I will be taking part in an art exhibition at a cool new gallery that used to be a funeral home. It is called the Rubicon, and it will also feature works by Rik Garrett and Anthony Dunn (Sun Splitter). There will be other surprises. I will be exhibiting 13 pieces in a series called "Velcro Bismol". Here is the artist statement-
Arvo Zylo was born upside down. When he was a kid, he was ambidextrous and was able to draw and write with both hands at the same time, until he was forced by his teachers and parents to choose a hand. So now he writes and draws with his left hand and does everything else with his right hand... and he is bitter about it. He grew up in 25 different homes in and around Chicago, and was always regarded as a very talented artist by his teachers and peers. He self-published a comic book when he was 8 years old, and in high school he received various awards, was commissioned to do various pieces of art that bordered on murals, mainly along the vein of street art, but also custom tattoo designs, portraits, and commissioned sketches. In 1999. Zylo quit bench painting at Gallery 37 with a refusal to compromise, left home, and got a job designing graphics for an awning company and partially building/designing the sets for a burgeoning haunted attraction. At Columbia College, he told his figure drawing teacher that if he wanted advice from anyone, he'd take it from someone who didn't settle for a teaching job.
From there, Zylo lost a great deal of interest in fine art, and was only pleased by gritty, abstract, accidental, and primitive art. He published various zines called “Achtongue Fingers”, which were rife with manic, insomnia-laden free-association xerox ballpoint/college-ruled charm, and he focused on experimental music, writing, radio Djing, and curating events, unable to look at commercial art seriously. In 2006, he was invited to take part in a group exhibition at Peter Jones Gallery, wherein he contributed 3 pieces which collaged various pieces from women's magazines. At that gallery, his sketch book that he'd been carrying around for 5 years was stolen,and it was hard for him to get back into art yet again, in any capacity, but he still did abstract watercolors and collages along with designing the cover art or flyers for his experimental music releases. Almost two years ago, Karina Natis and a number of other people in Arvo's life fought cancer around the same time with varying degrees of success. When he was asked to contribute a piece of art for Natis's benefit, instead of doing one piece, he did 13. Finally, they are being exhibited here.
The series, “Velcro Bismol”, can also be said to have taken influence from the vulgar parade Monsanto is having with mutant food and the FDA, and a number of wild dreams Arvo has had for several years that he says would put John Carpenter's THE THING to shame, but it could also be a reflection of what he'd call a “Soul Dysphoria”, a feeling of being trapped in the body, of being a passive observer of a shell in the mirror, and so forth. For months, Arvo's apartment was strewn with hundreds of women's magazines, entire corners designated for different portions of paper faces and bodies. It was an ongoing, unflinching nightly commitment. It culminated in what could quite literally be termed “abstract expressionism”, because several different Frankenstein pieces of mostly graphically modified, blank-eyed, aspiring starlets, were warped into something inexpressible, or sometimes otherwise; Amorphous blobs of Hans Bellmer-esque glamour nightmares.
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