Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: My New Collab With Grassroots Cali & Paintings From Houston

04 March 2012

My New Collab With Grassroots Cali & Paintings From Houston

"Art is only a means to life, to the life more abundant. It is not in itself the life more abundant. It merely points the way, something which is overlooked not only by the public, but very often by the artist himself. In becoming an end it defeats itself."

First of all, the most exciting news since...well, since the last newsletter when I announced my new place on the roster next to Alex & Allyson Grey, Nadis Warriors, Govinda, & D.V.S* at Re:Evolution Media.  But whereas that was exciting for me, this has (also) been exciting for everyone else:

GRC x MG Collaboration!

Last August I painted a custom hat for Ryan Connolly of Grassroots California, who sell limited run custom designs on fitted ball caps at pretty much every music festival I've ever attended.  He liked the piece so much he had his comrade Graham Considine vectorize the image so it could be immortalized in embroidery on a signature MG Grassroots design...and now this picture of the prototype has scored more "likes" than anything else I've ever posted.

Right-click on that picture to take a closer look:  all of that is embroidery!  Everyone involved agrees that this takes flatbills to a whole new level...and pre-orders have been FLYING.  If you want to claim one of these before they're officially out in April (and sold out before they hit the streets), I'm taking preorders right now ($50 + shipping = less than half what this would cost from a company like New Era).  

Only 420 of these will be made, but that's still 419 more than any other hat I've ever designed.  ;)

And now on to Houston, where I joined the Morphis Art Collective for some shows on their home turf a couple weeks ago...

Painting with Chris Morphis at Villains, Houston

Hooo Do You Love?
2012 02 11 Villains (various Houston DJs), 02 12 Morphis Art Studios
32" x 20" - paint markers on two 16" x 20" masonite panels
11" x 17" signed poster prints - $25 (incl. s/h) - email me to order

My first diptych, a pair of "his and hers" owls (I leave it to you to decide which is which) in classic conjoined transpersonal endless-palace-of-spirit configuration.  They look really cool set slightly apart, so the viewer's eye stitches both panels back together...the gold-red background makes these really shiny in person.  I had a hard time keeping the two panels taped together during the show...which is poetic, considering how I was set up to paint with Chris Morphis in between two rooms with two DJs playing completely different music and I was feeling insane by the end of the night, caught between competing influences.  Totally disruptive sonic environment, not recommended.

Right-click to check out the painting in various stages of its process:

The Walls Have Eyes
2012 02 14 Mango's (various Houston DJs)
2012 02 19 Austin Roadhouse (various Austin kids)
18" x 24" - paint markers on balsa panel
11" x 17" signed poster prints - $25 (incl. s/h) - email me to order

Kind of a Jeff Wood does H.R. Giger piece if I ever saw one.  I ordinarily use masonite panels because of their finely textured, high fidelity surface, but didn't expect to stay in Houston as long as I did and had to borrow a piece of this balsa laminate from the Morphis family.  Consequently it was primed by them and I got to work on a white background for the third time in nearly 250 paintings.  It led to an entirely different approach, building things up instead of pulling them out, painting over the luminosity rather than as it...

Right-click to check out the painting in various stages of its process:

Custom Hat Explosion Continues Unabated

The ongoing exploration of all possible ways for me to paint a hat proceeds apace, kindled by the attention my Grassroots California collaboration received over the past week.  In addition to my first live hat painting (the one on the bottom, tagged at one of my shows with Applied Pressure for a friendly donation), here are three of the classier lids I think I've done so far:

And, I was just featured on Leakworthy.com – they "leak" new undiscovered music and artistic talent every week, and have made a gorgeous little page presenting a full slideshow of my live paintings in addition to exemplary videos of my work.  Check out their whole site – it's full of amazing artists!

So much more already for the next one.  I'm excited to share...but for now, thanks and love!