The Strange and Irreverent Travels...

Back of Beyond exhibition at City Hall


I have two announcements to make. The first is that I’m showing at City Hall and Fermentation Lounge with Carrie Ann Baade and MANDEM in a wonderful exhibition of oddities. The second is that this is my last exhibition in town for a while as I’m headed up north to Rhode Island at the start of next month. I’ll be posting more information soon in regards to my latter announcement, however, in regards to my former… in an effort to create a uniform promotion of our event, I have copied and pasted information from COCA/Facebook event pages.

“Curated by Amanda Karioth Thompson, Back of Beyond brings together three Tallahassee artists who continually look to push the boundaries of creativity; Carrie Ann Baade, MANDEM and James Mazza are no exception. Gleaning inspiration from subculture, personal experience, literature, mythology and art history, each has developed a style entirely their own. Working in a wide range of media, subject matter, and conceptual approaches, these artists highlight the fine line between weird and wonderful.

Carrie Ann Baade’s highly acclaimed oil paintings are allegorical narratives set in surreal landscapes. She references old Renaissance and Baroque images, creating new characters from them. The resulting artworks are far more entertaining than the old paintings from which they are derived. Baade passes along her knowledge as an Associate Professor of Art at FSU where she teaches techniques of the old masters.

MANDEM is the art-name for Maize Arendsee and her life-partner, Moco Steinman-Arendsee. The two of them work collaboratively to create artworks that originate with digital techniques and often incorporate traditional mediums such as oil paint. MANDEM’s artwork features characters that blur the lines between genders and between humans, animals, and machines. Informed by antiquities, mythography and literary theory, the pieces have a strong storytelling aspect. With a style MANDEM describes as ”Mythpunk Noir,” the alternative histories depicted are a playful imagining of a world of mythic characters.

James Mazza creates digital collages that imply constant change through his method of layering and blending textures. Using a variety of photographs and scanned images of items such as fabric and junk store finds, he creates works that evolve with the audience and gain new meanings with every viewing. Mazza has always sought solace in imagination and fantasy and he grew up with a love for movies and comics. Mazza is able to condense that same sense of transportation that he experienced as a child, in his artwork.

On display at the City Hall Art Gallery are more than 45 wondrous and bizarre artworks that are firmly rooted in the surreal. Come along for the ride and bring an open mind. The back of beyond is waiting for you.

Meet the artists and enjoy refreshments at the exhibit reception on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013 from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

The City Hall Art Gallery is located on the second floor of City Hall at 300 South Adams Street and is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm. All exhibitions in this space are free and open to the public.

This exhibition is one of more than a dozen curated by the Council on Culture & Arts for the Art in Public Places program on behalf of the City of Tallahassee. For more information about this program, visit For more information about this exhibition, upcoming exhibitions, or the Art in Public Places program, contact Amanda Karioth Thompson at COCA, (850) 224-2500 or

Special thanks to Amanda Karioth and COCA’s Art in Public Places program.”

And please RSVP to the reception (and post reception party at Fermentation) through the following links!

Back of Beyond

Weird and Wonderful

Monochromatic Monsters... Oh My!

I’m nearing completion on a new collage that slightly follows the previous “Where upon we learned we were not alone” in the sense of childhood nightmares and monsters in the dark. Its existing on my hard drive under the very tentative title of “Wait until decayed” because I’m terrible with titles. I’m posting it, along with a few images of the progression of the collage to see if I can get a few critiques, comments and general dismissals from whom ever sees this.

wait here until decayed2comp

Every few collages I work have been bringing out the creatures from symmetrical manipulation of textures and backgrounds… so might have to start a series of them. Bear in mind that this is a 20×30 (at least) image so my blog posting is fairly low resolution. I’ll update with a larger resolution file in my gallery section once I’ve decided to tie it off.

wait here until decayedcomp

And I realize as I post this that I really should take images at various stages of the work to show it complexifying (I blame the Invisibles for my diction) in the finished work. Its a bit of a jump from the image below where I was assembling images and textures I wanted to use to the image above.

wait in this room compress

For those disheartened by the monochromatic nature of this piece don’t fret, the other pieces I’m working on are frighteningly vibrant. And the invasive influence of watching the BBC show Utopia over and over is twisting my sense of composition and saturation.

Psychedelic was on repeat

Multiple updates a week should help push me to be more productive and creative, or at least that’s the hope! Another image that will be on display at City Hall starting the 18th of September! Gotdrunkandlistenedtothebeatles is a terrible name but I’ve always had a bad way with titling my work. Hanging large at 30 x 40 inches and its surreal colors look great when printed on a metallic finish.


I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to spend some time in a junk yard this coming Friday and I’ve got a list of local butchers to contact in the hopes of a photo shoot as well. Everyone out in the interwebs that stumbles upon this page, if you like what you see please “like” for information, images and updates on what spills out of my addled brain.

Tea and Egyptian Fertility Gods...

In a third attempt this year to be more communicative and update this website as new projects, art and potential pitfalls appear, I submit Osiris Devouring. The first in what I hope to be a continued push towards deconstructing human forms Osiris is printed 30×40 inches and will be shown at City Hall from the 18th of September to November 2nd. I’ll be posting more images as the show approaches as well as the official press information from COCA.

Osiris Devouring

In addition to prep for the City Hall show I’ve got four or five new collages in various stages nearing completion, a fall schedule of shoots and events and a need to contact junk yards, models and butcher shops…. which sounds very odd now that I’ve written it out. Um. Junk yards for industrial textures… butcher shops for meat textures… models to create more human figure stock photos to use.

