A HUGE thank you to those that made it out to the opening of my show at Lyons Wier Gallery last week. The turnout was more than I could have hoped for in a new city, and It means the world that so many people showed up.  I'll be posting shots of the opening as soon as I find some, and hopefully links to reviews and such as they come in. Showing in Chelsea was pretty rad, and such a good excuse to go to a million art galleries, the Met, and to eat fancy vegan food for four days. Can't wait to do it again. I also can't wait to get back to painting -- there's nothing like seeing my paintings on gallery walls to make me feel like I can do better.

Again, thank you so much for coming to the opening, checking out the show, visiting the site, reading my ramblings, etc...the support means a ton. More soon! a


I took a quick trip down to LA last weekend. I go down every so often to visit buds, but timed this trip so I could catch Sean Cheethams show opening, as well as get in a few photoshoots. a very productive trip; little sleep and much coffee. Sean Cheetham's show at Katherine Cone Gallery was great, quite a bit of work from an artist that I haven't seen much new stuff from the last few years. I particularly liked the smaller work, which is rare for me as I tend to prefer giant oil paintings. my favorites must have been less than 18" or 20" square, and were painted on these little panels with rough unfinished edges. I particularly like how Cheetham's able to get the panel surface to show through so much on certain areas. It creates a really nice contrast between the looser and more finished areas of each piece.

I also had a chance to head over to Orange County and do a photoshoot in my friend Trevor's house. The interior of Trevor's house is all black; walls, furniture, everything. it's fucking great, couldn't have made up a better place to shoot. Also worked with a new model who was fantastic.  I'm still going through the pictures but they're definitely looking like the jump off point for a new series, so I'll likely head down and do even more shooting there within the next few months. I'll post more from the shoot as well as some goofy pictures we all took together soon.


Last friday, I got on a plane and flew from SF to Ft. Lauderdale. The occasion was two-fold: get tattooed in Tampa, and see Jenny Saville's exhibition in West Palm Beach. When I was out this way in December for Art Basel, my friend (and excellent tattooer) Phil Holt mentioned he had just found out that Jenny Saville had around 20 pieces in an obscure museum in West Palm Beach. We're both big fans of her work and hadn't heard a peep about this show, even though it had been up since November. We didn't have time to make it then, but decided we needed to see it before it came down in March. The Norton museum didn't allow photos (super lame), but we managed to sneak as many we could. Like most art, and especially with work of this scale, these things need to be seen in person. if you happen to be in South Florida within the next few months or can make the trip, I highly recommend it.  some really fantastic work.

human added for scale.

these pieces (among many others) were there as well, although I didn't get good shots. here are some from the internets.


On the second day in Miami we hit Art Basel proper, then Pulse and Scope (again) the following day. Here's what that looked like:


First time I'd seen any of Will Cotton's work in person -- very nice stuff.

Definitely one of my favorite representational painters, Tony Curanaj brings the insane detail once again.

I discovered Erik Thor Sandberg on my last visit to Miami. His dark fairytale paintings are incredible...tons of stuff going on in each piece. and dark, without being...well, dark. this one bowed out from the wall (weird), so click for some detail.



as promised: lots of pictures and rambles from Miami. This was my third year in attendance, and it was a great trip -- 4 art fairs, 14 Lara Bars, and very little sleep. more pictures, less words, below.

My new piece "Beacon" at Corey Helford Gallery's booth at Scope. I still don't have a proper pic of this one, so I'll postpone a lengthy explanation, but it's 40" x 58" and took me the better part of two months. Good picture coming soon.

really nice black on black piece from Retna. as a fan of type and fonts, I love that he's made a career of writing gibberish in a great looking made-up language.

an old piece from my friend Masami Teraoka. I love his work from this series.

I discovered Yigal Ozeri two years ago during my first visit to Miami and was happy to see 4 more pieces this year. he makes the most photo-realistic oil paintings i've ever seen...even close up, it's hard to see any painterly texture. these (above) are detail shots from two I particularly liked. oil on paper - gnarly. [I stumbled upon an interesting interview with him here for those so inclined.]

didn't get the artist or name on this one, but I like it. (it's an oil painting, none of that print stuff posted here).

