Magic Gardens// Last Call with One Grand Gallery

Had the pleasure to take part in this fun show this month! One Grand Gallery hosted a group art show commemorating a historic institution here in Portland, Magic Gardens. Opening in the 1960's as a lesbian club, Magic Gardens Strip Club soon became a Portland Chinatown staple. On December 31st Magic Gardens will be closing its doors forever, as Patty Wright, owner and operator, was not given the option to renew the lease in the 100-year-old building. Since One Grand Gallery's inception, the culture and living history of Portland's nude dancing scene has been something we've all been eager to celebrate. 

If you have a chance you should definitely go check this out. There were SO many amazing artists and I was absolutely blown away by each and every clever interpretation. Including a riveting photo collection from Magic Gardens itself by Jenny Olson.

 

Art & Nature New Contemporary @ AR4T Gallery

Artists Republic 4 Tomorrow Gallery is proud to present Art & Nature: New Contemporarya group exhibition with focus on a contemporary interpretation of the natural world. The exhibition consists of over 70 artists from different styles and backgrounds each contributing a 10”x10” piece of artwork, and is specifically curated by AR4T gallery owner Torrey Cook to accompany the Laguna Art Muesum Art & Nature exhibition.

 

This show was completely packed with amazing work! I am so excited to show my work beside so many other talented artists that I admire. For my contribution I worked outside my realm of comfortable mediums. I have never really done much abstract work so I figured with such a small canvas this would be a perfect opportunity tp try something new. My piece entitled "La Montana Sagrada" or "The Holy Mountain" was an ode to the mountain. I used acrylic paint and cement on a hand made wooden panel. 

Dear you,

You came to me in a dream last night. It was one of those dreams that is so real and palatable that it scares you. While I'm sleeping everything carries me to you.  You dissemble me and we cannot keep our hands off of each other. I take out a needle and suture my happiness to the skin of your fingertips. We're swimming in the middle of the orchard and it's as if our bodies are diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Moon beams whistle through the trees but your light seems more real to me than anything. Insane mistakes have cleaned both our plates, but in this starving world everything tastes like silence. The grass is thick and we are wet so we lay down together to dry off. Suddenly I look at you and have a strange feeling that I am no longer myself. One connection can change everything, like a small sandstorm. That feeling looks like fine white sand just spraying up into our sky like pulverized bones. I didn't understand then, but when I woke up I thought that maybe chance encounters are what keep us going. In the room where I keep my memories of you there is no gravity, so I just keep drifting closer to you and the violent stabs of loneliness burn up and become nothing.  

A Midnight Swim to the Edge of Freedom

It was New Years Eve 2011. That year was fucking horrible and riddled with a string of heart ache and masochistic self exploration. Though I had certainly learned some valuable life lessons, I was ready to bend over and have that wretched year kiss my sweet ass goodbye.

So Gabs and I hit the Beermuda Triangle just wreaking of trouble. We had already ripped through a fifth of Jameson before we finished putting on our makeup. She looked stunning with a fistful of fire red hair and her awesome tits just spilling out of her cinched corset.  I went for a more "black magic" affect with a questionably short sequin skirt, lacey stockings, and a flapper mid drift that's tassels landed right over my belly button. 

I decided to hop on an internet dating site when we reached the bar and see if I could get any fish to bite. No fish took the bait, just one dog. His name was Conner, but his mother should have named him Charles, or maybe just "Dick" would have sufficed. The only thing he did right was buy me three full glasses of whiskey so that I wouldn't have to wait in line if I decided to throw the second one in his face. He felt me up under the table for twenty minutes before I politely excused myself. By the time I returned he looked like he was ready to explore my girlfriend's ear canal with his tongue and was trying to rope us both into a threesome. "Fat chance, creep!" The clock struck midnight and we knew if we had any hope of turning our night around we were going to have to make a move. 

We ended up at a house party in southeast where we linked up with some older dudes and figured we'd have a pretty good chance of scoring some decent dope if we stuck around. My hot stripper friend then appeared like the angel she is and I knew things were about to get fun. Shelly elects her all business designated driver to chauffeur all of our drunk asses to a warehouse rave. It's three am before the first bag of blow comes out. Shelly and I tote the cooler full of jungle juice down a wicked gravel hill with astounding grace, considering the fact that our skinny ankles were wobbling in our stripper heels like wheels with no axles. Some hippies are circled around a trash can fire and I spot my designer drug dealer! Even though it's dark as fuck, I know that satin floral cape anywhere. I run up to him and give an enthusiastic attack hug.

"Jazzy! I love you! Give me drugs!"

"What do you want? Acid? Boomers? Molly? Extascy? 2Ci? 2CB? Blow?"

I laugh, "All of the above."

