Here’s the truth about Lucinda Williams. Before this show, I didn’t know who she was. ‘Why would you include a pop reference you had never heard of in a show about pop influence in your work?’ You say. I’m glad you asked. I had a weak spot in my show and it was music. I love music. It’s important to me and has been since I got my first tape recorder in 1983 and started recording the radio. But, I’m not a purist. I have my favorites, Bjork among them and at the top of the list and I have my history, LL Cool J is an example of where I started loving music. But, I can’t argue the history of music, who it’s greatest influences are and how some of the greatest songs ever written came to be. I CAN make these arguments with every other aspect of my show. When I explained this to Will (the owner of the space and a patron of sorts), he asked if he could contribute. And I shared my baby by taking on a consultant. At first, I got his suggestion of Lucinda Williams and thought, ‘I don’t think this is such a great idea.’ (see my point above about the importance of influence). But, then I dug into Lucinda. When I saw that she was from Lake Charles, LA I warmed to the idea. I worked with a very talented artist for 12 years who was from Lake Charles. It seemed like a good direction. Then I read her story. Wow. She is kind of the poster-child for artists, visual, performing or otherwise. She cut her first album in 1979 as a country and blues piece and it was all but ignored. Now THAT’S a feeling I could relate too. To make something you believe in and feel strongly about is the most wonderful of feelings. But, every artist learns early on to recognize that you are making something for yourself. Expecting anyone else to even care is setting yourself up for disaster. It’s been said that the opposite of love is not hate, rather indifference. So, love me, hate me… just don’t ignore me. It was 8 years before anyone would care about Lucinda Williams in a significant way. Passionate Kisses found an audience and it was eventually recorded by Mary Chapin Carpenter which led to William’s earning a Grammy in 1994. Now, THAT’S an act I wouldn’t mind following. Listening to her work exposes feelings about myself as a Texan and a country boy that I often neglect and bury behind a façade of education and worldliness that is more imagination than it is reality. The track ‘Car Wheels on a Gravel Road’. Man, it’s this simple thing that everyone’s probably heard. But when you grow up in a small town and you spend a lot of time on these roads… (heck my own street wasn’t even paved until I was nearly an adult) it’s visceral to hear a artists sing about it. So, yeah. I felt a connection. Which almost makes Lucinda William’s the most perfect addition to the show. She is a part of who I am as an artist in the sense that we walk parallel paths. At least emotionally if not in practice.
CGI, retouching and Imaging are my standards by which I measure my businesses success. However, as an artist, my interests vary far and wide. Starting with this post, you’ll get a look at some of the more diverse projects studioMiguel gets up too under the moniker ‘Miggy’.
The first of these is the My Pop installation at a downtown studio space in historic Wichita Falls, TX.
My Pop. Your Pop. Our Pop. We’re Pop. is a commentary on how popular culture influences me as an artist as well as all of us. Not only do we share popular culture, we comprise it. The installation is a 150′ long window installation in an abandoned mens clothing store turned art studio. The owner converted the huge window panes into what he calls a ‘drive-by’ gallery space. I’ve longed to contribute something since we moved into the area in 2013. I wanted to energize the budding creative community that emerging in this once abandoned downtown area here in North Texas. I comped up each of the 22 windows with a pop culture icon that is important to me and influences my work in some way. I then added a single word, evoking the emotion or feeling I most strongly associate with the character. The pieces are divided by subject into 6 categories with 3 images each: Leading Men Leading Women Robots Comic Characters Musicians & Artists The last few windows are divergent in that they represent the kind of ideas the characters inspire as well as an essay. They are cut using Oracal 651 black and white and installed by myself and a team of 4 assistants. See the physical installation at 7th and Indiana in Wichita Falls, TX. Or follow the digital life of the show with #artofmiggy #mypopisyourpop or @artofmiggy.
Chuck Norris:FORCE When I was a small boy, my family was very cautious about what we could watch. And rightly so, I was a terror of a boy. Films like Way of the Dragon and Return of the Dragon were strictly off-limits. But, the resourceful 8 year old knows that if you drape a comforter over the console TV in the middle of the night and turn the volume all the way down, you can get away with some quality television! Okay, maybe ‘quality’ is too strong a word, but we’re talking about the point of view of a mental 8-year-old. It was a few years later when I was able to catch Delta Force in theaters. I didn’t even know who Chuck Norris was, but I loved it. I loved the action, the cornball acting, the ridiculous vehicles and props. I haven’t watched it since, in part because it’s a magical moment in my life and revisiting the film would surely dash those memories that are so lovingly shrouded in the mists of time. Thankfully, Walker Texas Ranger has continued the exports of this outrageous character. The illustration started originally as a concept for a graffiti piece about building protection wherein the text added the reminder that ‘this structure protected by Chuck Norris’, A play on those ubiquitous security plaques all over North America. The man is over the top. He’s the guy who told Haley Joel Osment that he had AIDS. Norris is a Force of reckoning.