The Subleaser, 2014


I subleased my studio for a few months to someone I found on Craigslist, someone who had interest in using the studio to live and to advance on a specific art project. He didn't tell me what the project was, nor did I ask. I left the studio for a job in which I was driving back and forth across the country transporting art from gallery to museum to home to gallery, or from studio to gallery or gallery to art fair or from gallery storage to collector. During that period I only made one painting, a small self portrait called Ad.


Two weeks before the sublease period expired I asked the guy living in the studio, a tall blond surfer guy named Lee Martin, about the idea of showing his work while I move back in.


On the morning that the sublease expired, Lee was all moved out and waiting for me at the studio. I knocked on the door at eight in the morning and he answered right away. His hair was longer and blonder and he was wearing thick hemp necklaces and puffing on a vaporizer. He handed over the keys and said see ya man, leaving his mysterious body of work installed in the studio, a space now named Pretend Gallery.


I began moving my stuff back in. The press release I sent out for this project I called The Subleaser hopefully conveyed clearly enough that this moment, this all day thing, was a public art event.


For most of the day it was just me in the studio receiving visitors and talking about Lee's work, a project called Zener Cards.. The first visitor showed up around nine in the morning, an art collector who was at Echo Park Lake reading about The Subleaser in the LA Weekly on the same morning. He had just walked over from the Boathouse Cafe. Brave man; I like that guy, fun guy.


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Zener cards are cards with symbols on one side used to test extrasensory perception (ESP), especially clairvoyance. Developed by psychologist Karl Zener in the early 1930's, results of apparent proof of clairvoyance were discredited when it was discovered that many of the subjects were able to see the symbols through the back of the cards. The subject could also hear and see the experimenter give away subtle clues.

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Zener Cards, oil paint marker, Sharpie, polyester film, and nails, 30" x 40", 2014