Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cheaper Than Arrows: STOIC One man art show @ Venture Compound

Work by STOIC

The artist known as STOIC is a beloved fixture in the St. Pete scene. Dark-haired, wiry, high-energy yet gentle and very spiritual person, he excels with his music and his art. The Venture Compound took the initiative and inevitable step of presenting the community with STOIC's first and richly deserved solo show: Cheaper Than Arrows.

Work by STOIC

Working with the Compound's Gallery Director Brad Kokay and owner Jessie Vance, the entire gallery was transformed into an installation space in only a few days of intense work. Enter the room and things are stilled. The industrial landscape outside, blasting Floridian light, everyday noises and contingencies float away. The room is painted black. The ceiling and floor look like the evening sky.

Work by STOIC

 Along two walls, STOIC's signature ghostly skulls scaled up to about 4ft tall stare back at you, laughing. I've known STOIC for some time. We talked for a while, and he recalled the time he was bitten on a finger in his sleep by a poisonous spider. It threatened his life, and made him think about a lot of things. The skulls began appearing in his work after he recovered. Note the scarab on the forehead of this one. [Link].

Work by Brad Kokay

Along one of the other walls is a large work by Brad Kokay (shown at left), along the 4th wall, were works, some by STOIC and Kokay, others by friends, for sale, following the Venture Compound's egalitarian pricing philosophy of bringing sub-$50 works to the people.

Work by STOIC

The Venture Compound has established its own tradition of being, among many other things, a transformative space. Some of it is due to the experimental music concerts, graffiti on the patio walls by the best street art/muralists in the area, and of course, the people that run, play at, and visit the place.

STOIC's Cheaper Than Arrows dovetails with this, becoming a crucible for the soul. The space is an alchemical womb for the prepared mind.

J. Thelonious played music. I've heard him play many times, but this time he played music he had just written during the prior 48 hrs, complex and rich, with what I can only describe as movements, like one finds in classical music. Here are a few pictures...

J. Thelonious and STOIC 
Artist and his drawing of the concert.
Work by STOIC

Congratulations to STOIC, Brad Kokay, Jesse Vance and his crew for hosting STOIC's long-overdue first solo show. and to J. Thelonious for a great concert.

--- Luis


  1. at long last someone in st. pete has made some serious art. (Stoic)

  2. at long last finally some serious and dramatic art done in st. petersberg. the works by stoic.