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Am I a Genius Yet? (2001)

Tales From the

From the ArtDisc release, Am I a Genius Yet?


I’ve always had a good sense of imagination, and I always thought that one of the great perks of being an artist is that you get to experiment and try new things. You get to ask, “what if somebody tried this?” and then you get to find out. At least, that’s what I think an artist should be.

Out of my sense of experimenting, and maybe out of the fact that paper and canvas was expensive, I came up with the idea of creating art on the backside of the painting. But I didn’t want just another painting behind the original one; and I didn’t want a meaningless mess, either. It had to mean something.

One of my great inspirations was music; not only did many of my titles come from songs or albums (Carpe Diem Baby, Take the Power Back, Alive in the Superunknown, Nevermind, Ava Adore, etc.), but many of the paintings from the 1998 Works and Acrylics series were attempts to capture the mood of the music. So, I thought this up: why not have artwork on the backside, like the b-side to a record single?

And so the idea of the B-SIDE grew and evolved. I went from writing short quips and insights about the painting purely for the benefit of whoever bought that painting, around 1999. Then, over time, I came to think of them as full works of art in their own right. This approach took off over the course of the year 2000 and is a staple now, in 2001. Actually, I like the idea so much I may just feature B-Sides as their own work one of these days.

But I digress. You can find out all you want to know about B-Sides from my next album. For this CD, I want to show you some examples of the stuff that’s written on the flipside to the paintings you see here. Hey, just think of it as a preview for that inevitable book deal. An artist making money…what a crazy concept.

One common technique for my B-Sides is to write little blurbs and scatter them around the canvas (or paper). I then number each of the parts, letting you know where to go to keep on reading. I also offered a number of “Pop Quizzes”, which sometimes offered the answers, and sometimes left the reader to ponder. The idea, I think, is for the viewer to see the whole series of works together; certain ideas or themes connect together.

Frank Zappa proclaimed something called the “Theory of Conceptual Continuity”; namely, he believed that all of his individual songs and albums are really part of one massive composition, and every piece of music would somehow tie into one another. I liked the idea so much, I started using it myself.

Track Listing

The Artist Statement
About the Paintings
Tales From the B-Side
Daytona USA
How to Write a Resignation Letter

1998 Works
Model Portraits
Curious George
Watercolors on Canvas