Feast Of All Souls: Friday (Nov. 4), Vineyard Food Company (1951 E. Vineyard St., Wailuku); no cover; vineyardfoodcompany.com
Early this Fall I brunched with fine artist James Lafferty, ere the eve of his solo exhibition at Wailuku Coffee Company (WCC). Bellies full of Eggs Benedict, we then toured his Makawao home studio–a caliginous cacophony of curiosities–where his prolificness is evidenced in piles of inked pieces, meticulous notebooks, reclaimed frames, paint splatter and a sprinkling of bottles bursting with brush-tipped tools. A fast friend, I first came to know Lafferty because we share a few vices: drupe juice-culture and cellophane-packed psychoactive sticks. (I suppose that alone is nothing special–those bad habits are pea pod par for the course for many a work week zombie–but it’s a birds of a feather thing, notwithstanding.) As a person, I can say this of Lafferty: in passing I admired a large jar filled with brittle wasps nests, placed high on his bookshelf, around the corner from a dresser strewn with bits of bone, calcigenous detritus, nubs, rust and incense ash. Lafferty later gifted me with a like jar, it’s top sealed in a rainbow rainstorm of candle wax. It now sits on my own book-and bone-laden shelf, a trophy to the kind of generosity the world does not deserve. Or at least, I don’t deserve it… And of his work, I can say this: his sui generis should speak to any aesthetic sensibility that appreciates a dunk in the dark side of Americana, ripe with religious motif and primary-colored paint. His August-September WCC show, titled “The Shining Overture: Stories of Church Fathers Blood God Mother Pills And The Spring-Time,” was dismantled early no-thanks to an art thief (albeit a nasty compliment).
But Wailuku gets a second chance this Friday (part of Wailuku First Friday festivities), at a special event which celebrates the opening of the expanded cafe at Vineyard Food Company with a “Feast Of All Souls” exhibition of Lafferty’s original work, poster prints and limited edition postcards, “shewing the mystical eldritch books, revealing arcane signs.” (PS: Laffery was born on Maui, reared in a Midwestern city’s drear and high-schooled on the slopes of Haleakala.) Sample his style by perusing his online portfolio at jlaffertyart.com.