He reaches into his bag,

"I'm kidding, just give me some molly and 2CB, I'm sure that will be more than enough to get me spun."

I put the hit on my tongue and turn to one of the guys.

"You better take care of me!"

He nods in agreement.

Upstairs the party is going hard in full force. We stumble up a flight of rickety urine stained stairs and are greeted by something half human-half acid tripping zombie. But who am I to judge? My entire posse can barely talk we're so fucked up. We decide to split up and see if there are any more drugs for sale. Aaron leads us into a room made entirely out of clear plastic. It is apparent that during the day this space is used for making amazing useless art out of refurbished trash. I take a couple key bumps to even out my stomach and find a filthy couch to collect my thoughts on. One of the house party guys sits down with me and I can hear him breathing harder than I'm thinking.

We're both staring out into a sea of mattresses on the floor where everyone is either staring at the ceiling or riding what I like to call the "tickle train." The tickle train is where three or more people sit down in front of each other and alternate between giving back rubs and tickling the back of your neck with feathers while you're rolling. This was a tradition that has presumably been passed down through generations of acid tripping nudists. I am fascinated as I stare out at this strange tribe of people that seem to have been raised by a wild pack of stuffed animals. The smell in the air is so sweaty and putrid though that it is literally moments away from guiding my entire trip for me, and everything is starting to look more and more like trash flavored trash. I tell guy that I need to get some air and I make a run for my life. I don't make it very far though before I get lost in the small corridor that is filled with life size paper mâché mushrooms covered in black light paint. They are perfectly arranged so that when you're on drugs you immediately think you've time traveled into Absolem's magic garden. I clumsily knock into one mushroom and it falls over, creating a soul crushing domino effect. The whole magic garden is ruined. 

Reality did not seem tangible. All the colors in the room seemed distorted, almost as though they were evaporating and expanding at the same time. The walls were dancing and the music was starting to make my feet hurt. The only thing separating me from the twenty degree cement floor was a pair of pantyhose. I sat there totally secluded, despite the room full of candy ravers that was twenty feet behind me. I laid there completely paralyzed by my breath until I was finally rescued from my chattering jaw and the weight of the world. He takes my hand and even though I can't read minds, his is so clearly saying "lets go home."

On the drive I marveled at the world with a new set of eyes. The sun is just starting to rise and I can barely handle it. I break down crying. 

"What's wrong?" he asks me.

"It's so beautiful....it is crushing me!" I whimper with tears in my eyes.

"Yeah, this is heavy."

I imagine the beauty of these blood orange clouds suffocating me, it's like they are standing directly on top of my chest! I imagined my body as a piece of scrap stained glass, being thrown up into the air and then suddenly crashing into a million pieces. I thought about whether or not it would hurt when someone swept me all up, or if anyone would bother at all.

The twenty minute drive felt like crossing an ocean. When we arrived "home" I was practically having an out of body experience. The Berber carpet looked like beach sand, and felt like it too in between my toes. Everything was now so much warmer than I remember it being a half an hour ago. My mom always told me, "life changes fast" and I wonder if this is what she meant. One minute you're all alone on the cold cement floor and thirty minutes later you're holding hands with a stranger who loves you on a warm sunny beach that is actually a living room?

We take the bag of molly, blow, and the last little bit of 2CB out of our pockets and dump it in one pile on a paperback book. Shelly stirs it together with her credit card and lays out five equal rails, without prejudice. We all sniff up the last bit of fun and wish each other a happy new year. 

Eventually, around ten in the morning, I wander off into the house to find a quiet bed. I help myself to my preferred bedtime attire- the obligatory track suit bottoms and of course the coolest t-shirt I could find. I have no idea whose bed this belongs to, nor who's clothes I am wearing. All I know is whoever it may be, he is perfect. 

He is obviously more like a God, judging by the cloud that he calls a bed. I bring the down feathered blanket over my head and wait. Soon, he appears, looking as fucked up as my childhood. He slams down next to me and starts running his hands through my hair. I let him touch my back and I can tell he is down right fascinated by how soft my skin is compared to how gritty all the drugs are making us feel. We laid next to each other talking & mimicking each others breathing patterns, huge fresh breaths in, followed by controlled soothing exhales. In the hours that passed I confessed my profession as a pot dealer, while he confessed his strong desire yet inability to fuck me, and the sun got higher and higher. After what seemed like an eternity of begging I finally convinced him to order me a pizza. 

"What do you want on your pizza?"

"Extra cheese, extra grease."

We never got that pizza though. We fell asleep, blurred & bewildered. When I awoke to Gabs hovering over me I got a lick of reality. 

"Can you give me a ride home?"

I take a moment to assess if I am capable of such a feat, wonder if I'm still drunk and/or tripping balls, and answer with a confident yet unenthusiastic "yes."

