One afternoon I got a phone call from Sean Bono, and he was asking if I was interested in joining their team for a over night trip upstate New York. ( At first I was liking the idea of going for any type of trip. I was needing a new visual change, and this trip was a great opportunity). Then he goes on by saying that the trip was for us to network and get to know more about GOLDEN acrylic paints, and how its made and also getting to know the history about acrylics. After he told me that, I became very happy and so excited, that I was waiting for the days to pass until the date for our departure.
THE DAY: Monday April 13, 2009 / 10:00am. The place for us to rondevou was: 14 Street Union Square. Myself and Concep,(an amazing visual artist, who is breaking boundaries with his style in painting), along with Brian #1 and Sean Bono, the founder of Art Battles, who so happened to be the driver, met and gathered our belongings onto the vehicle and was then heading for a memorable art experience! On our road trip, (I don't remember who asked this question, but it sure affected our journey): How long is the ride to the Golden factory? The answer was: 4 hours. OK OK, four hours didn't seem like much, but it sure passed by quickly once the talking, the laughing, the listening to music and also, don't forget the piss stops. The scenery gradually changed to that of the industrial and commercial buildings, to long strips of land covered by vegetation. The appearance of herds of cows, and horses that were grazing, and also the ducks and crows that appeared here and there peppered the landscape or green and brown grass. The cold wind and the smell of cigarettes danced in the moving air, and the sounds of the music from their IPOD, gave me an impression of this trip that stills plays in my memories.
Our arrival to the GOLDEN acrylic paint warehouse/factory was marked "On Time" 2:00pm on the dot. That sure impressed Barbara Golden, the sweet hostess and co-founder of the GOLDEN acrylics. (Barbara is married to Mark Golden, the son of Sam Golden, the creator of GOLDEN acrylics), and she knew our names, as she shook hands of each of us, and asked to follow her into a large all white, one story high building.
The very first thing she asked us, was to sit and eat, while she prepares some paper work. So we did, we all sat and ate pasta with cucumbers, and drank soda pop. We were all thrilled in our own seats, engulfing the food, and the visuals that were all around us. Barbara then talks a little about the history of how and when the company was developed and established. A very fascinating story:
"At the age that is close to 70, an old man continues to make acrylics in his very own house. This older gentleman makes this one of a kind customs paint for his friends. The costumers wanted his paints because they had a unique brilliance that only this 70 year old man only creates. His wife, gets further and further irritated with his obsession to make acrylic paints for his friends, that she eventually told his husband to leave the house, and make this his special paint somewhere else along with his uncle. So that's exactly what he did. Days became weeks, and so forth, the evolution of a great big thing started to grow a large fan base with so many well know artist today. Thanks to his vision, SAM GOLDEN, the creator and the pioneer of GOLDEN acrylics, many artist then and now were able to make art and express it."
Moments later more talks and discussions then a follow up of her mission plans for the day. "OK my friends", Barbara speaks as we finished our lunch, and continues, by saying, "Lets now go down stairs and give you a part one tour of our mission as GOLDEN and also show you a place where we store our "Second" batch of paints" I didn't understand yet what was she referring to as Second?
We head down stairs, and we all are wide eyed and bushy tailed. Surrounding us was boxes, upon boxes upon boxes full of GOLDEN acrylic paints. For a moment, I felt that I was drooling there, standing up and gazing at the ART CANDY before me. Barbara goes on saying that we can take what ever we want in all of these boxes, as she further explains why. I already saw Concep and Sean diving in these huges boxes, and giggling as they hold and pick their art candy and making boxes of their very own to take with them. (WHAT THE F*&^%!!!!!!!!!!!!!) was she alright?! GOLDEN Acrylic paint is very VERY good quality paint, no excuses, and why is she freely giving it up to us like water? (Now that question was on my mind as she continues to speak, and she goes on by saying, that), GOLDEN acrylic paints are tested to give the artist the finest and best quality for the buck. This company was base on what the artist wants and need for their personal artistic satisfaction, and the duty of GOLDEN paints is to meet such demands.
Seconds are the tests that may not pass the GOLDEN approval to be placed n shelf's, but rather, reused to experiment and or placed aside for donations and other art projects. There were many quantity of these Seconds, that Barbara didn't mind at all having us "Utilize" these slight imperfections of these paints.
Our art feast ended several hours later, and a recap and also a planned dinner with the Golden's were already going under way. Packing what we all could carry onto the vehicle and later meeting up with Barbara and Mark Golden at their place, to then later meet up with them at a trendy college hall dinning restaurant, very close to COLGATE University. The dinner was delicious, but our getting to know each other was even more appetizing and satisfying. Mark Golden was the very first person to ask, "How did you all know each other?" Concep started to explain, he goes on by telling a story about how he met Sean and also commenting how he viewed Art Battles evolution with his art group and the fan base. Sean piggy back the conversation and includes Brian #1 involvement which worked hand and hand with Art Battle development in the media, and how he was the sole person left that stood by longer then any other documentary / photographer for the project that he initial had with Sean.(*Art Battle has by far WAY too many Brian's, so I had to label these fellas by placing numbers on them, Brian was the first Brian I met at my very first Art Battle experience, and thus its #1 stuck to this day).
My turn to explain to the Golden's my Art Battle experience, which lead to me telling a story of when and where I personally started painting live. And as I connected our shared experiences with each member that was on the table, we then shared to the Golden's how much passion we all had for painting live and how much of an impact we are to the New York City scene. From my observation, both Mark and Barbara were impressed and glad to have enjoyed our company and our devotion to the arts. The recap of the event went well, as we all finished our dinner and then headed our way back to the Golden's home, who welcomed us as a part of a art family.
Next day, we only had but a few hours left before we leave Berlin New York, NY, and we were excited to paint with the new developed acrylics that were once experiments and also costumes for slow drying. Now we are talking about serious NEW techniques, with new reinvented materials that has a change in function. 1)OPEN, 2)Soft Gel (acts in a flowing matter as water, but does not repels the raw canvas, 3)Gel thinner,(this can be used to thin other gels to make it to the variety to the GAC 100,and up to 800. (* The lower the number the thinner and smoother the gel mass, the higher the GAC number the thinker paste like gel you will have.) and many more added materials that aid one another in this new way or painting with acrylics.
There is more to say about my experience at the GOLDEN, such as how we all were using this materials, and also how we were able to view many well know professional artist and their art works at their private gallery, and also a warm fare well to our Hosts, the Golden family.
* P.S. You will see more images and phototage as the days passes by. I will keep you posted and share with you all, all that I know. Blessings to you all.