[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9W_h1EP9r4&w=584&h=438] After I finished my comic book Starving Artist I wrote a little song and made this video, a book trailer to promote the comic.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NEW ART-THEMED COMIC BOOK RELEASED IN DALLAS Jim Public, the enterprise of artist James Hough, publishes Starving Artist, a comic book about art, family, and hamburgers DALLAS, TX — Jim Public is proud to announce the publication of the new comic book Starving Artist: Jim Public Presents, Volume 1 by Dallas-based artist James Hough. The comic tells the story of Jim, an artist and family man whose aesthetic ambitions are vitally linked to his domestic and gastric aspirations. “Jim has a plan to sell a painting and use the cash to take his family out for burgers,” says Mr. Hough. “Starving Artist is a slice-of-life story that connects the artist’s career to the artist’s home and family. It is an Anti-Myth of the Artist.” The reader first sees Jim floating pajama-clad through his dreams of fame, fortune, and food before he is abruptly awakened by an early alarm clock. From there he makes his kids breakfast and kisses them good-bye, setting off to exhibit his painting on the downtown Dallas streets. The story is semi-autobiographical, much of it based on Hough’s experiences as the proprietor of his mobile gallery of contemporary art, Jim Public’s Truck. “The gallery continues its mission ‘to present artwork in unusual, spontaneous, and neighborly ways’ with the publication of Starving Artist,” says Hough. “The comic exists digitally and in the traditional paper format, and it costs the tiniest fraction of an original painting, for example. It is an extremely accessible piece of art, a bit spontaneous and very neighborly.” The comic also features Hough’s new painting Burger Night and a bonus educational chart entitled “All Art Is Abstract Art,” which includes the artist’s renderings of famous paintings from art history organized into a concise lesson on abstract art. Starving Artist: Jim Public Presents, Volume 1 by James Hough is available on paper at www.jimpublic.com/books and digitally at eBookstores everywhere.
Last Saturday, now that it’s already getting dark here in Dallas by 6pm, it was time at last to figure out how to make a self-contained lighting system for the gallery. One portable power device (designed to jump start your car) and two 12.5 watt LED lights later, plus some wood, screws, spray paint, and work light fixtures, I had my solution! Henceforth the gallery will be a bright jewel lighting up those nights that I hit the road to show some artwork. It was a chilly evening and more sparsely attended than spring and autumn gallery nights in the Design District. Standing out there in the cold and peaceful darkness under the new lights, I felt a particular surge of good feeling that I usually get only when I’m out in our front yard in December, enjoying the quiet glow of our Christmas lights at home. After Dragon Street I drove to the Fair Park area to Ash Studios, where Fred Villenueva had invited me to a Bring Your Own Art party he was hosting. It was a fun time. I enjoyed the rare chance to bring my work with me, by way of illustrating quite directly what I do when getting acquainted with people at the party. When asked what I did, the questioner and I walked around the gate and there it was, the thing I do.
I took the truck gallery down to Oak Cliff last Saturday and enjoyed a beautiful day. Some friends showed up mid-afternoon and we decided to drive the exhibition of my large canvas Bump around the Bishop Arts District, in search of food, drink, and, eventually, pie. Up until Saturday I had not driven while displaying artwork, but the coziness of the Oak Cliff community and the security of having a friend in the bed of the truck keeping an eye on things were enough to get the gallery past that milestone. Currently I am designing a new wall that will be easier to assemble and strike and that will also give me options for displaying artwork while driving. Always, Jim Public’s Truck is about fun and accessibility. So the mission continues…
Now that I am preparing for the next Jim Public’s Truck exhibition, it is time to post images of the nine paintings that make up the series I showed last month. The paintings that comprise A Dry Heat are plexiglass panels that I put in watertight vessels full of acrylic paint and water. Before submerging each panel in paint and leaving it in Las Vegas for two years to evaporate fully, I did some mark-making in the white, gessoed underlayer, so each painting has words, pictures, or impressions beneath the color and design left behind by nature’s patient hand.
Jim Public’s Truck has been invited to participate in tomorrow’s Dallas Art Dealers Association Gallery Walk. I will be parked at 960 Dragon Street from 2 till 8 pm on Saturday, September 22, with A Dry Heat, the ongoing exhibition of paintings made by evaporation in the Mojave desert. I’m looking forward to a beautiful day and I hope to see you there.
August 29, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JIM PUBLIC’S TRUCK PRESENTS A DRY HEAT The portable gallery exhibits new paintings rendered by evaporation Opening reception: Saturday, September 8, 3–8pm, parked somewhere on Dragon Street, Dallas, TX, quite possibly on the 1001 block between Payne and Howell DALLAS, TX – Jim Public’s Truck, Dallas’s portable gallery of contemporary art, is proud to present an exhibition of new work by the eponymous artist, Jim Public. His new series, A Dry Heat, comprises nine paintings that Public began in 2010 when he lived in Las Vegas. The artist built a watertight vitrine with nine slots in which he suspended plexiglass panels and poured acrylic washes, submerging each panel in a different color of watery paint. Over the following two years the dry, Mojave air evaporated the moisture from the vitrine, leaving behind nine completed paintings, each a record in pigment of the inexorable natural processes that rendered it. “These paintings come out of my effort to make pictures and objects without exerting a lot of control along the way,” says Public. “I am skeptical of exercising too much power during the art-making process like some kind of aesthetic tyrant. The world is bigger and lovelier when you relax.” The paintings of A Dry Heat embody a collaboration between the artist and the arid climate of southern Nevada, and, two years having elapsed during their making, they also represent a time capsule for the artist. “When I first took out the paintings to look at them I saw the phrases and designs that I had made in the substrates before adding the paint washes. I remember thinking in 2010 that these marks would be like artifacts from the past, but I did not consider that the artist doing the excavating in 2012 would be a changed person, one who might no longer love these phrases and designs. In other words, for me, looking closely at these paintings is kind of like looking at an old yearbook: we can change how we feel about the past, but we cannot change the past itself.” The nine paintings—direct products of physical law acting over time—will debut at a reception for the artist on Dragon Street in the Dallas Design District on Saturday, September 8, 3–8pm. Jim Public’s Truck is a contemporary art gallery committed to presenting artwork in unusual, spontaneous, and neighborly ways.
Thank you to everyone who stopped to look, ask questions, and say encouraging things during the gallery’s first event this past Saturday. The debut of Jim Public’s Truck was a lot of fun for me, a great experience. I am proud of the gallery and excited to experiment with its possibilities. I love when art is serious yet informal, straightforward but not simple, fun without being obsequious. These are the qualities I’m after when I make stuff and do stuff. I look forward to the next event!