Join us tomorrow, Saturday, December 10th for the first installment of Skinner's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" at Athen B. Gallery in Downtown Oakland. The series of events are based around all the work that went into the production of Skinner's latest animated music video for the band "High On Fire".
Opening Reception | Saturday, December 10th at 7pm
A solo exhibition by Skinner
Artist Talk | Tuesday, December 13th at 7:30pm
Skinner will break down the paintings, illustrations and storyboard of the animated epic.
Skinterview | Saturday, December 17th at 7:30pm
Talk show featuring Special Guests and Skinner as the host.
By this point everyone knows that 2016 felt unnecessarily brutal for many reasons. The existential pain of being alive in the Information Age is worse because, well, you have access to all the information about how existentially painful knowing all the bad shit that happens all the time is. ( dear news people, please let journalism and not sensationalism push your product, mankind needs you.) I began processing my own sort of personal emotional catastrophe this time last year. Turns out questioning everything you believe in everything and going full blast into personal exploration will do that. I decided to upend my own career trajectory in as many ways as possible so that it would mirror and support my own changes into a more process oriented artist and person, that got more out of art then just freaking out all the time with anxiety. I asked Mark and Gina, the brain baby steam engines of purpose and intent from VFX giant, Hey Beautiful Jerk, if they wanted to team up on an impossible project. Luckily enough, they are just as ready to chase a tornado down apocalypse alley and we began. 7 months of working on a project that I couldn't share, couldn't show publicly and was totally overwhelming my sense of urgency and professional need to get done quickly was perfect. I had to sit in and work with the discomfort of a super long project where I had to challenge myself at every level. Drawing skills not that great? Better get good motherfucker. now. Painting alien landscapes and staying consistent? Hurry the fuck up and make it reeeeeal nice. Storyboards? Have you ever learned how to draw comics and create sequential art? It's goddamn ridiculous! Change character designs half way through and re do a bunch of stuff you already spent months on? Get it done yesterday. Key frames, yeah let's help the animators because they're the only ones getting paid and they're already working for less then they would. Money ran out! Better get some more somehow! 7 months of scratching the inside of my skull for some possible way to justify this with any scrap of zen wisdom I could find. The pain and struggle of things is a guru. AND IT IS TESTING YOU. Use that the next time shit isn't going your way and you might ease the pain just a bit by seeing it more as a challenge from the universe. The process of unlearning my urgency and relearning my love of process and creating a much more vast threshold for patience did happen. Also it's kinda nice to just do something because I love it. REMEMBER THAT? ( let's try to create a culture that isn't addicted to the anxiety of survival).
The things we learn about ourselves when we upend our current mode of operation, are the very things that very well may define us in the end. Shine a light on the territories of yourself that you haven't explored and see what you might find. Chances are, there's a lot more then you thought. The process ad learning and unlearning who we are, is a constant changing ocean. That's how the universe works. Seasons and chaos. Everyone is everything if they choose it. But you do have to choose it. And I guess I'm pretty grateful to have this chance to share the art of 7 months of choosing something different. This art isn't for sale. That's not the point. It's a peak into my life while I was twisting and turning in a cocoon of uncertainty and transition. While I was in the abyss of WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING! And I'm grateful for it. And for you. For this chance to connect without pretense, and in a space in time where we can hang out and celebrate process and uncertainty as people and artists. As I pin these paintings, drawings and storyboards up on the walls of Athen B Gallery, I still feel like a walking wound in the wake of our loss from the warehouse fire last weekend. It all feels so surreal. I find myself in another confused place of processing and I don't know what to do. I still grieve the loss of two people. Kiyomi and Ara. It's hard not to think of anything but the fire, So I offer the opening this Saturday to be an open place of process for anyone. To process and feel anything they want. That's what I'll be using it as and I invite you to do the same. The art on the walls reflect a time where I was confused and afraid, it would be a shame not to allow it to be a celebration of those things in allowing us to come together and if possible, find some healing. Thank you to Oakland, California, my home and to Athen B. Gallery for allowing me the space to have this happen. I love you,