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Home BLOGS Guest Blog Guest Blog: Michael Sieben

Guest Blog: Michael Sieben

Written by Michael Sieben   
Thursday, 21 December 2006 11:55

Michael blogs up his show he had at Art Prostitute with Mel Kadal, Travis Millard, and Jeremy Fish.

Low Tech High Life at Art Prostitute

Hello, my name is Michael Sieben. And this is a collection of images that were taken in Dallas, TX between December 5th -10th 2006. I drove to Dallas from Austin to do an art show with my buddies Jeremy Fish, Mel Kadel, and Travis Millard at the Art Prostitute Gallery. You might have heard of Art Prostitute. They used to be in Denton, TX. And they made a fantastic magazine. They recently moved to Dallas and they still make a fantastic magazine... Anyway, what you're about to look at is primarily a bunch of photographs of a bunch of people you don't give two turds about. I'm not trying to be negative. I just know how the internet works. You're going to scroll through these photos in about 30 seconds and then go grab another cup of coffee. Or at least that's what I would be doing if I were you. So how can I try to convince you to hang out for a bit and actually take a closer look at these images? Well, I can try to make jokes. Good jokes. Not like, jokes about dumpsters full of AIDS babies. Those kinds of jokes are just gross, man.

I'm going to start with some photographs that were sent to me by Mr. Travis Millard. He sent the wrong size images so if they look smaller than some of the later images don't worry. You're not tripping. Or maybe you are. I don't know. I don't do acid anymore. I haven't been in college for a long time. Travis didn't send any text to accompany his images so I'm going to do my best to caption these photos for him. Forgive me Travis.

This was what we referred to as "the title wall." That lady to the left is what we referred to as "the Mel Kadel." We wrote the name of the show really big on the wall in case somebody got really drunk and arrived at that "where the fuck am I" stage.

This was our D.J. His name was D.J. Sober. His real name is Will Rhoten. I hung out with Will all week and to my surprise he really was sober the entire time. Not like when you call a fat girl anorexic. Which is really not very nice.

This is Brian Gibb. He owns half of Art Prostitute. I think he was laughing at a story that Jeremy Fish was telling about a little kid in a red sweat suit taking a shit on the floor of a toy store that he worked at when he was younger. I'm not trying to be funny right now. I'm just typing what I remember.

Okay, I know this one. That's Mark Searcy. His facial hair makes my facial hair feel like such a little bitch.

This is Gibb again. And he's at the


lecture that we did while we were in town. This is what we refer to in the art world as "trying to sell our shit."

This is me and Fish at about 4:30 in the morning. And don't make fun of my white belt. Because it isn't a white belt. It's actually my little bloated beer belly. It kind of has a glow in the dark pigment to it.

That's Mel Kadel. There was a brief moment during the installation of the show where God showed up and was like, "Yo, Mel... can I get up on this wall drawing?" And Mel was like, "Uhhhh.... yeah. Sure, God." And then she acted like she was going to give God the marker and as He reached for it she pulled it back real quick and we were all like, "Ooooooooooohhhhh! Burned you God!"

This was our waitress at the Pit Grill. I can't really think of anything funny to say about her because I really like the way my neck feels without a switchblade stuck in it.

Okay, so here's where my photos start. This one is Mel Kadel's work on the floor. That's not really a joke. And I can't really think of anything funny about this photo. So.... peehole? Is that still funny?

Dude, remember that time we were skating INSIDE the art gallery? Dude! If we're not skateboard artists to the max then I don't know who is! (P.S. I did a G-Turn that would have made Scott Oster blush.)

The first night we were at the gallery we didn't get a whole lot done. So I'll skip ahead to the next morning when we woke up and realized that the hotel we were staying at was really pretty. It was called The Belmont Hotel and it was one of those spots where rich people buy a shit ass hotel in a busted neighborhood and then fix it up all IKEA style and do some nice landscaping. It was nice, you know. So I walked around and shot some photographs. I'm not sure why. I guess so if you thought you we were staying at some shithole I could prove you wrong? What's that say about my self-confidence? It's not so good I can tell you that.

