period.
To end this post I’ld like to mention that my online Birthday party was fantastic and I got best wishes from England,Paris,Amsterdam and Rome,Italy which is pretty amazing!!

Autor: KaM©

~ 15/07/13

Riot On The Dance Floor/The Movie poster_Randy_Ellis

City Gardens night club Trenton,New Jersey

An Oral History: A film and book about the now defunct nightclub City Gardens located in Trenton (Ewing) New Jersey.

This will sort of be an; “extra extra read all about it,” kinda post because I couldn’t begin to explain how important this story is to my social life and,a pivotal point in my artistic life that meant living a double edge sword kinda of life living for the moment really.
Back then when this club was in its prime of operation and provided a sort of underground but very much above ground safe haven for the artsy type who weren’t sure if they were going to become professional artists or much less graduate from the local college campuses that were just short cab rides from this now infamous night spot. Those who didn’t have cars couldn’t bum rides because of their self-inflicted anti socialism and loyalty to the dance. In this case it was called the (90¢ cent Dance night.) that was a starving artist(s) or anyone’s dream admission price.Plus. 90¢ draught beer all night made it very lively on most Thursday evenings.
I would attend this night club every week from 1979 all the way up til its closing sometime around 1998 I believe or it could have been a few years after that but the club that I knew and loved had long gone anyway once it became known by people who just wanted a cheap drink and a freak show!!
And so now a movie and book will be released some time this year and I was told that I may appear in the movie somewhere as an extra because they do show some 90¢ dance night footage in the film “Riot On The Dance Floor” featuring the promoter Randy “Now” Ellis and how he put his whole life into the club and has no retirement plan to grow old and graceful for bringing such an cultural & musical institution to Trenton, New Jersey.
I have been interviewed for the book ” No Slam Dancing,No Stage Diving,No Spikes an oral history.” talking about my experience and input into the visual aesthetic of the interior of the club as well as some personal stories that I felt comfortable about speaking to be publicized in a book. I hope somebody buys the rights to both stories and makes a film that tells the complete story with no one side outweighing the other;which the nightclub truly deserves because it was our local CBGB’s that hosted some of the very same bands.

Autor: KaM©

~ 01/07/13

Artist KaMo giving the royal salute!! F.U. Haters...

Some people after suffering an injury tend to give up on life and either become complacent or worse; drug addicts to escape their new reality.
I chose to not give up and try to rebuild my life as much as possible under these new circumstances.
What has helped me is the fact that I have a talent that, although altered, is still very much a part of my mental edge to overcome all obstacles that present themselves each and every day.
Some may say that it’s bragging or being a primadonna as I’ve been called by a few.
I say it’s being a strong motherf*er that will stop at nothing until I find my rightful place in this society as an important contemporary artist in my lifetime.
I’ve had to struggle all my life to be gainfully employed because I lack the college degree pedigree that everyone is looking for even in the fine art business. But to my credit I continue to push forward despite this small detail when it comes to being a professional artist; something that I have been pursuing for over twenty five years. The best part about my unorthodox method is that I don’t have student loans hanging over my head like most college graduates.
I refuse to allow someone or some thing to get me off my game plan for I have been dormant for far to long (7 years to be exact.) to have me believe that I am undeserving of such a reward for my hard work and dedication to something I truly believe I can obtain despite my physical challenges.
Like the late Malcolm X once said “By any means necessary.” I’m ready for anything that comes my way good,bad or indifferent!!
Bring your A game baby!!

Autor: KaM©

~ 16/05/13

I must go back a bit before I explain what the photos below are all about. For you see, I forgot to bring my iPod with me the last time I went to Manhattan for an art opening. That show was Markus Pearson @ Pop International and I enjoyed every minute I was there. I even got a chance to speak with Markus about the inspiration for his coyote character, “in love with living life” theme, that is his signature work of art.
I really appreciate his work and would like to purchase a resin sculpture of the coyote figure someday in the not too distant future but for now, I just have to settle with a memory.
After being there for roughly one hour, my artist friend Pruchon phoned to tell me there was something going on at Opera gallery just around the corner and that I should stop by because a lot of artists were there chilling at the Rostarr + Saber exhibition, sipping on free spirits, and enjoying all the eye candy.
So I left Pop International and headed to Opera to soak in the last remaining hour I had left in Manhattan before I had to return home and nurse my self-inflicted wounds for traveling in the first place.
Well the journey turned out to be another fruitful one because it was like a continuum of the last time I was there but even better because I ran into Ron English, and we tipped glasses in acknowledgement. I chatted with Pruchon (who was late on arrival) and some other cool artists. Then Marty Cooper walked into the gallery with Carlo McCormick and I approached Martha to introduce myself to her and Carlo because she had just returned her book, Street Art, (signed) to me via Henry Chalfant who also signed it before giving it to her to sign. So it was only natural that I mention that fact to break the ice as we chatted before eventually feeling uncomfortable because all the cameras started rolling and we didn’t know what it was for. None of us had signed any releases, so our meeting was short & sweet.
Now on to this latest adventure that I saved up my energy for and once again my instincts proved to be correct in selecting the right event to attend.This art exhibition was the work of Yoshitomo Nara, an artist from Japan, who once visited Princeton University a few years ago for a lecture about his life & study in Dussledorf, Germany as well as his first solo exhibition “Nobody’s Fool” at the Asian Society in New York City.
During that visit to Princeton, I had him draw one of his signature characters on a Kidrobot product that I planned to complete later in hopes of seeing him again so that he could sign his name on our inadvertent collaboration.This ultimately turned out to be an impossibility because of all the cameras in Mr. Nara’s face and the fans trying to get a good shot of him with their iPhones. I just stood off to the side and watched the mayhem. Later I did run into Pruchon and another guy that I saw earlier, so I showed them my collaboration piece and they directed me to this Chinese woman who was a Yoshitomo Nara fanatic. I showed her the customized Munny and she got so excited that she wanted to take pictures with it all over the gallery in front of the paintings. I stumbled behind her trying to keep up because she loved the piece so much I thought she was going to run out of the gallery with it.
The third phase of the evening consisted of me doing some filming and meeting this woman who was with the son of Holly Solomon, the famous art dealer who was one of the first to open a gallery in Soho. She was also one of Andy Warhol’s first photobooth models for his portrait series.We chatted about the good old eighties and the fact that Keith Haring used to take me to the bank with him on Broadway & Houston, right around the corner from the Holly Solomon gallery which is where Jeffery Deitch used to work before opening his own gallery. I thanked the two of them for speaking with me and went on my merry way because I knew it was time to head back home to Princeton.

Nichole (?) posing with Nara + KaM© collaboration @Pace Gallery.

Nichole (?) posing with Nara + KaM© collaboration @ Pace Gallery.

artist Karey Maurice @ Pace Gallery /Yoshitomo Nara opening reception.

The crowd @ Pace Gallery/Yoshitomo Nara opening reception.

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