New stickers! (Also, some playlists) by Kevin Alcantar

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I have a complicated relationship with self promotion. Namely, I’m terrible at it, perhaps as a result of not liking when people do it. When I'm forced to do it, I find myself rolling my eyes at myself. I hate networking events and every time I have to talk about myself or my work, I feel myself dragging my ego kicking and screaming out from the void. I'm trying to be better about it. Part of that is accepting that just because I am showing off what I do or what I make doesn't make me a sell out. So, here I am, trying to self promote without judgement, primarily from myself.

All that being said, I'm quite excited to share this run of “Tough Shit” stickers with you all. Limited numbers for now as I test the waters. Ideal for when someone cuts you off in traffic, you turn your high beams on at them, continue following them with aforementioned high beams on, miss your exit because you are now consumed in your pursuit, comically speed past them, and finally cut THEM off all while giving them a flash of your nifty “Tough Shit” sticker on your bumper. For those of you that enjoy stepping on someone’s Yeezys, cutting in front of someone standing on an escalator (they are shaped like stairs for a reason), or telling people that Quentin Tarantino is overrated (his best movie is Jackie Brown. Come at me.)

Or you could slap it on your laptop.


I'm also behind on sharing some playlists with you all. Feel free to follow on Spotify if you want to keep up to date on those. Again, just for fun but I hope you will find a song or two you enjoy from lurking around:

Week 6:

This week’s playlist is entirely a celebration of David Bowie, his music, his collaborations, and the music he is inspired during his sprawling career.  Includes some covers and songs that sample his work, like that amazing track by UNKLE. 

No artist has had an impact on me as much as Bowie has. Discovering David Bowie’s music was an important moment for me. Bowie’s music changed the way I listened to music and perceived art. After devouring his oeuvre, I looked at every other musician and couldn't help but mutter, "You need to try harder." Growing up a weird, socially inept kid in South LA, I found solace listening to his music and thinking that if David Bowie can do even half the weird shit he has done in his career, I can feel perfectly comfortable being myself. When dealing with anxiety and depression, Bowie’s music was a place of comfort that could bring me back down to Earth while simultaneously taking me to the depths of space and beyond. 

Thanks Starman and happy belated. 

Week 7:

Unintentional but in retrospect the playlist has a vague sensuality to it, if not outright sexuality (Prince song of the same name not withstanding). I mean, not counting “Ocean Man” by Ween. That’s been stuck in my head and I figured it’s inclusion wouldn’t be the unwelcome. Also, I feel so excited to share that amazing 1965 gospel of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” by Brothers and Sisters of Los Angeles (also known as the Los Angeles Gospel Choir). It is an amazing track and a reimagining of the Dylan original I never knew I needed.

Mandatory inclusion of The Cranberrie’s classic “Linger.” The Cranberries were one of those bands that I loved but never took the time to sit down and explore their discography beyond the songs most people know. Shame that it takes loss for us to take the time to learn about and appreciate the things/people around us. Maybe that’s a bit too heavy but I can’t help but think about how often people’s family members die and you hear some variation of “I wish I had taken the time to learn more about them.” Something to contemplate.

Week 8:

Lots of goodies this week. "Spring Session M" by Missing Persons is a close to perfect album in my opinion that really should get more recognition in the public consciousness. "Billy" by Drama Duo had been stuck in my head for a long time and I was waiting for the opportunity to share it. "Palo Alto" is a ridiculous, aimless, dreck of a movie with unlikable, self-absorbed characters that only exists because of Coppola nepotism and material written by a Hollywood celebrity. It is a meritless movie whose relevancy will only be talked about in the future because of Autumn Durald's cinematography and the decent soundtrack. Robert Schwartzman (and Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange , although he did not include any of his tracks on this playlist) does great job crafting electronic soundscapes that capture the ephemeral qualities of life that the movie tried to convey but failed to communicate in any meaningful way.

And I can't end without mentioning Prince's sublime rendition of "Nothing Compares 2 U." Sinead's version is a classic but hearing it performed by the man himself is nigh transcendent. Fingers forever crossed that The Family's version with the Prince vocals is one day released from the Paisley vault. 

Week 9:

Finally, this week's playlist includes some A1 old school shit. The first couple notes of the Prodigy's "Breathe" is enough to get me feeling like I want to thrash around some dingy 90's Berghain-esque warehouse. Or I could get rejected entry and drive home while Grace Jones' cover of Iggy Pop's "Nightclubbing" plays of the car speakers. 

I also included some tracks from artists I've only recently stumbled upon. The Chinese hip hop scene is burgeoning with loads of talented rappers. VaVa is one of the more interesting rappers I've heard and that track is straight fire. No, I can not rap along to it and no, I don't know what it says. One step at a time. 

Tune-Yards win the award for the song I've been humming most often in the last two weeks. "Coast to Coast" encapsulates a lot of the claustrophobic, unnerving feelings I think people have been toiling over since the start of this current administration. 

Also, Kendrick and SZA. Nuff said.

