Because it’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in my eyes graffiti is beautiful. For the love it gives me has been forged my heart by the same destructive force that allows me to cope with the pressures created by a social conscience. ~ Rafael Reyes, from Living Dangerously
As part of Cartwheel Art’s participation in ArtExpoSD, and Lisa Derrick’s curation of the Dark Progressivism genre at the fair, artist/musician/author Rafael Reyes will be signing his book, Living Dangerously, on Friday July 25, at 5pm, during ArtExpoSD’s grand opening party. Living Dangerously, illustrated with art from some of San Diego’s major street art figures, is a roman a clef about the gang and graffiti lifestyle Reyes and his friends lived during the height of the San Diego’s most violent street gang period.
Reyes, who grew up as member of the Sherman Grant Hill Park 27 gang, is a true Dark Progressive artist in all the spheres through which he moves. His artwork combines traditional Olmec and Cholo/Chicano imagery with both progressive elements and his own personal symbols, using the forces of dark experience to connect with a larger gnostic vision. His band Prayers, which will be opening the for the Cult in Saturday, July 26 in Riverside (Prayers did several dates with the Cult earlier this year), is credited with creating the Cholo goth genre, melding hard urban street lyrics with melodies that draw on Bauhuas, the Pet Shop Boys, and Christian Death. Prayers’ new EP Gothic Summer available for signing and purchase.
Living Dangerously is not for the faint of heart. It is modern noir, Icepick Slim meets Catcher in the Rye with (if you know your James Joyce erotic subtexts ), some Ulysess thrown in for good measure. It’s got violence and sex and some f-bombs as well–but it also is a poignant, painful story illustrated with some of the strongest street art San Diego has to offer. It’s a very important book–and if you collect books, especially in its first edition.
Please join us July 25 at 5pm for an opportunity to meet Rafael, get a book and/or CD signed and view his art and the art of other Dark Progressive artists at the Cartwheel Art section of ArtExpoSD, Wonder bread Factory, 121 14th St., San Diego.