About Artist & Owner: Adam Watts
Adam Watts is a multi-medium artist who's artistic journey began in music. As a musician, solo-artist, singer-songwriter and producer Watts has contributed to sales of over 50 million albums worldwide via his longtime partnership with Andy Dodd and recent third member Gannin Arnold in RED DECIBEL MUSIC GROUP.
As a natural development of his artist instincts Watts' felt a growing pull towards visual arts. Beginning first with photography, into custom leather working/design and then into fine arts. The first of which was a interactive art collaboration with well-respected Laguna Beach based fresco mixed-media artist Isaac Anderson, which started with Watts' photography and an invention involving a box with a mirror inside.
Watts explains, "I had been collecting these portraits of homeless people of Southern California. I'd long been both intruiged and filled with empathy whenever I saw a homeless person. I'd wonder what their story was. That's someone's son or daughter, what led to this life? Was it addiction? Abuse? Mental illness? A twist of fate? It all started on a foggy morning as I was cruising the small town of Julian near San Diego. I came across a man in his seventies who was clearly homeless. I started talking with him and he told me his story. He had lost his cabin in the wildfires the year before. I helped him out with some money for food and as he teared up I snapped a photo. It was this photo that became the first in a series I called CONFLEXTION PROJECT which is the smashing together of a short guiding phrase that came to mind "The conflict of reflection.". My contribution to this project was my photography and the "empathy box" contraption I came up with. As I watched Isaac create his frersco work as we collaborated on the overall vision, I quickly realized I needed to begin working with my hands and taking the next step in my visual arts journey." Watts says.
He continues, "So before long I was collecting more and more objects from the late Victorian are and the early 20th century as well as elements of taxidermy and skeletal anatomy. As far back as I can remember I've been fascinated by this era so it was natural that those individual pieces would became the letters in a sort of object-alphabet. Each individual piece has it's own story and when I put them together, I'm laying my own story over the top of them. So you have these layers of stories and intents that mash together into a new one. It's never about pure easthetics. It's about working from the inside out driven by internal processes whther it's concious or not, it isn't about simply the look of it. My approach, at least internally, was much the same as my process with songwriting and recording. Instead of notes and timbres I was using physical objects. The results were visual instead of auditory but I could deal with the same subject matter. Personal things. Emotion and thought. Belief and spirituality. It just instantly made sense and I was taken by how fresh and inspiring it was to focus on my eyes when my ears had been the main focus of my creative life for so many years. I had found a new love to add the old one. I was completely and totally hooked."
He continues, "Once I had made maybe six or seven pieces the expression part did it's usual thing and began morphing into a need to also connect. For years I had walked that art and commerce line with music. Dealing with various "middle-men" so to speak. Whether it was record labels or venue owners, too often there was someone acting as a doorkeeper between myself and the public. The internet is a great way to connect with no barrier, but it's also a vast sea of chaos at the same time. Long story short, I knew I wanted to not only show my work wherever anyone would have me, but I also wanted my own space. I needed at least one place, a home, where I could control every element from the walls to the lighting. I believe that the context the work is in is nearly as important as the work itself. So I looked around Orange County and finally found the right fit in the form of a passionate advocate of the arts, Sabrina Contreras. She instantly understood and appreciated my work and my desire to show it. After a couple months I was hard at work, if you can call it work, designing and creating the space that would become INTERNAL Gallery & Odditites. It's within Sabrina's complex she calls "Carpe Diem Experience" in Fullerton's SOCO District.
There's a really cool burgeoning art scene down there that I was excited to become a part of. There's an Art Walk the first Friday of every month and a cool coomunity of artists of all kinds. I've love creating an experience for people. The work itself is solitary and personal, but once it's done, I'm passionate about putting in a context where people can experience it in a way that's connecting and consistant with the intent behind the work. I like playing with a maybe blurring the lines between art, craft, space and the space between the art and the viewer. When you walk in, I have all of my leather apparel displayed alongside some oddities, like a mumified cat and a few of my mixed-media pieces as well. This transitions into a small hallway that I saturated with interactive installations. There are hidden peepholes that look into the walls where there are pieces. There are two CONFLEXTION PIECES in this hallway, "Cliff" and "Ken" two homeless men from Orange County. From there you enter into the gallery space, which is this dark cozy square space where my work is displayed. I love the space and how it's laid out. I did my best to make use of every inch of it and really make it feel like a reflection of me and my easthetic. I just wanted it to geel warm and refelctive of my insides. The things that effect me. The parts I have trouble explaining or showing in any other way. There are textures, colors, light levels and tempuratures that just do something to me. I feel blessed to have a place I can contonually curate in order to express and connect to people. It's been an amazing experience for me to see people relate to the work and the space."
You can see the Watts' gritty and meticulously detailed mixed-media assemblage pieces along with his intricate leather apparel (bracelets, bags & wallets etc.) on display and for sale at INTERNAL Gallery & Oddities on Fridays 5pm-9pm and Saturdays 1pm-9pm weekly and during each Art Walk.