I turn to my strange new love and tell him, "I will be in touch, but until then I'm holding the shirt ransom."

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prick

I met ______ when I was hospitalized for jumping off an 80 ft. waterfall. We don't say his name, because to say his name would be to willingly put shit in your own mouth. Nobody does that, not willingly. For the purposes of this anecdote he who shall not be named will be chronicled under the alias Voldemort.

Love at first sight would be a ridiculous understatement. Literally, I saw him and loved him instantly. It happened in such perfect tandem, one swift moment. I let him fuck me on the first date because I KNEW it was love. I was elated that my mother had insisted I wake up and put on my make up the day I met Voldemort. She declared it necessary to always look your best, because you just never knew who you were going to meet. God forbid you look like a trainwreck in Walgreens, because you might not have the chance to fall in love if you look like shit when you're trying to buy tampons and SpaghettiOs at ten o' clock at night!

Our first date was basically a 50/50 split between hopelessly sucking face and deciding which pieces of his furniture were going to be better suited for my  place. I picked out his pair of bedside tables that were crafted from old pallets and the art deco coffee table. I suggested we graciously leave the rest of his shit for his snob of an older brother, since he would already have enough trouble coming to terms with the thought of living alone for the first time in his codependent life- let alone the burden of shopping for re-purposed furniture. If you haven't figured it out by now, yes...Voldemort's family was absolutely insufferable. 

We were shacked up before any one of his eight siblings had the chance to tell him he wasn't allowed to move in with his girlfriend of five minutes. After seven glorious months of shoving my picture perfect relationship down the throats of my Facebook following, life as I knew it came to a screeching halt. One minute I was trying to figure out if I should broadcast our plans of an all Motown wedding reception, and the next was spent crying on the phone begging my mother to buy me a new bed since he took ours with him when he decided to move out with 30 seconds notice.

It was a sunny morning, unusual to most mornings in the Pacific Northwest. I woke up and rolled over into the empty spot in the bed. Voldemort must have gotten up early to make me coffee. I sprung out of bed and saw him standing at the end of the hallway silently.

"Autumn, I need to speak with you." 

"Surely no matter is so pressing that it cannot wait until I've had my coffee, Voldemort."

"I'm leaving."

"OK. Will you pick me up some smokes on your way home?"

"I'm not coming back."

".....Alright."

"That's all? You're not even going to say anything?"

"I can't make you love me, and I can't make you stay. So there is the door."

Every conversation I ever had with my mother had prepared me for this moment, and given me the strength to not break down and slit my wrists right in front of him. I was crushed but there was not a chance in hell that I would ever give him the satisfaction of knowing. Letting him think that I was a complete sociopath was a far better alternative. 

The second wave of suicidal thoughts came when I walked outside to smoke a cigarette and discovered that he had stayed up all night packing his shit. Twenty three perfectly packed and labeled boxes stood stacked before me. It was as though Voldemort had conjured his own species of UPS elves to silently haul away every last mug and coaster in our home and pack them while I slept soundly like a clueless infant. 

Flash forward three months: I am fully submersed in what I like to call "revenge hotness" when I run into Voldemort for the first time since he shattered my domesticated dream. He looks at me with those dreamy "I'm a fucking idiot" eyes and I know he instantly hates himself for leaving me. We start taking shots of tequila and I immediately tell him about the three rebounds I have had in a valiant effort to forget him. We end up drunkenly stumbling to his shithole apartment and he confesses that the only reason he left was because his whore of a mother gave him an ultimatum. "Autumn, or your family. The choice is yours!" I imagine that after I made him bail me out of jail for getting caught with thirteen pounds of marijuana on my cross country road trip, his family was the obvious choice. This is assuming you are a spineless pussy living in a world where your mother has any say whatsoever in who you stick your dick into.

I throw away every last scrap of self respect and forgive him instantly. He starts to kiss me and in a moment I am naked on our old bed. He tells me to grab a condom and I comply. As I reach for the drawer I catch a glimpse of the trash can located directly next to the bedside table. It would more appropriately be called "cum dumpster" as it was nothing more than a plastic grocery bag full of used rubbers from whatever stupid skank he was fucking previous to my arrival. I took the liberty of relieving myself of my lunch all over his bed before locking myself in his bathroom for four and a half hours. 

When I emerged from his bathroom I calmly walked back into his bedroom where he struggled to drunkenly mumble "I'm sorry, please...Autumn...don't..." I walked over to his closet and ripped his favorite t-shirt off the hanger. I paired it with a pair of very luxurious A.D.I.D.A.S sweatpants, which I happened to know were among his most prized possessions. I put them both on, and with as much dignity as I could muster I said "I'm not coming back." I promised myself that as soon as I figured out how I was getting home my next order of business would be to ruthlessly cut the sleeves off that t-shirt so that he would never ever be able to enjoy it, ever again. 

