Good music, good art, and great vibes. Those are a few of my favorite things. And Passion Fruit Art Show did not skimp on any of the 3.

“Twin Peaks” by Perry Paints.

“Twin Peaks” by Perry Paints.

The show, held at Addison Art Gallery on 4th Avenue, was brought to us by Perry Porter and King Afro.

Porter is an artist of many mediums. His music is eccentric and clever, it’s wavy, it’s catchy. His art is beautiful and empowering, it’s deep, it’s timeless. He’s been making major waves this year, from releasing the masterpiece that is Channel Surfing Short Film, performing a live studio set at KEXP, and premiering his latest track Surf on our blog back in September. His signature art is a colorful array of women portrayed through watercolor paints, but lately he’s been exploring multiple mediums. He recently incorporated three-dimensional butterflies in his 3 piece “Butterfly Effect” series and textured layering in the acrylic trio “The Mess We’ve Made.”

Wffls  views Afro’s “Holding On.” (Photo by  Olivia Andrade .)

Wffls views Afro’s “Holding On.” (Photo by Olivia Andrade.)

Afro is a more enigmatic artist. His art is very distinct; mind bending in a way. He is a cubist, drawing inspiration from the abstract style popularized by Pablo Picasso in the 1900’s. Utilizing geometric planes and shapes, Afro creates a totem-like face; his signature subject. Many of his works display that same face deconstructed, each element possessing it’s own personality at times. I found myself lost in one of his works entitled “Holding On.” In it, I saw a small version of the face squished between the hands of larger versions of itself, while surrounding clouds laughed, looking on. I had to ask him about the face.

“I don’t paint the face, it paints through me,” he explained. “I’m so far in it now, I’m all into deconstruction. So I have my image, I know how to draw it, but now it’s about what makes it, it. I’ve taken it apart now. I’ve put it together, and even turned it into landscapes that you can go into.”

Less than a week prior, I had acquired one of Afro’s pieces at a non profit auction. It was another deconstructed face piece. Our conversation brought about a new appreciation for the painting, which now rests above my kitchen sink.

The art showcase was split into thirds, featuring 1 part Perry Porter, 1 part King Afro, and 1 part collaborative efforts. I walked around the gallery, stopping to look at each piece of art. And the longer I looked, the more I saw. I noticed eyes hidden in the background of Perry’s “Twin Peaks.” I spotted Doc Martens shoe box paper integrated in Afro’s “Holding On.” It was a humbling reminder of the time and depth that goes into their art. It deserves more than a quick glance.

If you missed the show, I highly recommend that you keep an eye out for future showcases of either artist. They are truly talented and you deserve to own, or at the very least, view their art. Treat yourself.

The show did not end there. There was a lot of mingling and meeting of creative minds, networking and enjoyment of the complimentary wine and cheese. Then, there was the music.

Perry brought some of our favorite local DJ’s and artists to present sounds perfect for Passion Fruit. Aramis started it off and later handed the boards off to Cousin Chris. They both merged old and new school in their mixes, adding a special flair to the artful discussions taking place.

L.E.X. took the stage and unveiled an unreleased track entitled Purpura. The track echoed the thoughts of a troubled mind and concluded with the reminder to meditate. I hope he drops it sooner than later, as it may automatically become my favorite track of his. And that says a lot being that I’ve only heard it in a live setting.

BA, formerly known as ScribeMecca also gifted attendees with a live performance, leading with my favorite track, Glo, and moving the crowd with Space Flips featuring Perry Porter, a standout from his last project, Yung Patronus. The track has a groovy 90’s feel to it and is sure to lift your spirits. Give it a play or two and see for yourself.

Seaan Brooks, who recently released his best album yet, Heaven Only Knows, took the stage next and was openly dismayed at the crowd’s low energy. Regardless, he still gave a taste of his newest project and even took it back with older track Bail Money, getting some crowd participation on the hook.

Perry Porter was last to hop on the mic. He engaged the coy crowd, performing a few tracks from his album Channel Surfing, a couple of newer singles including Surf, and even a few unreleased tracks such as Bling Bloaw, which he gave a sneak peek of during his KEXP performance.

All in all, Passion Fruit Art Show was a wonderful event. It engaged multiple senses- sight with the amazing art, sound with the pleasant performances, and even taste with the tasty treats and refreshments. (That apple pie was a nice touch.) And it was all free. Did we deserve it? Probably not. Did I enjoy it? Definitely yes. And I thank everyone who helped make it happen.

If you missed it, don’t next time. There may be more in the future.

King Afro participates in the 1st Thursday art walks every Thursday at the Addison Gallery on 4th Avenue. On Mondays & Tuesdays, he’ll typically hold an open house from 1PM - 3PM. The artists vary; sometimes he’ll do a joint show with an artist, showcase a group of artists, or have a solo showcase. Don’t say you didn’t know.


Akunna Amaefule1 Comment