The above photo is a rock that was right outside of our hotel room. It spurred a rather long discussion between Jeremy Fish and myself about Natas Kaupas and how his fire hydrant antics had seriously affected our childhoods. I'm telling you man, it was deep.

If the Belmont had a pool I think it should look like this.

Actually the Belmont did have a pool and the previous photograph was a photograph of their pool. Doesn't this photo look like a fecalface blog photo? I might just quit drawing.

I took this photo to show you that it was cold in Dallas. It was like, in the low 50's. If you live somewhere where it gets really really cold and you're reading this and you're like "50's! That's not cold!" then I personally invite you to come to Texas and skate with me during the Summer. Life is a trade off. Whoa, I just got all preachy. Sucky.

I shot this photo because when I saw it I knew that if The Muska was with us he totally would have tailslid this thing. Don't hate on The Muska. That dude can tailslide anything.

This is what the outside of our room looked like. A green chair and a blue chair? I told you. This shit was progressive.

The hotel seriously had the most awesomest view of downtown Dallas. The only downside was that the view was of Dallas. I don't mean to sound like a dick, it's just that Dallas and Austin (the city I live in) have this weird unspoken rivalry. And if I didn't take a cheap shot at Dallas at some point during this blog then I would probably find a severed Longhorn head in my bed in the morning. I'm not kidding. Texas is gangsta. You've heard the Geto Boys, right?

Okay, after I took photographs of the hotel we went and grabbed some food. That's Fish and Kadel over there to the left of the sign. This description isn't funny. It's just me trying to take a photo that looked like fecalface blog photo again.

Oh Snaps! Get it? Like... who wants to physically tear that animal from limb to limb and chew its flesh up... that shit is HI-LARIOUS!

Now I know that it's considered exploitative (or is it exploitive?) to take photos of "street" people. But this dude just looked so darn awesome. He had the raddest cheek beard I'd ever seen. So please just know I'm not trying to take advantage of this dude. I'm just trying to say "Hey, I'll never have a beard this ferocious."

Jeremy taught me this joke where you look at somebody and then you compare them to one of your friends in the future. For instance, when Jeremy saw this guy he looked at us and said, "Travis Millard next week." We have fun. (Please excuse my huge shadow on the left bottom corner of this photograph. I considered trying to get rid of it in Photoshop. But then I remembered I didn't know how to do that.)

While we were in town we did a one hour live radio talk show for the

Dallas N.P.R.

station. They had a super crazy coffee table in their lobby.

The only rule they gave us was... oh hah hah hah. I'm pretty sure Millard wrote that on their dry erase board. He thinks he's really funny.

This is a list of words you are not supposed to say when you are talking on live radio. If you do say one of these words then the radio person is supposed to push that button. Which is funny to me because "DUMP" actually means shit. That's funny because I'm in the 5th grade.

Whoah, looks like we just jumped back to the gallery. And it looks like we're beginning our customary "draw or paint something really big on the wall" phase of the art show.

I'd like to start a small discussion here. When we spoke about doing an installation type of painting at this show I totally voted against it. It seems like it's just such an expected part of an art show these days that I almost felt like not doing a big wall piece would carry more weight than doing one. Does that make any sense? Basically I'm just going to go on the record and forecast the wall painting installation backlash. Yeah, I called it. So don't act like you came up with it all by yourself. Got it, Buster?

This is Mel. On the left she appears to be head butting her drawings. And on the right she appears to be using a projector to draw her part of the wall installation. Jeremy actually chastised me for taking photos where you could see the projector. I think he wants you guys to think we're more talented than we actually are. Not me. I'm fine with being mediocre.

That's Jeremy on the bottom left and that's me on the ladder. Look how cool I think I look with my little scarf. I'm all like, "Oooh look at me with my little scarf. I'm soooo coool." Wait, I already wrote that.

Here's Millard doing what we refer to as "overshadowing." That's an art term that describes when one member of an art show attempts to make the other artists look inferior. Which was okay with us because Travis actually is about five times better at art than we are.

Travis, Jeremy, and Mel. That can of beer next to Mel's left foot is a Lone Star. It's the reason why nobody in Texas suffers from constipation.