That doesn’t sound much better.

Damn you Francis Bacon!

Where upon we learned we are not alone...


I’ve been working towards a fall showing at City Hall with Carrie Anne Baade and Mandem and I’m at the point where I can begin printing some of the pieces. I’ll be receiving the first few printed works over the next few days and will be posting as I get them. A few I’m holding off to unveil at the show but this friendly maw I couldn’t help but post; “Where upon we learned we are not alone.”


I had tried to modify this, make it more sacrificial but that will have to be a follow-up piece. It’s not all darkness, I swear! One new work is absurd psychedelic surrealism after listening to Beatles for the first time in several years. Ahem. Anyway, onward to more better stranger odder Dada-er (?) images…

Lake Ella with Amanda and Morris...

A little bit ago I had a chance to spend a wonderful morning with Amanda and Morris capturing the time before being a couple becomes a family.

Mandy1   Mandy2

The first part of the session was around Lake Ella where we made great use of the early morning sun while side stepping the increasing duck population.

Mandy3  MandyBW1

Afterwards they graciously let me invade their living room with my semi-mobile studio gear; leaving me lamenting the decision to purchase super heavy high wattage strobes.




For my first maternity session, I think Amanda, Morris and myself did pretty alright… going to have to update a family portraits page under services!

Growing contacts, diversifying abilities, brain is melting a bit after work...

This might just be me trying to keep up posts and be more productive on the digital front than I have been in the past. Whatever… a far too long shift has scrambled my brains today. So I got my new business cards at the end of last week, a temporary fix while I design a new, semi-permanent design.

I also received the first print I’ve ever had finished on a stretched canvas frame this past Friday. I was extremely satisfied with the print but not sure if I’ll completely change over from my traditional Kodak Metallic prints. The benefit of being exhibition ready is very tempting but I do like the 3d effect from the Metallic printing. And I need to check out metal prints as soon as I hit the damn lottery.


So in other news, I’m slowly finishing off this site. I need to finalize the moment’s services page, create general galleries index, write a bio that makes me sound like less of an ass, add one or two more services and such. I’ve signed up with Google checkout to eventually provide an e-cart for prints/services/sitting fees and the like. Hopefully will implement this feature in the coming week. I’m also collecting testimonials from previous clients to help fill out my services pages which is turning out to be a slow process. Oh, and I have a show in the fall that is beginning to be planned. All that is certain at the moment is that it will be at City Hall in Tallahassee from September to November, we will have an after party/showing at Fermentation Lounge (hopefully) and that Carrie Ann Baade and Mandem are part of this group exhibition in which I’m an admiring shadow participant. Er. This is just going to be a crazy talented, totally surreal, quite a bit strange exhibition where your life quality will improved upon by simply laying eyes on the fruits of our labor. As it should be.

Business cards, road trips and a need to finish this website.

After several months of having out-of-date business cards with an old phone number and domain name, I finally ordered a set of temporary business cards last night. Its a small amount to tide me over until I have a finished design that I can order in bulk. The other option I’m considering is a set of cards for my art related content and another for my photographic services.
Business Card FrontBusiness Card Back
A few days ago I went road tripping with friends for the first time in quite a few months and came back with a fair amount of material for new collages. I’m going to try to regularly start shooting with collage in mind so I can have a whole new selection of work for a show in the fall and to greatly amplify my output. A wishlist of sites I need to photograph is forthcoming but butcher shop/junk yard/power plant are all definitely going to be on the list. After many friends have praised them, I made the leap and ordered a 20×30 canvas from CGProprints to see how my collages look on that sort of finish. It will be a great time saver in terms of mounting/framing if they look good but I’m a little weary of moving away from the metallic finish of Kodak paper.
Back of Madison BusinessWe weren't tresspassing, I swear
And finally I’ll be working on creating a service page for vehicular collages over the next couple of days. I also need to come up with a snappy name for the damn thing. Basically I’ll spend 10-20 minutes (perhaps longer but generally not needed) photographing you and your favorite motorcycle, car, truck or whatever you love and then I’ll used the images to create a collage in the vein of my Alexian Images work. The textures and backgrounds will be build of spokes, pistons and speedometers; you’ll be able to specify whether you want your name or simply the brand of vehicle. I’m still trying to decide whether to offer it on a stretched canvas to simplify mounting and presentation or to have it on my traditional Kodak Metallic paper. Anyway, more to come.
Business Card Front

A Good Start....

As I write this, I’m still trying to decide whether to continue my Alexian Images blog in order to differentiate the less public, the stranger side of my art or condense the two domains into this singular site. I leaning towards the latter but as there isn’t really a time constraint on the decision, I’ll probably procrastinate for a bit. I’m slowly sculpting this into what I want to represent my personal work and my more commercial, service based photography. Its a bit of a struggle to express that I’m not a traditional photographer without frightening off new potential clients. I’m the photographic equivalent of Lynch’s Straight Story, I’m unique but Disneyland-friendly. New business cards are coming as I have changed domain names as well as phone numbers… the goal is to be finished by the end of the month. Headed to breakfast with the brilliant photographer Ansley Simmons tomorrow morning, a damn good start to a productive day where I hope to finish the bulk of this site and still get out and get some project starting stock photos of this world. I’ve got a few collages on the back burner and a ton of projects bursting forth from my mind. I just need some time now… and this will be the first and last post without a new photo or piece of art, I promise.

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