This past year I was pretty busy with a lot of different shows in a different cities. I was part of an opening exhibition at May Gallery in New Orleans, in both Baltimore and New York’s Black Foliage exhibitions, and in a two person show at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans.
But the biggest challenge of all was having my first solo exhibition at Parse Gallery in New Orleans called Caligula. It took months of planning and a several collaborators to come to fruition. I was lucky enough to work with one of my favorite artists, Elijah Burgher who did an in-gallery sigil casting ritual. Writers, Michael Lee and J. Benoit were kind enough to perform readings of works in response to my art. Composer, Philippe Landry and noise musician, Philip Kruse collaborated to make a score that carried the weight of the show, intermingling with the various soundtracks already present from my videos.
But most importantly, this show wouldn’t have been what it was without the hours and hours of conversations, studio visits, and walks through the cemeteries with curator, John Otte. John saw the world visually as John Cage probably thought about sound. You couldn’t walk down the street with him without stopping to marvel at the beauty of a decrepit building or some graffiti abstraction. He felt that art’s place should move beyond institutionalized walls and into our living space. Intense ideas to live in unpretentious places so we’re more likely to understand and appreciate them.
John tragically passed away this past October due to complications from lupus compounded with a night of too much alcohol. He is dearly missed and I feel fortunate to have not only had him spend so much time with me and help guide me with my art, but to have known him as one of my best friends. R.I.P. John Otte. John Otte Lives!