Today Voldemort resides presumably on the west side of town.  He has somehow managed to find himself living in constant fear of the doll from Trilogy of Terror 2, who also happens to look strikingly similar to his current girlfriend. Same boring job, same bitch mother.

THE END. 

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MOMENTUM, VELOCITY, FREQUENCY, REFLECTED.

 The only way to measure my longing is to use the ocean as a reasonable means of measurement. Our childish thoughts are wise with brevity, and there is happiness to be found in haste. There is no need to reveal the meaning of a memory. I'm homesick for absurd desire in impossible things, precisely because they are entirely possible. All these half tones of the way you are now and the thought of what you will become, it all seems so broken and natural. Find sanctuary in your scars.

Life is not difficult, just rustle in the wind and know that one flesh is waiting. 

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It is possible.

There is no greater agony than to bleed out an untold story inside of you. That doesn't happen much, though. Take care to lock up the library of your histories so that you may revisit them later in the privacy of your own affliction. Every time you are inclined to define the difference between the right words and lightening, call upon your imagination to improvise instead. The worst enemy to creativity are those who corrupt your cultivated nature. Find those bruised meanings of every beautifully lost hope. This is hardly an "escape" from reality. Self doubt will come when it is called, so never knock. Companionship in misery shrinks your limitless notions to that of a landmark. Don't dare tell me that we are just living & breathing words because I have always been brave! If you see the world with open eyes we will continue to jump off these cliffs, the wings on our back isn't even the best part. Most people don't know that the road to hell is paved so that we may taste it twice- in the moment and again in retrospect. 

Letter to my future self.

All you have to do is explore things that terrify you. When you are creating your soul is expanding- but the beauty is you will never burst! Just keep climbing the stacks like ladders and think in terms of poetic opinions. Everywhere I go I explain that your belief's wide skirt unravels at the stitch when you step foot on other's trail. Our culture has no use for what we are unable to say, and never ever water it down!

Imagine everything you can with a wash of black in the beginning. This enables us to realize truth before it is exposed to light. Chaos gives birth to fundamental emotion. So when you ask me what I came to do for this world, I will respond "to lose myself."

Surrounded by manufactured glamour, burdened by your own sexuality..No bother for originality or to simply be truthful. The meaning isn't clear and was never intended to be admired. You are encouraged to FEEL something and nothing cures the soul like unprotected sex with your own ideas. 

Until the hour of separation reminds you that the angels were not half as happy in heaven as they were at the devils last dinner party, each moment vanishes unwillingly. Our eternity is as transparent as those broken glass houses you've been throwing stones at. I could eventually let you go, and I would suffer on. I've learned that you just can't make yourself matter and that the ruin we have made of each other wasn't for nothing. Tis better to have lied and lost than live with the staggering sum of all my false truths. We all know that when the truth looses it's temper whisper softly "not until we are lost do we truly begin to understand ourselves." So we cherish that reflection of our morbidly depressed selves as a keepsake to remind us later that we won the war. If you have learned nothing of your defeat you have yet to loose your way. I found out the hard way that true devotion seeks no answers and is without condition. This remission of sins will soften and purify my jaded heart. Meanwhile your filthy flesh will soak in a bathtub of desire, and I do hope it surrounds you.

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In this ruthless world understanding does not cure evil. All living souls welcome whatever they are willing to cope with. Reality is merely a crutch. Alter your situation! Crush your spirit. Try to comprehend the intensity, the lack of breaks, on your own. If your first language is shy- you will either sink or swim. We live habitually suspended in a state of information overload. You feel like yelling- but you pay the bills & keep the artists happy. Unbearable bright things stress your anxiety so there's chemical reactions for dark days. Not every night, but at the beginning as well as on occasion. I'm attracted to subjects who overcome tremendous suffering- you see what I mean?

 

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There is a delirious ache beneath my skin. But I must remember to sleep easy. A symphony of moans lie in the laughter. Time is cool like a midnight swim. Manipulate the language of my peach summer dress. His bare stare and a black suit on. Beneath all these raw moments sad blood soars. Shape my tongues sweet words while I whisper "why?" Let us smear our sweat like ugly water and flood the room with shadow music. I'd tear the wind right out of the forest just to taste your Cherokee purple tomato kisses tonight.

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6 ft. Above

6 ft. Above was a submission to Electric Coffin's annual group show "Boxes of Death

This piece was my first attempt at a vertical garden. I experimented with my love for horticulture and tried to incorporate my green thumb into my artistic process. The boxes of death show begged to consider the element of death. I felt compelled to rebel against the dark connotation and bring this coffin to life the only way I knew how, by making it grow.