Author Archives: jonnybobby

Queror 5

Queror 5, oil on tactical fabric, because like the existential suffering of those who have worn the uniform in war, the uniform never comes off.

Queror 4

Queror 4, oil on tactical fabric, because like the existential suffering of those who have worn the uniform in war, the uniform never comes off.

Queror 3

Queror 3, oil on tactical fabric, because like the existential suffering of those who have worn the uniform in war, the uniform never comes off.

Queror 2

Queror 2, oil on tactical fabric, because like the existential suffering of those who have worn the uniform in war, the uniform never comes off.

Queror 1

Five years ago I began working with veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like me, they’ve survived extreme encounters with history and culture. I wanted my work to engage their unique perspectives while communicating some of the deep indebtedness I felt for their sacrifices.

Inspired by something a young vet suffering from PTSD told me, the Queror portraits are painted directly on tactical fabric used by the US military. Camo forms the fabric that grounds the subject, and like the existential suffering of those who have worn the uniform in war, it never comes off.

Look Away Look Away Dixie Land

As I continue work on the Whistling Dixie series, I thought about Jasper Johns and his white targets.

I decided to revamp the worn-out pop image, so empty in gesture and meaning. I began by cutting up lyrics from “Dixie’s Land” as if I were creating a ramson note. The rest…well, see for yourself!


Why Don’t I Swim Back Home?

More from the Whistling Dixie series…


So why don’t I swim back home?

Because despite insults like this one…which was hurled at me by an ignorant racist in Miami Beach when I was still too intimidated to speak out against hate speech… I can read Hannah Arendt all I want and at the top of my voice without fear or persecution.

Here, I may have been insulted by more than one low-life, but I can breathe free here.

Not so back in Cuba.

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera was jailed by state security agents after staging a group reading of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) at her Havana home, where she’s been held in house arrest for months.

Carolina A. Miranda of The Los Angeles Times‘s reports that the concurrent Havana Biennial is up and running as usual…no boycotts. Why?

I have a theory. Because even though Bruguera’s an internationally recognized artist, she’s female, and not worth all that much. Oh and she’s hispanic too, so again, not as economically valuable. She’s just a spic-chic so yeah, art business as usual.

Some bigotries are more obvious than others. You know?

No No No Target

More new work from what I’m calling the Whistling Dixie series, from The Triumphs.

What, you don’t know The Triumphs? All new master series that like The Last Judgment is full of pockets of inquiries. Think of them as mini-series belonging to the core theme. If you want to see work from The Triumphs anywhere, you’ll have to go to Columbia City Gallery.

Meantime…here’s another piece from Whistling Dixie. Mixed media on target paper. The words come from a sign in a Florida cafe where my father, mother, brother, and I were kicked out of. Yup, all those holes come from my gunshots!


Take the Flag?

A peek at what’s new in the studio! From the Whistling Dixie series.


Some background….This spring, a local curator asked me to contribute to an installation dealing with issues of immigration and discrimination. In the end, he didn’t get the funding, so the work wasn’t installed but I created some interesting pieces.

An indelible aspect of the work is the violent energy embedded in the paper’s history. It is mixed media on real target paper. By the way, the words come from a popular bumper sticker in Miami. They are clearly meant to insult immigrants living in that culturally vibrant and diverse city.

A peek Inside My Art Journal

Czeslaw Milosz’s words…always around and about in the back of my mind. They meander through my art journal, like a guest that came to visit and moved in. I open a door and find them there, looking in a mirror, stretched out on a couch, watering the plants on the window sill.


A Peek Inside My Latest Art Journal

What’s inside my art journal?

A path round and about my subject. Probing it from many different directions.
A trip inside my brain.

Playing with lots of different media.
A sensation in my hands.

Paper folding in and out of the journal with adjacent ideas.
The moment of deepest questioning.

The moment of discovery. Maybe.


The More Digital The World Gets…

the more I yearn for the old-school touch of a hand-made book.

Ok, so I read lots of online magazines and blogs. And yeah, there’s a kindle on my nightstand.

But how I love the pleasures of art journaling and making a book from scratch! Here are a few books I made in the studio. Some to go into shows. Others as gifts for young artists I mentored.

My latest one of a kind will be exhibited along with my video and photos soon. So stay tuned!







The Lamentations exhibited in India

Thank you to Amit Mukhopadhyay who curated me into two shows in India!

Although I wasn’t able to travel to see the installations because of my teaching schedule, I was thrilled to discover new contexts for my work and exhibit with other artists on the international stage.

poster lament event , delhi

My Work Is Included in a Book!

I had a wonderful surprise when I checked my mail today– A book in my mailbox!

“Honey, did you order something for me?” But my husband was as surprised. We opened the box and found a warm letter accompanying a complimentary copy of Convergence: The Art Collection of the National Academy of Sciences.

The book is a limited edition, but will be available as an online version for FREE very soon.  There are 14 essays with a variety of perspectives on the cross-disciplinary discourse between art and science. With LOTS of really amazing art. I’m super thrilled because my work is featured in it!

Is that awfully dorky of me?  Well, I’ve always maintained it’s far better to be happy than cool. And I’m very happy right now!

More experiments with paper cuts

Something else I’ve been playing with, using figures from The Last Judgment. This time I’m working with sculpted paper/Mylar in a shadowbox. Working small at first, with single and multiple figures, just to experiment with the effects.

No, the picture’s not fuzzy.That’s the effect of the cut and folded paper coming in and out of focus as it pressed up against the frosted cover!

Laser cut drawing experiment in the studio

Just a little something I’ve been experimenting with– laser cut drawings. I lifted figures from The Last Judgment, drew them in vector, and took them down to the laser cutter for a looksie. Expensive process! $200 for this small lot, and I want to do the entire 200 figures from the Last Judgment! This small lot is pinned directly on the wall. Ideally, the figures will respond to the architecture of the gallery, and a contour line wall drawing of an explosion will anchor them further. What do you think?

My work is featured on Saatchi homepage!

This is just a little note to let you know that my artwork has been featured on Saatchi Online’s homepage this week!

You can find the link to our homepage here:

My piece shown with the works priced at $500 and under.

Each week Saatchi features artists who display strong work on their site, and as they said in their invitation to show on the homepage “We think yours is beautiful.”


Nominations for 2012 Mayor’s Art Awards!

It’s time to nominate someone for the 2012 Mayor’s Arts Award. I’m nominating Rosita Romero, and encourage you to do so as well! Here’s a partial list of her contributions:

Seattle Art Museum Docent, offering bilingual tours (Since 2008)

Volunteer Park Conservatory docent (Since 2007)

Member of the Seattle Chapter of the Ikebana International Association, participating in the Ikebana flower arrangements for the Seattle Art Museums (SAM and SAAM) (since 1995)

Organizing member of West Edge Sculpture Invitational 2004-2008)

Owned and operated Isis on First Art Gallery (1995-2010)

Juror and panelist throughout Seattle and Washington for exhibits and community art events (Onyx African-American Fine Art Project, Seatac Airport, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Seattle City Hall, Town Hall, Seattle Convention Center, Mexican Consulate, Benaroya Hall)

Organizer of First Invitational Latino Art Festival at Seattle Center during Cinco de Mayo Celebration (2001-2002)

Here’s the link: