Sunday, May 20, 2012

in country (indio pt.4)

 i think i started the conversation because there was an "O" magazine laying on the table.

  "how lost in your own self worth and out of touch with reality do you have to be to own a magazine and only have yourself on the cover of every issue?"

  everybody looked at the cover shot of oprah shamlessly mugging in some rediculous golden, bejuweled, and bedazzled getup and gave a little inward chuckle to themselves because they never thought about it that way before. after we all sat down, a discussion on oprah winfrey started as we all passed the magazine around. each of us flipping through it for a second and adding some juvenile level of vandalizm to the cover photo (blacked out eyes,missing teeth, devil horns, snake tongue, beard, mustasch, black circles around the blacked out eyes like she got knocked the fuck out) before we passed it along to the next person.

  it was strange because you could sense a very faint undertone of hostility in everybodys take on oprah. like they were begining to suspect that oprah realy isnt famous for anything other than being famous and what they once viewed as an example of american success is now starting to look more like shameless oppulance.

  although rose took it to another level

  "you know i really cant stand her...." every body stoped talking and looked over at her ....."i saw her speak at the mcallum once, i wasnt impressed."

  rose was one of those old school latin catholics and when i say old school i mean old ass lady so you have to understand that her demenor was completely jovial when she said this

  "and shes so black. my goodness. shes even blacker than that vending machine.", and then she pointed at the snack machine in the corner.
  "i dont have anything against black people but i think its ugly when they are that dark and she was just so ......... BLACK."

  everybodys jaw dropped. they were shocked and speachless. everybody except me. i was cracking the fuck up. i recognized this kind of talk from older spanish folks but i wasnt used to hearing it out side of some family get together wher a drunkass uncle or grandfather starts blathering on about 'race relations'. it was that old time racism that most of our grand parents would veiw as something in the ball park of "traditional values" rather than biggoted.

  its creepy and kind of adorable

  but that old time shit runs deep. those are some feudes that go back to the great depression. when blacks started comeing from the east to compete with spanish for jobs.

  old chicks like rose are telling you what their dads once told them

  nothings gonna change them at this point

  we just wait for them to die

  i live in an apartment so theres no real historical claim to these parts except the rent. people here move in and then they get the fuckout. the only race distinction in these parts is known as 'low income motherfucker'. white people, brown, people, black people, pisas, and gangsters. new parents starting from the bottom because 9 months ago they had no idea they were gonna be parents. hot milfs in nurseing gear surviveing with their daughters or sons on their own. dudes payin child support for all them babies and slingin some shit on the side. this is the whole paycheck to paycheck set and theres a yard sale every weekend because some motherfuckers cant wait for that check.

  my neighbor (shes gone now) was here because she couldnt live with her sons father on accounta he liked to slap her up from time to time. so her and her boy stayed next door. the father came by to see her one day and they started fucking. then they started fighting. then they took turns sobbing at one another. first her......then him. then they started fucking again. when the 1st of the month came around that apartment was empty.

thats the power of dick

  that seems to be the standard here. people fighting and fucking. nobody seems to be happy unless their fucking. and when their not fucking they silently stare at the person they just violated and say to themselves "at least im not alone". but all of this is everybody elses business all up in my shit. because of thies cheaply constructed walls, all their lives are on display in my living room. like when my neighbors kids get in trouble..... i feel like im in trouble.

  the curtain doesnt go down at night either

  thers a nocturnal set. the tweekers that dont wake up untill the sun goes down and the birds stop chirping. they dont see the active world. they wake up to a city that has closed up shop for the evening and entertain themselves with each other because they are the only people around. you hear them all night. constantly in and out. they dont go anywhere except outside and then back in. speaking just above a whisper as they hatch up some hair brained tweeker plan. thats my other neighbor.... and i wish someone would take her baby away from her.

  so then its the hollidays when everbody takes a break from all this shit. they go to an aunt or uncles house. eat food, drink, and listen to the concerns of their older realitves who are worried about them because they live in a 'nigger neighborhood'. ofcourse what they dont understand is that neighborhood is gone now because the city of indio bulldozed the motherfucker.

  aint nothin left but us poor people

  the true melting pot of america simmers in her low income appartments


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Violent societies being eaten alive by hungry wolves disguised as lovable cartoon characters and disciples: The Date Farmers

The Date Farmers are an artistic duo who tell the story of being human in a society boiling over in media, violence, and unceasing advertisement. They illustrate an ever-present and growing confusion between different ideas in culture, values, and family.  As we progress as a society built upon instant gratification, the internet, materialism, and new technologies the lines often become tangled and blurred, and the result is misconstrued conceptions of comfort and love. 

By blending seemingly unrelated items or figures into their work (numerous paintings depict characters such as Hello Kitty and Jesus Christ pasted side by side onto a canvas) we realize that both figures are a product of obsessive marketing, greed, and power. Yet we have grown up together with these seemingly harmless figures and we find comfort and strength and happiness in their commonplace role in our culture.

Through their work, The Date Farmers tell numerous stories of individual human beings, often haunting, eerily charming, they give an identity to the man forgotten. Each story sheds light on man's struggle for acceptance, love, and success while relentlessly attacking pop culture influences which often leak into and taint the mind of the man already fighting towards triumph, the man already busy and confused by spirituality, religion, career, and education. Each narrative is distinct, but their works conceptualize fears and ideas that every human being can relate to.

The artists collage found journal entries from unknown authors, depicting thoughts and fears that we would only feel comfortable expressing through a personal narrative, never meant to be read by anyone, only providing proof of our struggles in order for individual growth. The Date Farmers eloquently harmonize the sound of human suffering and happiness. Nothing separates us but the boundaries we have created and the walls we have built to divide ourselves.

Armando Lerma of the Date Farmers kindly agreed to answer a few questions for us.

Kylie Knight: Why do you feel the need to create art?

Armando Lerma: I have always loved art, my love for art has grown throughout the years and has developed into a lifestyle, and art is meditative and allows me to participate. Art lets me know I’m alive.

KK: Is there anything you would change in terms of the way the art world currently functions?

AL: The art world is out of my hands, all I can do is focus on my art and everything else will fall into place (whatever that means).

KK: What are some of the earliest images you can remember drawing as a child?

AL: I remember drawing images from the encyclopedia, Picasso particularly.

KK: Much of your work collages found objects such as garbage and memorabilia, what intrigues you about this process?

AL: I enjoy being creative, I like turning things that people throw away into art.

KK: What type of artwork were you both working on individually before The Date Farmers became a creative union? Has it varied much?

AL: I think we both spent a lot of time learning how to draw and paint before we met each other; we did a lot of bad art that we were able to learn from.

KK: As you continue to progress as an artist do you find inspiration easier to find? More difficult?

AL: Inspiration comes easy- it’s the perspiration part that is more difficult, but even that comes easy when you have a strong desire and my desire is strong.

KK: Through years of constant shows and traveling The Date Farmers still manage to find a home here in the Coachella Valley. What is it about this desert that consistently lures you?

AL: The desert is home, my family is here, it is familiar, I can focus here, and it’s beautiful.

KK: What can we expect next from The Date Farmers?

AL: I'm not too sure, but I know it will have something to do with art.

For more information about the Date Farmers, please visit

Aaron Hanson Interview

The first thing I notice about Aaron Hansen is his energy. It seems to permeate from his every pore, it seems to radiate from his eyes, his smile catches the light and it’s contagious.  Pulling up to his home tucked away on a lot of land out in Desert Hot Springs, I spend a minute appreciating the mural painted on the outside wall encompassing his living quarters. It’s a geometric whirlpool which seems to capturing time and space onto the confines of a few feet of wall. It’s remarkable. My car bounces down the dirt road towards his gate, I avoid large rocks and holes and eventually park next to a few tumbleweeds, or at least I think they’re tumbleweeds, once I turn off my headlights it’s dark, there are no streetlights, no homes lit up to welcome visitors, only the stars. I manage to navigate my way onto his property, we greet, and he shows me his shed which is converted into a screen printing workshop, he has his own brand of clothing and design under the name Ancient Youth, a brand promoting self-awareness, positivity, and connectivity.

Aaron Hansen is a next level thinker. He doesn’t live or think in the now, he thinks a lot farther than that. He’s taking a leap of faith and his latest project entitled “Inspire the 10” is hoping to motivate you to take a leap of faith also. His objective is simple: to paint murals from California to Florida on walls facing the 10 Freeway. He is hoping to set out for the second time on his journey across our nation within the next couple of months and will be having his second upcoming fundraising event at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.

Kylie Knight: What are you hoping to achieve by the completion of your mural project along the I-10? Will it ever be complete?

Aaron Hansen: With "Inspire the 10" I’m hoping to inspire anyone that hears of the process of the project or sees the murals to do something amazing. It would be nice to energize people and motivate them to supersede their past-selves. It’s also a test for myself that I hope to accomplish, a kind of lead-by-example deal; become the change you want to see. I’m not sure if it will ever be completed, that’s a good question. I guess it’s like any other life purpose journey thing, hard to find the end or beginning to it. I think I can only answer that once it’s complete. (Laughs.) 

KK: How many murals have you been able to complete and where can we see them?

AH: So far I have two murals in Palm Springs, 1 in Casa Grande Arizona, 2 in New Mexico, and 1 in El Paso. I’m going to start including ones right off the freeway, and that would give me 2 more, one in Houston and one in Desert Hot Springs. All together I have 8 murals completed, they are all viewable on my website and the 2 in Palm Springs are on Garnett Rd. just before Whitewater. The mural in Desert Hot Springs is on Indian Ave. just before Pierson St.

 KK: Do you have any locations in mind or do you scout them out as you go about your journey?

AH: I started the project real strict, every wall had to face the 10 freeway, but I’ve found that it’s really difficult to find walls that are visible and paintable that face the actual freeway, so now the search is opening up to walls off the 10. It’s all exploration, this is the first time I’ve been venturing this far East on the 10 so it’s mainly driving during the day in new territories, scouting, then asking the owner and hopefully painting (laughs).

KK: Tell us about some of your experiences being a traveling artist. Why does the road call your name?

AH: There are too many experiences to list. A lot of new friends, other travelers, and art and music enthusiasts, grumpy wall owners (laughs). One thing I have realized is that once you set your mind to a certain frequency, you encounter other people tuned into the same wave. I’ve known this for quite some time, but on the last trip it really solidified itself into a new understanding and way of existing. It’s one thing to know of and another to understand and teach, you know? A lot of faith grew on the last trip too; I witnessed many mini miracles that really just made me not worry about anything. Once again, things I already knew, but it’s just on such a stronger level of practice now. Not sure why the road is always calling, I think it’s necessary to travel with your gift and spread the love/light throughout the land though. It’s just a vital part of life, to relate to all living things in different places, teach and learn, share, experience and things like that. I also feel that it’s important to evolve our species in recording new experiences, new thoughts, new relationships, bringing new dreams into the physical. It’s a responsibility for people who have been entrusted with the gift of belief/faith in their self, enough to translate the source through their art to share their gift with others by showing or through teaching. The universe is always hiring, there is always a job to do, it’s just that people won’t move if the money isn’t there. Anything you need will be provided once you show the universe/self that you can use the gift for the greater good. Employees of the universe get paid in friends and sunsets.

For more information about Aaron Hansen or to contact please visit