I think I may have posted about this piece from Kent Williams a few months back, but I was happy to see it included in the Corey Helford booth. Having his work hanging within a few feet of mine was an honor, I'm a fan.

a very nice one from Melissa Forman, also shown w/ Corey Helford Gallery. look at that hand!

HUGE portrait from Gottfried Helnwein. This one is definitely painted on top of a print, which I have a real hard time with...but it's pretty rad none the less.

much more very soon.


I took a short trip last week to visit family in Chicago. Athough i've been many times, I couldn't pass up the chance for another visit to the Chicago Art Institute. I had a few free hours and made the walk a few miles down Michigan ave in 28 degree weather to say hello.  Entirely worth the chill. It isn't a huge museum, and is probably more associated with its Impressionist exhibits, but they have a great collection of European paintings...which is of course, where I tend to spend my time. (They added a modern art wing since my last visit, which I walked briskly through until I got frustrated...I'll spare you the complaints.) Although I love traipsing around the European Painting wing, i'm really only concerned with visiting two paintings: Ingrés's "Amédée-David, the Comte de Pastoret", and Rembrandt's "Old Man with a Gold Chain".  (I'm sure i've written about these in the past, but as I can obviously revisit, anybody that's been reading this for that long...get's to revisit with me.)

Ingrés's portrait is one of my favorite paintings...period. I love this thing. I had never heard of Ingrés when I first ran into it years ago at the same museum, and it still strikes me as it did then. It's a fairly standard portrait, nothing close to the opulence and grandeur of his portrait of Napoleon (here, which I also love), but its the simplicity I think that draws me in. it's subtle and grand at the same time...and the detail is unreal. [a note: there doesn't seem to be any white paint in the highlights on the sword handle, only stronger yellows -- which is totally something I would do; screwing things up by adding an inappropriate cool color and overdoing the contrast at the same time. noted... thanks Jean]. I generally find it hard to get into portraits who's subjects I don't find particularly attractive, but the lacking aesthetics of mr. sideburns is doubly made up for in the composition, colors, and costume. I spent 20 minutes staring at it again, and walked out entirely inspired. I see some fancy poses and silly costumes in my painting future.

Rembrandt's portrait of an "old man", dressed in who-knows-what, is just a great representation of why Rembrandt, is Rembrandt. This painting was done in 1631! It fucking glows. all eloquence goes out the window when I write/think about Rembrandt...I just don't get it. unlike with Ingrés, I pay a lot less attention to what Rembrandt actually paints (as it's predominantly old guys), and find myself lost in how he paints...or painted. (may as well be inconsistent with my past/present tense here too). the highlight on this dudes metal bib thing is perfect. and the background -- there's nothing going on there, but I still don't get how it looks so good...and I certainly can't execute it in my wildest dreams. it's that fact, and the frenzy his work puts me in, that make me love his paintings so much.

here are some others from the Museum that I really like, some of which I've seen numerous times, some that were brand new to me and my horrible memory. (click for more below)

I'm trying to learn a thing or two from Bouguereau. Specifically, his use of cool colors in flesh tones. I'm working on it.

I had never seen this Sargent, in print or in person, and it was tucked away in a corner as part of the Folk Art collection. really nice study.

I had never seen this one either, and I don't think I've even ever run across Lefebvre, but I really like this piece.  I had to pull an internet photo (above) because they had this painting stacked on top of another...which made it super hard to see. but the figure is done so well. going to have to do some more research on this guy.

look at those feet!! generally my least favorite part about a figure painting (and the figure in general),  but these are amazing! (click to get a larger version).


A good friend of mine had some business to take care of at Skywalker Ranch this week, and I jumped at the chance to tag along.  It was a great visit, and I was lucky enough to see some of George Lucas' art collection, including a bunch of fantastic Norman Rockwell pieces, and two Mucha's! (I had no idea he owned them -- why would I really... but man, I have now seen 3 original Alphonse Mucha paintings, and they always floor me). There were very few artifacts from Lucas movies actually, which I found kind of cool, and the ones I did see...made my day. (no, the other trilogy).


