June 27, 2021
91 Walker Street
New York, NY (corner of Walker and Lafayette Street)
Brian Calvin - Calvin Marcus - Marcus Jahmal - three painters with four names between them. I like the way their names fit together - it has a nice sound to it. Seemed like a good idea for a show. I’m friends with these guys - they’re all really interesting people. They are all dealing with the figure and they are all contemporaries.
I’ve been in Marcus Jahmal’s Brooklyn studio a few times and there’s always a lot going on. There are paintings everywhere and drawings all over the floor. He paints at night and he knows how to use black. I used to see him on the street in this tiny black car he had with just two seats and I would jump in and continue the conversation and get a ride somewhere.
I visited Calvin Marcus’ studio in LA and I remember a painting of horses in intense lime green with this stunning surface. He really knows how to put on paint. There was also this beautifully crafted sculpture of his studio building. Except that the actual building had a big hole in it covered with plywood and I asked what happened there and he said a car had just come racing around the corner and smashed right into the building and the nose of the car had stuck thru the wall exactly where his drawing desk was but luckily he wasn’t there drawing.
I have never visited Brian Calvin’s studio in Ojai California but I am looking forward to it. Whenever I think of Ojai I think of Krishnamurti and all my books with photographs of his sublime face - delicate and sensual. Brian’s paintings of faces are powerful slabs of color so that a huge eye and a huge mouth dissolve into abstract shapes of luscious paint and then reappear as archetypal image. They don’t read as specific portraits but somehow they all seem like California kids to me.