This is Travis finishing up the wall piece. See that double headed bird above him with the banner that says "Not 23 Years Old?" There's a funny story about that. I mentioned this briefly before, but while we were in town we did a talk for the Dallas Society of Visual Communications. Each of us had to speak for about 20 minutes about our personal work and how it ties in with our commercial work. I haven't spoken in front of a crowd since I was in High School and I was really really nervous about the whole thing. So I made a bunch of notes so that I wouldn't get up to the podium and completely forget who I was and what I do. And so the first thing I say when I get up there is, "Hello, my name is Michael Sieben. I'm 23 years old and I live in Austin, Texas..." and Travis totally yells at me from his seat, "You're not 23!" and I hadn't even realized that I had said that I was 23. Because I'm not. I'm 32. And I guess I was just so nervous that I looked at my notes and totally got dyslexic for a second. Anyway, it was probably the most embarrassing way imaginable to start off my talk. I hate Travis.

This is what the wall looked like after we cleaned up all of the beer cans. Look how big Travis' stuff is.

Here's Travis standing in front of his parts of the wall just so you can get an idea of how big his stuff really was. We get it dude. You rule. We suck. (I'm totally kidding Travis. Pull your head out of the oven and give me a hug.)

Oh man, look how hard those guys worked. They're so dedicated to their craft. Man, they must be from the streets or something. But in all seriousness, Travis really did sleep here on night for about 3 hours.

I think Jeremy was jealous that I took a picture of Travis looking so slummy so he totally posed this shot. He's faking it man. Weak.

Okay, this is probably the best photograph I've ever taken. And I have absolutely nothing sarcastic to say about it. It's just too darn awesome.

One night while we were in town, Jeremy and I did this really weird in-store thing at

Index Skateshop

in Fort Worth. Jeremy's Nike SB shoe was supposed to have shipped to the shop earlier that day so I guess he was going to draw little bunnies on kid's shoe boxes? He didn't really know. And I had no idea what I was supposed to do while he was doing that. I guess just sitting there so that if a kid came up and asked, "Are you that dude that works for Thrasher that lives in Texas?" I could be like, "Uh... yeah." and then we could awkwardly stare at each other for awhile. But it turned out that Jeremy's shoe never arrived at the shop. So we both showed up to a skateshop and just hung out and drank Budweiser for about 2 hours and then left. It was actually pretty awesome. Oh, and I took a photo of this cup because the skateboard company I draw graphics for is called


. Dude, that was really gross self promotion. But seriously kids, buy Bueno. I need a new car.

This photo was taken the morning of the big show. That lady there in the front is Allison Sands. She's my wife. She's not an artist. But that doesn't mean you should ignore her at an art opening. That shit is just rude.

They put these signs up around town when they heard Millard was coming. Hah hah huh.... yeah. That's stupid.

Jeremy asked me to take a picture of him in front of this building. I think he was hinting at how huge his junk is.

This is a bar right across the street from Art Prostitute. We didn't go in it but I'd like to think that you could get half a handjob in there if you were single. It looked like that kind of a spot. (preferably the second half of the handjob.)

Okay, now the boring stuff. I stole all of the art images off of the Art Prostitute site because when I got home I realized I hadn't taken any photographs at all of our individual work. Pretty awesome, huh? You can go to the gallery's site if you want to see all of the work in the show. The photographs aren't the best, but if you're seriously considering purchasing a piece I'm sure you can contact

the gallery

(or the individual artists) to get better images. But you're probably not really interested in buying any of this stuff, huh? You just clicked on this blog so you can get to the bottom and talk shit. I'm cool with that. I'll even help you out and write the first comment: Dude! Sieben totally rips off Pushead, Jeremy Fish's beard smells like rotten custard, Travis Millard and Mel Kadel... actually there's nothing bad you can say about those two.

Oh yeah, these images are of Jeremy Fish's work. In case this is your first time visiting fecalface.

The following images are Mel Kadel's drawings. You really have to see Mel's work in person in order to appreciate how delicate and intricate these things are. Hopefully you'll get a chance to see them for yourself someday. And if you don't get the chance then I apologize for alienating you as a reader.

