STATUS UPDATE: Some Serious J.U.I.C.E. Work in Milwaukee, And Just Can't Wait To Get On The Road Again!

My wonderful readers, I fear that in my absence, I may have lost my voice a bit. Please, rest assured, that I don't just think you're a part of my life that I can just walk in and out of like a grocery store on "free sample day." In fact, as I work to ready myself mentally for the next big trip, and the 5 days of stressful preparation that remain before our latest grand departure, it's among the highest of my concerns that your interest is still intact.
So as I expect your all a bit irked about me floating in and out of the lofty responsibility I have claimed, being the outlining and "narritive-isation" (I know that word isn't technically real, relax) of my life as it pertains to the vague yet prophetic notion of "the american dream," and me and my comrade's great journey, struggle, and observations along the way- since I can understand your feelings of cyber-abandonment, I think it is necessary to preface the sudden burst of activity that will be taking place on "TLGaJ" blog hence forth, with a posting that will bring you up to speed on life in milwaukee the past 2 months or so (because lets face it, I'm sure you're all immensely concerned).

So where exactly did I leave off with you fine folks? I believe I was cash-lessly struggling to find a restaurant job because my adventures in Austin Texas drained me of my last 300 bucks (from the initial 1100 I had began traveling with- not too bad). I returned to Milwaukee dreading the idea of going back to the kitchen, and after an interview with Trocadero, they confirmed that I would have a place in their kitchen upon re-opening the restaurant several weeks later. I had several weeks to kill, and luckily for me, The Great B.O. (Brian, my traveling buddy through N.C. and Florida and MN ETC.) had been detailing cars for longer than he liked, so he came to me offering to pick me up from Milwaukee the next day, with 300 bucks and his new ACCORD that was great on gas. We had our fun from N.M. to Vegas, and this whole extent was detailed in the last post I put up (if you care to read about it).
After we had our fun, and inevitably drained what we had left for money in Vegas, I decided it would be best for me to get back to Milwaukee so I wouldn't miss my cooking opportunity in the kitchen of Trocadero for there re-opening (after all, I needed to put a few checks together if I was expecting to head back on the road during the rapidly approaching summer). The Great B.O. on the other hand, wanted to try his hand at making it out in Vegas, and inevitably trying to pursue one of his many life dreams, which is becoming a professional poker player. He got someone to float him a hundred bucks for cheap food, and to print out some resume's, and he was determined to pound the pavement looking for ANY job at all that would get him started.
After he and I had been living on the road via backpack and tent, living out of the ACCORD was practically like a mansion. It somehow relieved the essential lack of placement a person struggles with when essentially living homeless by choice, and it gives a person a safe comfortable place they can call home, and retreat to when the world just really seems to have it out for you. B.O. made it for nearly a month trying his hardest to find a job, and after a lead he had in working for a car lot turned him down after several interviews, he decided to go back to Minnesota to make some cash detailing cars again.
His efforts certainly weren't fruitless, (at least by standards of virtue, and growth) however, it proved to have been a difficult endeavor for many other people in his life to accept or appreciate as an experience that was fundamentally changing his perspectives on life and it's meaning. We have both lent a certain amount of sophomoric futility to the ambition of our journey thus forth, often times purely because of how difficult it is sometimes, for us to appreciate this personal growth, when in the presence of so many that can't appreciate the- "Not all who wander are lost," point of view. I think this is something that in our departure this Tuesday, we must either work to overcome, or come to terms with.
Anyhow, The Great B.O. went back to Minnesota to detail cars after almost a month in the accord on his own. OF COURSE, routine J.U.I.C.E. sessions took place via conference call, but really, a month of being on your own, and living in an ACCORD in an unknown city, must have been similar to the voluntary solitary confinement of a monk (except it was a month, not years... Ok maybe not that similar but still, tough).

MEANWHILE, IN MILWAUKEE, I was a week away from starting my cooking job, and although I am quite passionate about cooking, I was sincerely bummed to have to get back in the kitchen after only 7 months of traveling. After being an unproductive, depressed, baby for a week- I decided I needed to use my time in Milwaukee to really be productive in my visual arts practice, especially since it was so difficult to keep up with when traveling constantly (asides from photography). I was living in my girlfriend Chassy's apartment in Riverwest, and via CRAIGSLIST (of course!!), I found that there was an open call for artists that was happening at the "Pritzlaff Building," a wonderful warehouse space that had been known to often times host art shows. They were looking for artists to show in their next exhibitions, and mentioned it could be an on going opportunity. I studied the rhetoric of the Craigslist Posting many times (a skill that has strangely, really gotten me allot of opportunities), and after determining that the general demeanor of the post was reflective of a prominent opportunity, and of a clearly professional nature, I immediately began a strategized (seriously spell-check? that's not a word either?! I'm done living by your rules) a STRATEGIZED review of photos, resume's, bio's, and artists statements, in order to put together a comprehensive artist's packet that I could be confident in.
I showed up looking quite suave, and buried any nervousness I had, deep into my suddenly rigid posture. I was ready to impress, and prepared to throw down- but I had no idea for what I was really in for. I was about to meet one of two characters that would have an immense impact on my time in Milwaukee, and I suspect, my story over-all. "MAYOR KEN," and "PONOS OF THE NORTH," A.K.A. Aaron, will have extensive character profiles that are coming soon, but in the meantime, I will assure you with honesty that their role in this brief outline is tragically understated.
I entered the Pritzlaff building, and met Mayor Ken, who was more than cordial. We talked avidly about my portfolio, and began to touch briefly on our diverse backgrounds. He was completely excited about all of my works, and especially appreciated the importance I put in the process and concept of my work. I was spinning with excitement to see that someone was actually showing interest in some of my more "gallery challenging" conceptual work, and was interested in showing diverse mediums such as video installation, or performance art as well. As we got to talking and feeding off of each others energy, I mentioned my restaurant job that would be starting in a few days. Ken, having come to Milwaukee after completing his culinary degree in NYC- was quite understanding of the dilemma between my studio practice, and the enduring hours of the restaurant business.
To make a long story short, Ken expanded on all of the things they had going on recently with their gallery, as well as their design firm, "iNViDiA Design," and I quickly began to express an interest in contributing my efforts to both aspects of their partnership. Ken said he would talk to his partner, and call me back the next day, and the next thing I heard from them, was that they wanted to meet me for lunch to discuss some options. Although this whole process wasn't so cut and dry- they decided to hire me for both of their endeavors, and brought me in on ground level of their business. I found a position with them that expanded my horizons personally, professionally, and artistically, and it turned out that leaving Milwaukee would be much harder than I thought.

In my short time here, I landed a job in a design firm, got to organize art shows, showed in several venues with all sorts of new work that I made, including a few paintings, sculptures, a video installation, and a 2 minute short that screened at the "FIRESTARTER FILM FESTIVAL!" I tried out for a commercial for Pottawatomie Casino, landed the role, AND made 400 bucks out of it, I successfully SOLD a piece of art (my work is generally, quite unappealing to the art collector, so that was a small victory), I wrote 2 comprehensive proposals that were BOTH accepted- one for "The 2010 Milwaukee Performance Art Showcase," a performance piece I am VERY excited about, AND, one for the first actual implementation of "The Cell Phone Photo Gallery," my very first debut in the role of curator, and within a self constructed/designed gallery layout...
Within this entirely massive mess of productivity, I didn't end up writing a damn thing though- I am just now, FINALLY getting back in touch with the initial beginning's of the in process manuscript for the novel, and my initial winter efforts to get some sort of writing job where I could make some money while traveling, are at this point, completely abandoned. Oh, AND I got myself a ticket for "Public Indecency," because I peed in the alley when I was drunk. In the end, I couldn't do it all, but I am more than pleased with what I did accomplish here in my brief Milwaukee stay.
You'll be happy to know, that I did manage to photograph the shit out of just about everything along the way, so here are some random pics that I pulled out from my wonderful time here in Milwaukee. Thanks so much to everyone who has been supportive of my efforts, and F it, to those who haven't as well- I feel like the happiest person in the world, and I can't wait to head West this Tuesday. I will be trying to keep up with a 3 times a week pace on the blog, maybe even more.
Keep following, and I will begin filling in ASAP on some of the MANY stresses that are coming along with our latest departure, our newest crew of 3, and our new home, the Le Sabre. Me and B.O. are hip to the difficulties of doing this by now, but it should be worth following how the ever so cute Chastaine Tallon adapts to life on the road. Enjoy the pics, and keep checking back with me!

Until We Meet Again...

Joseph R. Reeves

PLEASE take the single minute to click on the FOLLOW option on the top right of the page, it means allot to know who's listening- NOT the facebook one, the OTHER one :)

Here is The Great B.O. getting the last use out of my mini laptop, before I leave Las Vegas. Not having a laptop can really make survival difficult- strangely, it is a major tool in being able to live on the whim, travel free/cheaply, find opportunities, and of course, keep a steady blog for you fine people to read! If you have a converter for your car lighter, you can run most any appliance, and this makes it simple for the dunkin' donuts with free Wi Fi, to become an office on the go, for the advanced hobo! Poor B.O. already looks lonely (sigh)...

Another strange dream of my strange traveling mate B.O., is finding himself a Mexican wife, and having tons of kids. I'm not sure if this is racially insensitive or whatever, but if it is, I assure you that B.O. has nothing but fondness inspiring this dream. This is the little "card," I made for him to put in his car and keep him company on those lonely nights- and of course- to keep the J.U.I.C.E. flowing strong! J.U.I.C.E is a program designed in High School by myself, and Mark Olsen. It stands for Join Us In Creating Excellence. It is a highly motivated, un-losing, way to live life fully, and all members of the crew have J.U.I.C.E. Tatoos! I highly suggest joining us in creating excellence!

