Thursday, February 28, 2013

Skins and Stones collage design contest

Our mailing address is:
Skins and Stones
319 Lafayette Street, New York, NY
New York, NY 10012

Art of the New Age

This morning my friend John Park shared this on his Facebook.  I've seen many artistic creations using computers but this one turned on that big lightbulb in my brain.  This is the art of now and of the future.  We have this amazing tool called a computer.  It can be a large box that sits on a desk or table with a separate or integrated monitor.  It can be a portable unit that most people refer to as a laptop.  Most are just as powerful as a desktop at this point but allow two, three or a hundred users to congregate and collaborate.  Then came the evolution of cell phones and their big sisters, tablets.

In the cell phone world; social networks, photo apps, and media messaging have become art makers.  The art is then shared around the world in nana-seconds.  Tablets have become not only for traditional visual artists but for fashion designers, lighting designers and others.  Of course they are the handiest of gadgets for writers and musicians.

Yes, the combination of traditional live art and computers is the art of the New Age. It will be interesting to see where we go with it.

p.s. I also learned that all of these dancers auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance last year.  One of them, Cyrus, made it to the top two.  I also want to through in that I didn't used to appreciate urban art, especially dance and music.  Then my son went to middle and high school in New Haven.  I now love great street dance, hip-hop and even some rap.  I needed to experience it in context.

Below is another example of the combination of computers and live art from my friend Hans Haveron:

Video/ Projection mapping onto Hans Haveron art:Titled: "Dragon's Pearl" from Albertico Acosta on Vimeo.

Edit-addtion 3/3/13 Here is yet another technological art installment that utilizes computers in costuming, lighting and syncing the track to the lights.  Very impressive

Projection mapping by Dandy Punk

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A birthday gift for you

One of the prime traits of the members of the Tribes are their huge, generous hearts.  These folks live the hippie spirit of sharing all things; their art, their food, their shelter and their love.  Today is Ms. Shannon Shiang's birthday and like so many others I've gotten to know she'd like share by giving you a present on this special day.  See the flyer below, get the code and then go to Skins and Stones and buy something for yourself, a family member, friend or maybe just give it away some day to someone you just met.  Share the birthday love.  Then swing by Shannon's twitter or Facebook and leave her a note to say Thank you and Happy Birthday.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bill Haveron-a lone wolf of the tribe

Hans, Charlotte and Bill
For the past couple of months I've been getting to know Hans Haveron's artist father Bill in preparation for a promotion of their upcoming father-son gallery show in Dallas.  I have to admit that initially I was a little scared because Bill's art told a story in a language that was kind of foreign to me.  However, that has changed completely.

Bill Haveron grew up in and around the honky tonks outside of Dallas. He was always a bit of a loaner, not fitting into any group or gang.  At times he says he felt like his own worst enemy. However, he did discover his talents for creating visual art.  Talents that were recognized and tutored by well-known members of the Texas gallery elite.

But as time past, Bill also learned the dark side of that world. Dog-eat-dog, favors and games to get works promoted and always in the public eye.  Art as one's vocation took all the romance out of the creative process, something Haveron detested. It took a heavy toll on him trying to maintain "success"; a term along with "failure" that Bill never wants to have to consider again in his work.

All of that drove Bill Haveron to become a bit of an artistic recluse.  These days he creates the art that is inside of him mainly to express it for himself and not for any audience in particular.  He will gladly tell his story to anyone who is truly interested in listening.  It's not that he won't share his art but he now creates for the sake of putting what he is feeling on canvass or wood without the potential resale value lurking in the back of his mind.

As with many fine artists, music has its role in Bill's creative process.  Inspired by the Fats Domino "Let The Four Winds Blow", Haveron refers to his studio as The Chapel of The Four Winds.  Music plays inside all the time.  Bill has a very broad musical pallette but says rap and jazz are his brussell sprouts or liver. On a side note, his least favorite food is actually cilantro.   He thinks that his Texas upbringing may have contributed to the fact that there is some Country-Western music that he enjoys.  He is a bit digitally-analog, opting for CDs rather than plugging in an iPod or internet radio to keep melodies flowing through the studio all the time.

Preparing for the upcoming "Raven's Riddle" gallery show has offered Bill the chance to reflect on his own career, learn more about his son's and get excited for this new chapter.  He looking forward not only to the show but the time that Hans' will be spending at "The Chapel" preparing for it. Looking at Bill's work with new eyes, he tends to tell the story of times recently passed or current.  He reveals things and wakes people up.  Hans seems to capture what is, hopefully, to come. He gives audiences something to look forward to, something to strive for.  This has the potential to result in a very balanced show, yin and yang.

For more information on Bill Haveron visit and about Raven's Riddle visit Kirk Hopper Gallery

Monday, February 18, 2013

Starlit birthday key

Completing circles is usually a very good thing and tends to bear even better things in their completion.  The circle of Sepia's key has been a bit of a triangulated puzzle.  Initially Hans Haveron painted "Sepia's Secret" which shares a deep truth about the creative process.  Then came his friend, Adam Lambert who was already well acquainted with Hans' work and owned a piece or two.  "Sepia" spoke to him and he purchased the other half of the "Keyhole series" and that painting hangs in his home today.

