I awoke at dawn, my third morning in Miami, and decided to walk to the beach. Something felt right and I was energetic. When I arrived at the corner of 17th and Ocean, I discovered the big red box my friend Kieran had told me about the other day. Intrigued I walked in to happily encounter an installation of one of my favorite date painters in a gorgeous YSL reddish pink ombré box . The New Yorker based designer/artist Sho Shibuya has been painting covers of the New York Times since the pandemic and these color block paintings are his daily meditation and transcendent commentary on the times we live in. They’re probably my favorite works of this period in history. Stumbling upon this show was an equally wonderful moment, a chance to encounter the kindred spirit of someone else that struggles through each day disciplined in capturing their personal observation of history in a tightly constrained framework. The show collects 55 of the pieces and also features 2 pieces highlighting September 26, 1966 and September 22, 2021, commemorating the brand’s first Rive Gauche ready-to-wear boutique in Paris.
As I meandered through the show, I stopped at dates that also had meaning to me and I wondered what others had made on these specific moments? At some point soon, all of us time painters need to gather together our works and show them collaged together. @Sho, let’s make it happen!
I walked down to the sand and ran into a man we had met on the dock of Rosa De La Cruz’s house 2 days earlier, meditating. On the dock, he had taken our picture and stood with me as support as a family crowded it and I remained still, while feeling claustrophobic. Now he was cross legged in the zone. Alfred was a local, with his long curly hair, and reminded me of South Beach’s own version of The Dude from “The Big Lebowski” with his bike and his ease communing with nature. We told stories as a large beach tractor groomed the sand like an enormous Japanese zen garden and watched the sun rise higher into the sky. Then we parted ways.
Alone, I sat on the sand and remembered exactly a year ago I did my first group painting performance. While I’ve been painting the date since October of 2020 and painting daily since 2017, it wasn’t until December 1, 2020 that it occurred. I had mailed postcards around the world to the people on the call. Together on a Zoom, I turned on Marvin Gaye’s “Where Are We Going?” and took my first group through my painting prompt. It was a liberating moment in my life and maybe the first time I felt confident to share my open canvas ideas with others. Back on the sand, I scratched the date through the surface. 220.127.116.11.1, a perfect sequence of code, on, off, on, off, on. I spoke, “Today is December 1, 2021. It is World AIDS Day. It is a year anniversary of Today together.” I stood up and left the date intact and then wandered back to begin Wednesday in Miami.
“Tell me where are we going? Oh oh, What’s the future showing?” Marvin Gaye.