So I have been neglecting the blog big time since my solo in SF, just very much caught up in painting for the next show. due to some scheduling mishaps, I had less than 2.5 months to paint 5 new paintings for my show at Thinkspace (September) from the time of the Shooting Gallery opening -- and I'm almost half way through that now. 5 paintings in 2 months is already pushing it, but predictably I was also feeling like changing things up a little, trying some new things, etc. It's going well I think, albeit a little slowly, but I'm happy with the work and I have some new directions to expand on. (and some new directions that do not work at all...also very good to know). I've been in the studio and generally over-working myself pretty steadily for the last few weeks, but did get a chance to go down to LA at the end of June before I got too far into the new series. I planned the trip around a dinner thrown by Corey Helford Gallery for their 5 year anniversary, and spent a few additional days shooting some new models. Instead of just throwing a party for their own congratulations, Corey Helford Gallery invited something like 150 artists to dinner. It was fantastic and I am hugely thankful to have been invited and to have been present for what seemed pretty unprecedented. Being a Northern California guy who didn't go to art school, and who isn't the most social creature in the world, I often feel pretty detached from the art world outside of the fairly insular community here -- so it was a huge treat to be able to meet so many artists in such a short period of time, some of whom I've been fans of for years. some of the artists in attendance: Kent Williams, Sean Cheatham, Shawn Barber, Kim Saigh, D*Face, Tim Biskup, Sylvia Ji, Natalia Fabia, Gary Baseman, Colin and Sas Christensen, Adam Wallacavage, Dalek, Camille Rose Garcia, Joshua Petkar, and tons more. fun!



I'm at 35,000 ft. -- on my way back to SFO from Boston. it's Virgin America, so i'm writing this and watching Die Hard, aglow in purple light and surrounded by what looks like a giant flying ipod. It's now been over a week since I painted anything, and I can't wait to get back to it.

Read More


"Looking East" opened on Wednesday night at Yves Laroche Gallery. The gallery had just recently moved to a brand new 9000 sq. ft. space -- huge for a gallery. that was enough room for a solo show from Daniel Martin Diaz, Justin's "Looking East" group show with 40+ pieces, and a more permanent collection.

Read More


I got into Montreal late last Tuesday night and met my good friend Chris Sherriff at a hotel downtown. I met Chris 12 years ago in Toronto on tour with my old band. We stayed with him and his parents every time we were in Ontario and a few years later he was on tour with us as our roady/merch guy/mechanic/driver.

Read More


I'm flying somewhere over the middle of the country on my second flight of the day, on my way back to Oakland. my flight from Tampa to Kansas City left at 8am, which meant getting to the airport much earlier for the usual security theater. Phil was nice enough to drive me to the airport shortly after 6am, even though we were both up watching MMA fights and talking art until 2am. we both keep track of art we run into on the internet, so we did some trading. One guy Phil pointed me to that I'm really impressed by is Istvan Sandorfi, a Hungarian painter who apparently just passed away in 2007. There's not too much I can find about him but his work is pretty crazy. his combination of photo realism, and painting textures is unreal.

dos_anne yeux_safi fontaine_des_innocentes

anyway, I slept through the first flight and planned to start my coffee regimen during my short layover in Kansas City. unfortunately though, the Kansas City airport sucks big time, and most likely was designed long before there was such a thing as airport security and the TSA. In order to get from the gate I landed at to the gate I was to take off from, I actually had to leave the "secure area" and go through security all over again. something like every 5 gates or so are in their own little area, so to get anywhere else in the airport you have to jump through the usual hoops as if you left the airport entirely. on top of that, pretty much every shop in the airport is outside of the secure areas, so one cannot buy anything to drink because you can't take it through to the gates...Starbucks included. this makes for an under caffeinated and increasingly grumpy Nagel. I plan on walking straight to the Peets in the Oakland airport before I even get my bag, because Oakland's airport is not stupid like Kansas City's. this post may require a new  blog category called "pathetic complaining".


The "Sirens" show opens this Saturday at RedLetter1 in Tampa, FL. I'll be headed out tomorrow morning for a day on the increasingly hellish Southwest Airlines, with plans to spend Thursday doing the only other thing Florida is good for (besides art stuff); swimming. Friday we hang the show and I'm looking forward to seeing the space, meeting Erik in person, and checking to see if my paintings arrived in one piece. I'll be taking a point n'shoot with me and will post as often as possible. sirenssmallHere again is the flyer for the show (which can also be found in the latest issue of Juxtapoz - sweet!). The reception is Saturday evening,  so please come out if you or anybody you know is in the area.

more very soon.