 

 

Mid Century Chair Stickers! by Kevin Alcantar

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I have been interested in the intersection of art, architecture, fashion, film, design, and furniture design for a long time. Hand in hand with that is a fascination with Charles and Ray Eames and their body of work. I first became enraptured with their work when I saw “Powers of Ten” in middle school and my obsession became solidified once I sat in an Eames lounge chair.

Which is a long way of me introducing these stickers designs inspired by mid-century modern molded plastic chairs. Bring a little bit of mid-century interior design to…whatever! 

Trying to gauge the levels of interests in these sticky bois before putting them into production and selling them on my site.

A new year, a new playlist by Kevin Alcantar

Only slightly less belated, here is a playlist to bury 2017 and welcome in the new year. 

Tried breaking down the playlist by mood, if not thematically. The first rough half serving as a eulogy to a difficult year both for me personally and for society. Latter half is celebratory. I'm sorry, maybe if I hadn't woken up the morning of January 1st feeling like hammered shit (Note: Absinthe is meant to be sipped slowly, not chugged like a shot.), this would be a bit more upbeat, clubworthy even! Things being as they are, please use this playlist to approach the new year with cautious optimism.

 

I am excited to approach this year with reinvigorated enthusiasm for making art and sharing goodies. I am hoping to start printing some stickers and maybe even prints so I'll be sharing progress on some of those. If I feel especially ambitious, maybe even starting a painting. We'll see on that last one though. 

12/18/17 by Kevin Alcantar

Belated but here is the last playlist of 2017 since I don't think anyone needs to hear my alternative Christmas tunes. Old Dick Dale, new N.E.R.D. You probably recognize “Misirlou” from Pulp Fiction. I’ve always preferred this version. Sounds more dynamic in my opinion.

No theme although it does include a good chunk of new music from this year, maybe as a last appreciation of the plethora of great music out in 2017.

by Kevin Alcantar

Us: “This is such a vain, materialistic, and capitalistic event that commodifies art as something to be packaged and consumed; stripping installations of their subversive nature and rendering them as nothing but backdrops for narcissistic indulgences in order to sell products.”

Also us:

 

(For the record, it was a fun event and we had a good time getting nice pictures of us but it is close to impossible to shut your brain off and ignore the sheer amount of narcissism and materialism on display.) 

by Kevin Alcantar

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Just a quiet corner in Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors show at The Broad.

I love Kusama’s work so I’ve been looking forward to this since it was first announced. It is strange to experience Kusama’s work with a whole host of people who are likely there to use the work as selfie backdrop. As judgmental as that sounds, I am definitely not exempt from that statement. While the rooms are definitely amazing, I think because the rooms are so dedicated to obliterating the self that the pieces where you can see more of the artist’s touch are the ones that were most successful for me personally.

That being said, there is something kind of poetic and beautiful about every person who passed through the obliteration room being reduced to a dot of primary color, like light dispersed through a prism.

12/4 - 12/8/2017 Playlist 2 by Kevin Alcantar

Thought it was more interesting as an exercise to choose a couple songs each day and have the results be a sonic record of what I was thinking or feeling during the week. I don't know if it was successful since I think everything is all over the place (how do you even measure success here?) and I don't know if I'll do things like this next week but any playlist that includes Jacques Dutronc, Daniel Caesar, and Natalia Lafourcade can't be all bad, right? Right.

11/27/2017 - Playlist 1 by Kevin Alcantar

Just returned from exploring Mexico City. Been lingering on the idea of sharing weekly mini playlists from music I like or have stumbled upon. At least this week, no particular theme. That being said, that Rina Sawayama track has been floating in my head for weeks.

Apéritif by Kevin Alcantar

Perhaps because it is still the beginning of the year (yeah, I know we are in week 3. Sue me.) or because of today's official opening ceremony to the Soft Apocalypse ©, today seems as good a day as any to launch this little diddy.

Fun! Hoo-Ray!

Oh, but you probably don't know me. And if you do, you are probably wondering why you should continue reading. Fair.

This is Kevin Alcantar's first blog post. Hello, dat me!

I draw, I paint, I drag my mouse across computer screens, and occasionally, I take photographs. A true child of the post-80's excess comedown, I have strong fixations (read: opinions) on dreams, religion, art, politics, film, space, fashion, music and modern furniture (we can all appreciate a nice Hans Wegner Shell Chair, right?). They tend to, more or less, inform just about everything I say, do, and create.

I live in Los Angeles where I am constantly reminded that you are either poor or a silicone semi-android with drawn on Eugene Levy eyebrows that makes a living, “like, as a social media influencer.” That's probably an exaggeration. 

As for why, consider this an invitation then and hopefully we can find a why together.

And if not, fuck it. Maybe I'll help you discover some new art or learn to like a new chair (Like the Wegner Shell Chair!) or convince you to finally check out the modern film masterpiece, and personal favorite, Children of Men after I mention it every other sentence.

All of that is just a long winded way of me saying hello world! I am excited to share my art and endless opinions (I have many of them) with you.

Here is a work in progress photo of my painting "La Vida Onirica" as a preview but mainly as a way to shame myself into finally finishing it.

 "La Vida Onirica" 3' x 4' Acrylic and Oil on Canvas. Work in progress.

"La Vida Onirica" 3' x 4' Acrylic and Oil on Canvas. Work in progress.