Here's a lovely picture of Miss Sara Bott, taken when we took a short trip up north to "Mountain" WI. I got a TON of awesome pictures this night, and put a bunch of them up here.

Here's another epically ridiculous shot of myself and The Great B.O. being the idiots that we most often times are- especially when beer and campfires are involved...

Using simple techniques with my complex camera, I continue to play with aspects of light, motion, and capturing the "still" as "un-still." These fire photos really turned out exceptional, and I love playing with the camera in such a way where control is partial, and intent is incidental.

Ohhh isn't she lovely?! Here's a cute candid of my lovely Chassy, the latest adventurer to join our journey! She hates the photo, and I think that's a bunch of nonsense- she looks adorable, right? Don't answer that unless you want a black-eye. I can be the jealous type.

PROFOUND! Highly expressive of this turbulent point in all of our lives, and just tons of fun to boot. I'm not sure what I'll have for an excuse when I take these kinds of photos and I'm 80, but than again, maybe I'll still have that turbulent of a life... One can only hope...

Here's a mysterious seeming one of good friend and fellow artist, Alec Reagan.

A huge part of my time in Milwaukee, upon immediate arrival, was being there to assist Chassy with her highly ambitious, and labor intensive Senior Thesis Show at MIAD. She kicked ass with the installation, and the artists book she designed, "Behind Step One." I'd like to say I helped more than I did, but you know how fussy artists and designers can be- this girl barely slept! hopefully I was sufficient in my minor tasks, and my efforts to be supportive of this stressful end of the year exhibition. GOOD GOING CHASSY!

I made it to a few fashion shows to take pictures while in Milwaukee, and now have a ton of photos to sort through and add to my collection of models in motion. The setting of a fashion show is a perfect place to study and capture the choreographed motion's of models in intriguing lighting (and social) situations- always tons of fun, and awesome results.

One of my favorites! I would love to blow this up to larger scale.

Here's "Mayor Ken," and "Ponos Of The North," (A.K.A. Aaron) pouring some concrete for a huge Kitchen counter top that they designed. I not only got to do a TON in the physical labor for iNViDiA Design, but I also started their blog (who'd'a thunk it?!), and therefore, documented everything in site! If your curious about checking it out, its at ARTdesignDEFINED.BLOGSPOT.COM

Here's me and the boys throwing down some more cement- see, I do work too!

Blank Canvas Syndrome... Not a Canvas though, I've been in the habit of using panels quite a bit lately.

Here's a video installation I did for a show, called "Waste Not, Want Not," each of those pieces of paper contains ONE of those words from the phrase, and it was repeated in sequence for around 12 hours straight, and than crumpled and thrown to waste. I'm not sure it was executed as good as it could have been, but those are the kinds of realizations you can only have after getting the essential critiques/reactions of a viewer.

As you can see, I found something productive to do with my public indecency ticket. Well, at least somewhat productive. If your wondering, I had to do writing assignments when I screwed up as a kid, so I'm trying to use that technique to learn my lesson. It didn't work.

Here, as an extension of the writing assignment, I sanded a circle into the panel for 6 hours. I still didn't learn too much though, in fact, I'll probably pee in a few alleys on this next trip- hopefully I don't get caught though! How did I take this sweet picture you ask? Self timer and tri-pod baby! Moving on up here!

One of the first jobs we got when I began working for iNViDiA Design, was the interior design elements, and whopping 15 piece bar for Ryan Braun's new restaurant. After our small team spent a week of sleeping almost none, and lifting over 50,000 pounds of concrete- there was a HUGE party, and I got to meet RYAN BRAUN himself! He even signed my bus ticket- not too bad eh?

This is another photo of the gallery layout I set up for "The Cell Phone Photo Gallery-" I was especially pleased with the way the the space was directed, and the way people moved through it when viewing over 600 cell phone pictures that were put up! Some of these were absolutely priceless! Be sure to follow my art blog, JOSEPHreevesART.BLOGSPOT.COM if you would like to see the full documentation of all of these pieces, along with essential writing on the concept, process, and implementation. I won't have the new stuff up for another week or so, but very soon!

Another greatly successful element of "The Cell Phone Photo Gallery," was the unique conversations that took place when everyone saw the massive amounts of anonymous cell phone photos in place!

I just loved this highly dramatic pose- body painting was featured at this event obviously... I was only looking at the painting, I swear it!

Here's an in process photograph of a newer piece titled, "Counting The Stars In The Sky, (1843 to be exact)" I basically drew as many stars as I could using 3 blue sharpies until the ink ran dry, and it turned out to be 1843. This is a photo of the work when it reached 1500... JOSEPHreevesART.BLOGSPOT.COM to see more!

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