Adam is a painter and visual artist of extraordinary talent. This is his website where you can see how amazing his dramatic use of color, light, and scope is and how he uses deceptively simple form to bring out really rich content. His paintings remind me of the best kind of fiction--the stuff that just keeps getting more complicated the longer you look at it. It's sort of like the visual version of Raymond Carver.
I've known Adam since junior high when we were fast friends. And while I will not tell you that we broke into the Calabasas Lockheed facility and dodged security cameras for fun, we had many a childhood adventure. We would stay up all night watching Jaws at our friend Brandon's house. We would invade the local business offices with our water gun wars because they always had the best cover and obstacles and clear out long before the police arrived to drive us off. And I can't even tell you how many times we walked around the lake in Calabasas Park just talking. (We were so young that the security guards didn't have the heart to kick us out of what was a private park not intended for the apartment-dwelling likes of me and Adam.) Whether it was the beginning band of A.E. Wright middle school, the first stirrings of our artsy brains to appreciate certain things that many of our other friends just didn't "get," or just general mayhem, we were partners in many wonder-years stories of mischief. But not that Lockheed one. Seriously. That never happened.
Adam has recently written a hilarious book self love, called Kama Sutra for One and a blog promoting it. I hope he doesn't hate me for saying I find his painting much more inspirational. It's not that I don't want to think about the guy up at the top of this entry giving me tips on masturbating, it's just that I think that...okay yeah, that's exactly what it is, actually.
Mostly though, Adam inspires me because he's an artist. I grew up with this guy. We played Atari together, and agreed that Tax Evaders was the worst game ever. (Of COURSE I mean except for E.T.) We watched Blade Runner over and over because even back then we could tell something more important was going on in that movie than in Star Wars. And he is a working artist. He made it. I lost track of him for years, and then one day I walked into a gallery in Cambria (on the California coast near Hearst Castle) and half the store was just his stuff. I tried to convince the store owner I knew him, but I think she thought I was a stalker fan or something and wouldn't pass a message on to him for me. It took me a few more years (and Facebook) to finally track him down. But knowing Adam when we were both young, and seeing him later, really brought home to me that working artists are not some strange species of creature. They're just humans with a flicker of talent, and the passion and will to blow that spark into something greater even if it takes a metric asston of work.
He's had so many recent articles--of high praise--on Huffington Post, that I'm pretty sure he HAS to be sleeping with Arianna. And yet...I still knew him during the summer where I'm pretty sure he didn't say a single thing that wasn't a Bobcat Goldthwait impersonation. Though, maybe Arianna likes that sort of thing, I don't know.
Technically I even own one of Adam's paintings. I could NEVER afford one myself, but I did some biography writing for him a couple of years ago and instead of mess with freelance contract BS., he just offered me a trade of one of his smaller prints of a dirigible. (Which I will totally be staring at repeatedly when I write my steampunk zombie story.) He just needs to get off his tortured artist butt and actually send it to me.
Nothing but love Adam. Seriously. Not anything (well, except perhaps for a hint of envy that is probably good because it drives me forward). It's been an honor to know you.
And you guys should totally check him out. Spend more than a couple of minutes looking at one of his pictures, and I promise you'll realize something you didn't see at first glance. Sometimes art of completely different media can be the most inspirational thing you'll ever encounter. Well, except maybe for realizing that the working artist with the gallery in Cambria and the mind blowing paintings used to be your friend who didn't like to practice drums and always stole your fries.