July 2019 - Art, Extradimensional Horrors, and Ingrid Michaelson

Much like June, July was all art, all the time. BUT! The show is finally done and hanging at the gallery and I’m really happy with how it all turned out. I look forward to going to bed at a reasonable time, playing some video games, and catching up on various shows and movies now that I have free time again.


MOVIES

Spiderman: Far From Home
I (perhaps irresponsibly) took a couple of hours away from art to go see SPIDERMAN: FAR FROM HOME. Tom Holland remains my favorite live action Spiderman. I think the new take on Mysterio works really well (Jake Gyllenhaal nailed it) and the whole adventure was a lot of fun.

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
One of the perks of working at a movie theatre is that I can sit in on the daytime press screenings for local film reviewers. This means that I was able to see a SECOND MOVIE in July! 😮 THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO is a really beautiful film about family (biological and chosen), identity, home, and gentrification. The trailer better summarizes the story than I seem to be able to in my sleep deprived state. It’s a lyrical, drifty sort of movie which savors little moments and gives weight to things not usually celebrated. The cinematography and music are also excellent. I would definitely recommend.


BOOKS

I spent most of my July book time re-reading some favorite comfort romances to help decompress during art breaks: An Unnatural Vice & An Unsuitable Heir by K.J. Charles and the Enlightenment series by Joanna Chambers. I also read a handful of new things, some of which were good.

The Affair of the Mysterious Letter (Alexis Hall)
Alexis Hall is one of my favorite romance writers and he branches out a bit here with a weird, fun, and delightfully queer riff on Holmes and Watson, set in a Lovecraftian world where basically everything exists: extra dimensional gods, time travel, multiple universes, magic, vampires, underwater cities, zombies, and more. The story follows Captain John Wyndham, who left his puritanical home country to go to school and then join the army. After returning from a war in which he fought unknowable beings in a different dimension, Wyndham becomes roommates with the strange, eccentric, drug-fueled sorceress Shaharazad Haas. When Haas’ former flame enlists her help in solving a blackmail plot, the housemates go on a series of adventures to solve the mystery. The book is presented as a series of vignettes, as told by Wyndham, whose conservative upbringing means he is uncomfortable transcribing fowl language or unsavory conduct (to humorous effect). My one, very small complaint is that the different stories don’t always feel like they connect to the larger plot, but that’s not a dealbreaker and I still really liked the book.

Raze (Roan Parrish)
Raze is a strong third entry into Parrish’s Riven series. This installment follows Huey, a bar owner and substance abuse sponsor (featured a bit in the earlier books) who has spent the last 10 years staying sober and helping others do the same. He does this at the expense of relationships and any sort of personal life. Following a karaoke performance at his bar, Huey meets Felix, a sunshine cinnamon roll who has spent his entire life helping raise his siblings and has no idea what to do with his life now that his brothers and sisters have grown up. Romance ensues. 💕

Heartstopper: Volume 2 (Alice Oseman)
I mentioned earlier that I would be snapping up Volume 2 of this series as soon as it was available and I did just that! Where the first book follows the blossoming friendship/romance between Nick and Charlie, this second volume focuses on Charlie trying to come to grips with his bisexuality and his fear of coming out. The art in these books is beautiful and incredibly expressive; the way that Oseman is able to say so much with such simple, clean line-work and a few shades of gray is amazing.


MUSIC

Stranger Songs (Ingrid Michaelson)
While I have generally liked Ingrid Michaelson’s music in the past (and love her “Girls Chase Boys” video), I’ve never listened to a whole album or followed her work very closely. Then earlier this month, artist Kevin Wada posted that he had created art for an Ingrid Michaelson music video from her new album. I clicked the link and by that evening I was listening to Stranger Songs on solid repeat. The music is loosely inspired by Netflix’s Stranger Things; it has a romantic pop/synth vibe and there are a number of themes and direct references to the show. But you don’t need to know anything about Stranger Things to enjoy the album. The other element which is really neat is that each song from the album has an accompanying lyric video with art by a bunch of talented artists, including Wada, Nicola Scott, Kate Leth, and Jen Bartel.


ART

The solo show is done and everything is up at the gallery! *passes out on the floor*

Usually when I do a big show I have a couple of filler pieces that I’m not super excited about, but somehow I like everything I made for this one.

The opening reception is on Friday (Aug 2) from 6:30-9pm at Gallery 9 in Lincoln and the show will be up through the month of August. I will (hopefully) have new prints available at the gallery along with the originals and those prints will then be added to the online shop a little later in August.