When I was approaching my 40th birthday, I would keep hearing people close to me whisper different things about that age and what they might do for me for a party or whatever. I kept hearing how your forties seemed to be a hard decade for Artists, and then someone said something about black balloons for my birthday party, and that was it for me. I decided to start my forties off with a bang. Which for me, meant an Art show.
I scrambled and got a ton of photos together from a recent book I had put out called “The Apocalyptic Nightmare Journey,” and made large prints of them. Some of those photos were printed on sanded aluminum sheets; I was very pleased with them. Many of my paintings were gathered and framed for the event, along with some smaller, fun pieces of my art I chose to sell. I also grabbed these two benches I made for a customer in Des Moines long before I was signed with Slipknot. They never got to her, so my Mother and Father held onto them for a while, as did some friends, but I decided to refinish them for this particular show. Much work had to be done, so I had them sanded, primed, and powder coated using a mixture of paints that I came up with. I also had some really fine velvet pillows made that tie to the benches, with one side crushed black velvet and the other a crushed red velvet. It was a lot of fun resurrecting them.
There was another bench that had been part of the local scene when I was still making furniture in the early days. Somehow this was given to me and I went through the whole cleaning process with it as well. I also had a custom pillow made for it, similar to a Zebra print. It turned out great. The first two benches are called “Entanglement”, a lovers quarrel time out bench. It escapes me what I was calling the scene bench.
I joined efforts with Moberg Gallery in Des Moines, IA. They were involved with the Birthday party and we did a show of my art at their Gallery after the party was done. I had a couple local artists as well, sharing the space and selling their work at the party and during the extended show after. One of the bands I was in at the time was called the Dirty Little Rabbits, so they came down and performed live while people hung out and looked at art. I joined them for a couple tunes throughout the night. Corey Taylor came down and did his thing, which is always an honor to listen to him sing and play guitar. My beautiful Queen, Chantel, showed her jewelry and sold her work at the gallery. I loved having her be a part of the show, because we have a thing for art shows. It was cool to do one together.
I had sushi and one of my favorite Mexican joints cater the night to keep it real on the food front. Many wonderful people I did not know came down and, of course, many close friends and family attended, giving nothing but love and support. I wish my parents could have been there, but they were in my heart and I thought about them a lot during the show. Paul was there, and his wife was pregnant at the time. Many wonderful things happened that night and honestly, I cannot remember if there were black balloons or not, so I must have captured exactly what I wanted. I had a blast and it was what I needed. There it is, the short version of my 40th Birthday party in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.