Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Painting Is Dangerous And Here Is Your Proof

30 March 2010

Painting Is Dangerous And Here Is Your Proof

The first thing, the big thing:

I'm proud to present my newest video, which marries timelapse live painting footage, acoustic guitar Live PA, and one of my finer essays into a multimedia assault on the uninspired mind.

"Painting Is Dangerous" is a word of caution to you creative types out there (and perhaps a relief to the less-creative)...a reminder of just how potent creativity is and how respectful we must be of it. This video is dedicated to Dennis McKenna and anyone else who ever burned themselves (even a little) on the Divine Flame:


There is a lot more information about it at youtube – which I encourage you to visit anyway so you can rate, favorite, and share this with your friends. (I can't say it about all of my work, but I'm pretty sure you have friends who will appreciate this.)

You can download both the music and the voiceover track for free here, for anyone who wants to mix it into their DJ sets – and the original essay is available to read in its entirety here, for anyone who thinks I talk too fast.

(I'm delighted to discover that this video is already getting a modest amount of exposure, coinciding with new features on me for my second residency at the Wakarusa Festival's Interstellar Meltdown and my developing relationship with the aya-heroes at Chimbre.)

The second thing, the not-so-big thing:

Put down that online poker subscription and invest your tax refund in something you'll admire for years! I'm having my Big Spring Cleaning, I'm-Going-On-Tour-And-Don't-Want-To-Haul-It-All ART SALE.

From now until I leave Boulder on the 7th of April, make me an offer on original artwork and I'll probably take it. (Every available painting, and its value according to an average hourly graphic design wage, is listed here: http://tinyurl.com/michaelgarfieldart – I'm happy to take as little as 50% of their market value, maybe even less if you can sell me on a good story).

So there you have it.

> Imagery

And now, the last exhibits of my recent infatuation with adding new dimensions to old work:

Before

After
Such A Noisy Room
2010 03 18 The Engine Room (EPROM, Mux Mool, Gladkill)
& 2008 10 29 Crosstown Station (Madahoochi, Brother Bagman)

My first gig in Tallahassee, Florida at The Engine Room was as low-key as it was loud. Everyone there was wondering where everyone else was...but not only did that mean an unusually intimate show (always a treat) but something tells me that subsequent trips out won't be quite so anonymous. The highlight for me was meeting Boris Gladkill, who in spite of his name is a kind and mellow guy (above and beyond being a wonderful DJ/producer). That, and getting to commend Mux Mool in person about his "A Glorious Dawn" remix.

This painting makes me feel like it's New Year's at 12:00 AM...or the full moon when all of the corals and anenomes release their sperm into the tides...or everyone in the traffic jam has their windows down and different radio stations blaring out of every window...blissful pandemonium, awkward angel orgies, a cacophony of color. (Unofficial official music for this painting: They Might Be Giants' "Man, It's So Loud In Here.")

Before

After
Drapes & Climbers
2010 03 19 The Maison
(Lazer Sword, Mux Mool, Gladkill, Unicorn Fukr, Rekanize)
& 2008 07 19 Owsley's (BLVD, Souleye, Jantsen, Chordata)
& 2008 07 09 The Fox Theatre (Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad)

This painting started as an exploration in partiality, incompleteness, and missing parts – so it's appropriate that a year and a half later, when I was on a layer-adding bender, I picked it back up and recorded what else I know now of these things. I had a chance to play with stroke (the yellow, somewhat ink-bamboo-looking drapery), metallic paint (they look like bubbles from one angle and coins from another), tentacles (I take every chance I get – soooo many permutations!), and the 2D version of one of my favorite aesthetic principles (another win for the Japanese): miegakure, or "hide and reveal," creating "a sense of vastness in a small space" by making it impossible to view the whole thing from any one angle.

This painting is dedicated to Donovan Fannon (aka Rekanize) for being such a photographic badass that almost 6% of his Facebook friends have one of his beautiful pics as their profile image. Thanks for the awesome snaps, Donovan!

> Writing

This week brings another two entries for my Field Guide To Live Artists, a web-serialized collection of interviews with anyone I can find who performs as a visual artist (painter, sculptor, flower arranger...). Know anybody who isn't in there and should be? Tell them to email me! Eventually it'll be published in glorious coffee table book form. First, I have to find another 150 artists. For now, here are lovely-if-brief interviews with live painters Laura Sellers and Dylan Brooks: