"El Guitarrista" by Justin Bua

I enjoy art in all its forms. Whether it be music, sculpture, photography, writing ~ I love it all. But I have some trouble with the artistic lingo. First of all, when someone calls oneself an “artist,” that is just WAY too vague. For example: If somebody plays music, that person’s a musician; if someone sculpts a statue, that person’s a sculptor; a dancer dances; a writer writes; and so on. The thing is, ANY of those people can legitimately call themselves artists, and that can get confusing. “Artist” is an all-encompassing title of art’s many forms, and this can cause misunderstanding, circular arguments and utter pandemonium in an otherwise efficient and productive conversation. Therefore, I would like to enter this plea into the record books of discourse: No longer can people refer to themselves merely as artists alone. In which case, the word “artist” is now somewhat of a preposition in need of a modifier. Hence, if you’re a chef, you’re a culinary artist; if you’re a musician: you’re an aural artist; if you’re a writer, you’re a semantic artist; if you’re a dancer, you’re a flexible artist; if you’re an actor, you’re an emotional artist; if you’re a painter/sculptor/photographer, you’re a visual artist, et cetera.  And if you STILL call yourself JUST an artist, well, you’d better be all of the above! (In which case, you’d be a Renaissance artist.)

Now, say you go to an art gallery: there is (usually) no poetry, there is (usually) no writing, (usually) no performances, (sometimes) food and (maybe) ambient music in the background—but there are (always) paintings, sculptures, photos—VISUAL art. That’s not fair. They should be called visual art galleries.

Art as a concept has taken a turn for the worst these days, only because it serves as legitimate validation for accidental mishaps and/or lack of effort: Instead of correcting a mistake on the display you created, the wall you painted or the car you dented, one can easily say that it’s “art,” or “postmodernism,” and then just waltz away from a job unwell done guilt free. I’ve actually encountered this firsthand. I was writing a story and our copyeditor claimed that I made a typo! [And “copy editor” is two words. There’s another!–Copy Ed.] Hahaha, please … as a semantic artist I need, no… I reqUIRE, no… I DEMAND the freedom to spell words arbitrarily! If I want to spell photo with an “f,” knife with an “n,” or xylophone with a “z,” so be it! These are the things I think about…

One of my Angles and All favorites

Anyway, speaking of art, I do have some friends who have been utilizing their artistic skills in positive ways. One person that comes to mind is a close friend of mine named Jack Haines. She has been creating visual art for many years and has recently created what she calls an “art blog.” Instead of a blog full of text and a few pictures, hers is full of pictures with a little text on the side. It’s a great concept. I doubt she originated the idea, but as I haven’t searched for any others and she introduced it to me, as far as I’m concerned she’s the first! She has a very unique eye for very interesting works of art that she finds and collects throughout the spacious Internet (why must Internet be capitalized!? I will now incorporate my artistic freedom and type internet from this day forth…). Here’s the link to her art blog, but I must warn you that many of the images are rather dark/morbid in nature, not quite in tune with the peaceful tranquility of Solano Magazine. I would recommend this blog for R-rated audiences only (18 and up) as some images contain nudity, gore and/or potentially disturbing images. But this is the world we live in and this blog provides excellent insight into some of the modern art that’s out there:

Miro's Top 10 Entry: "In Unison"

In other artistic news, a long time family friend of mine, Miro Salazar, is an excellent visual artist. I don’t want to spoil his character too much as he may be a subject for an article someday, but he recently entered a poster contest online for the Flight of the Conchords HBO television show. While he didn’t win, out of 1,000 entries he was placed in the top 10! So congratulations, Miro! (view the winner and other contest entries HERE) He also designed the logo for Comedy at the Cantina, as well as many posters for the Vallejo Jazz, Art & Wine Festival so many years ago. While his resume remains virtually endless, you can view some of his works at:

And if I could take this opportunity to say a few words about Flight of the Conchords. This show is amazing. It’s the only show on TV that I really make a point to watch. If you haven’t seen it, buy the first season and catch up already. Tenacious D tried to do a similar show as a two man band that’s struggling to make it, but despite my undying love for the D, Flight of the Conchords takes the television-shaped cake. The Conchords bring music, humor and racism up a notch to a whole new level of mockery. It’s comedy taken seriously in every sense of the word(s). Visit their website at

p.s. the very first image above is by Justin Bua. I really like his work as he manages to mix music and dance with visual art in such a way that the pieces really seem to come to life, like in those Harry Potter movies. His website is


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