These are Travis Millard's drawings. Again, if you see these in person you can really dig into them. There's a lot of crazy details.

And these are a few of the paintings I was showing. They're all pretty new. And I actually didn't get these off of the A.P. site. I cheated and used scans I had here at my studio. I'm kind of a jerk like that.

I stole this photo from the gallery's site. This is a photo from the opening. I stuck it in here to prove that people in Texas go to art shows. It's true that we also go to rodeos and eat nothing but beef jerky. But we do occasionally attend art shows as well.

This is Brian Gibb. I don't want to write anything smart ass about him because he worked his ass off for the show. Thanks Brian.

And this is Jeff Newton and Fish. Jeff started that one company in Texas back in the 70's. You know, that one that Pushead did all the graphics for. You might have heard of it. It's called


Zorlac... it's kind of a big deal.

This is that Sober dude again. See. No beer. How do you do that?

This photo is really out of focus, but I had to stick it in here because these dudes showed up at the gallery with Bueno boards. Remember Bueno? It's that skateboard company I was promoting earlier. Anyway, uh.... yeah.... buy Bueno.

There's Jeff Newton again. This time he's with me (that sweatshirt is now available at finer skateshops) and my wife, Allison. Did I mention Bueno?

Okay, now here's the part of the blog where you start to scroll really fast because you're like, "I don't know anybody who lives in Texas and they sure as hell don't dress as awesome as we do here in ____ (insert your city.)"

Oh, that's Nevada Hill and he won best t-shirt of the night contest.

Oh, what? See, got you. This is one of Jeremy's friends and he actually lives in S.F. Which from what I've heard is kind of hot shit.

Alright. The rest of these photos are kind of hazy. I was pretty drunk by the time the opening was over. So instead of mellowing out the rest of the night we bought more beer than we could possibly drink and headed back to the hotel to get stone cold retarded. When we pulled up the security dude was cruising around in that little cart and I stumbled over to him and asked if I could take his picture. I wish I had some crazy story about encountering him again later in the night, but I don't. We were actually fairly good guests.

I don't know who in the hell bought those metal Bud Light bottles but I know I ended up drinking about four of them. I feel dirty thinking about that.

Nathan, Sterling, and Ryan are in that band

The Okay Mountain Boys.

Here's where shit gets real hazy. I don't even remember the banana being there. But I do remember the champagne. Sort of.

Adam Young is Austin's answer to Drehobl. He got new teeth recently. Adam is the best.

And then out of nowhere... Poof. Dance Party. If you ever meet Sterling get him to

crip walk

for you. It's hilarious.

I think Dave might have actually been the dude that started the dance party. I'm not really sure. But what I am sure of is that anytime you get a bunch of drunk white people together and they start dancing, at some point this move is going to come out. The old jump through the leg thing. White people just love that shit.

I think it was about 4:00 in the morning by this point. And I really don't remember taking these last three photos. That one above is my friend Lance's belt buckle and crotch. You know that part in that Willie Nelson song that goes, "Lonestar belt buckles and old faded Levi's each night begins a new day. And if you don't understand him and he don't die young, he'll probly just ride away..." I kind of knew that part of the song. But I looked it up on the internet so that I wouldn't get it wrong. Anyway, uh... Yeah. I like Willie Nelson. He's cool.

I'll let these last two photos speak for themselves. I wouldn't know what to write about them anyway.

So. That concludes my Low Tech High Life blog. I'd really like to thank Brian and Mark at Art Prostitute for everything they did to make the event a success. And I'd like to thank John Trippe for letting me put all of this crap on his website. You're doing a fantastic job John. We're all very proud of you.

And I guess while I have the floor I'd like to talk real quick about the negativity I've been seeing in the comment fields on this site lately. What's going on guys? I thought all of us were trying to spread some positivity and creativity throughout the world. This art game is a tough one and you're not going to get anywhere by being a dick. If you want to be an asshole then go study business. Okay, that's all I got. Feel free to talk shit now. I love you all. -Sieben


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