But Adam felt the need to keep the "Secret" with him all the time and chose the element of the key, which unlocks the Eye of Wisdom, to have inked into his forearm.  This drew the attention of another friend of Hans', Shannon Shiang, jewelry designer from New York City.  Shannon had already taken another element of one of  Haveron's works, the scarab, and replicated it in three dimensions of bronze.  Seeing the key separated from the painting she was inspired to turn it into an actual key.  She would bring a number of samples of Sepia's key with her to Burning Man to show Hans and Adam in 2011. One of the prototypes was gifted to Adam's boyfriend, Sauli Koskinen.

When I last visited Shannon in her studio, the evening that Adam's sophomore album "Trespassing" dropped, she showed me a very large version of Sepia's key cast in sterling silver that she hoped to gift to Lambert at some point.

Enter the "Starlighters".  This fan group formed in 2009 after the launch of Adam's official website.  They were people who wished to dedicate themselves to helping keep Lambert's brand new star shining brightly in the sky of current pop/rock music.  These fans are at the forefront of requesting airplay of Adam's music, voting in various media contests and sharing their love of Adam and his music with as many people as possible.

As with many individual fans and fan groups, Starlighters have participated in the annual charity giving that Lambert initiated on his 28th birthday.  Over the past three years Adam has asked fans to donate to Donors Choose and Charity Water in lieu of sending him gifts.  Besides spotlighting charities for his birthday Lambert has also been a supporter of The Trevor Project and Cyndi Lauper's True Colors Foundation.  This year's birthday gifts went to an organization founded by a man who became part of Adam's career almost by accident.  Lambert got his fanbase behind Nile Rodger's "We Are Family Foundation" which encourages youth and young adults to help their peers and children.  Starlighters added their donations to those of all the other fans in the attempt to raise $31,000 for WAFF (at last count the total was over $45,000).

But this fan group wanted to do something else special to show their love for Adam, something with a lot of symbolism.  The discussion started in October of last year.  Carter Setterlund, who became the coordinator of the project, suggested going to Shannon and Hans about the creation of a special version of Sepia's Key and then contacted Shannon about the project.  Shannon suggested the large silver key along with making it extra-special by adding precious stones to the design.  Further conversation between the two resulted in using the lyric "Stars in my black and blue skies" from the song "Underneath" on Adam's latest album and selecting white and black diamonds and sapphires.
From there Shannon and Carter went into action to spread the word and raise the funds for the project, all on the q.t.  They wanted this to be a complete surprise to Adam.  Everyone was told not to post things on social networks or public message boards.  Communication was done via emails, private messages and by phone.  Shannon reached out to customers of Skins & Stones who had previously ordered keys.  Starlighters communicated with all their members.  Eventually, they not only raised money, some members also donated actual stones for the pendant.

Meanwhile Hans created the special casket the key would be boxed in.  The fan group also put together a "birthday book" filled with letter and messages that was compiled by Carter and has gorgeous cover art done by Lucas Vitek.

Then came the final stage of the project-actually delivering the key and the book to Adam.  The hope was to do so before Adam left for his 6-week Asian/European tour last week.  Again, Hans and Shannon were called into action.  Everything ended up coming to down to wire.  So close in fact that the gift was delivered at LAX while Adam was waiting to board his flight to Seoul, South Korea.  Shannon had flown in from New York and Hans delayed his trip to Texas.  Thankfully all the Powers of Light were watching over this process and the key and book were successfully delivered and Adam was totally surprised.  According to my own conversation with Hans, Adam loved the gift and Shannon told Carter that Adam was really moved by the sentiment and symbolism of the gift and noted how sweet all involved truly are.

Adam showed his appreciation to everyone who is a part of this gift by wearing the key at his first concert of the Asian leg of this tour in Seoul, South Korea.  Below are photos shot by one of the people at this performance.  This morning he tweeted, "Special thanks to @Skinsandstones and all the fans who chipped in for the ferocious skeleton key necklace!! I LOVE it!!!".

I want to sincerely thank Carter, Shannon and Hans for working with me and helping to share this story.

For more information on Shannon Shiang's organic Skins & Stones line visit . There is an on-line store at the site where you can purchase various versions of Sepia's key along with all her other current work in this line.  Shannon has another line, Shiang New York.  These pieces are very unique and sophisticated and are also available for purchase. Hans Haveron's work can be reviewed at  Lovely archival Glicee prints of some of his paintings can be purchased at Fine Art Direct.  Haveron is preparing for the gallery show "Raven's Riddle" which will be his and father, Bill Haveron's first ever father-son show at the Kirk Hopper Gallery in Dallas, TX.  The show opens March 2 and runs through April 13th.