Yamabushi Art: Form, Function and Fashion

sketchbook_cover_frontYamabushi art as it has been performed by me has existed nearly twenty years , even longer if you account for artistic development. The modern interpretation and implementation of this art form will be discussed in length by the author in an attempt to explain the unexplainable. The very term Yamabushi harnesses a certain power a certain hidden magic belief. A poly-blend ethnic mix that assimilates the power of divergent cultures and blends it into one’s own. You take the simple alchemical shorthand of power next to more power wrapped in a power bundle equals more power.

It is not each individual ingredient that makes the soup strong, but the sum of the combined ingredients. So to in collage art extrapolated through the lens of mysticism. Gather all of your favorite things and figure out how they could best enhance each other. To the author the relationship to graffiti and the visualization of the Hip-Hop concept seems the simplest correlation. The complex visual tool-box that is employed almost by second nature or auto-pilot is a similar dance. A Yamabushi Art collage piece should have that same flawless flow that sense of everything in it’s most maximized place that a great graffiti wall piece has. A similar bravado or swagger, a moment of greatest actualization frozen it time at it’s pinnacle. There is a certain dance an artist does with his or her subject, a back and forth how deep do you take it? Do you go right for the jugular or are you more slow and subtle? It all comes back to communication and coded forms of interaction with the viewer. Yamabushi Art as interpreted by this artist equates to a certain freedom steeped in very spiritual waters that keeps evolving and spreading almost forming a completely new visual language of hopes and prayers.

Yamabushi Art is super collage. Super collage uses combined images to create new works of art , like a puzzle builder with riddles on the mind. Collage is very immediate, the ideas can flow fast or transform completely into something totally different.

Yamabushi Art Through the Years; a Concise History

The thrift store troubadour who creates the by any means necessary collage coded in culture clues and metaphysical meanings. The art by that guy with all that future past samurai psychedelics. The Art that for years has been trying to tell the stories for those that have ears to hear.

The true artist’s life is one of sacrifice. The self-absorption perilous and bewildering at times. The commitment to truly grow and manifest must win out above all others. You become explorer in uncharted waters risking oblivion around every turn in search of fabled gold. You become an minnesinger, a myth weaver, a tale teller with a mighty ax to grind. You must seduce with beauty and torment with horror. You must try to reach a cold-hearted lot. Eventually a subculture of fans and hangers ons develop to help spread and broadcast , to actually start a movement in art. The idea to help establish a new way of seeing and interacting with the world. There is so much out there how does one matter ? By being genuine and staying true ? Or is it the best deal the most commercial success? When money rules the world and only the rich artists who made it count , then we get what we get. When those that were handed a leg up refuse to throw a line down so the rest of us can climb out. Why make art in the first place? Who cares anymore you can’t eat it you can’t screw it what’s the use. Then you try to make a living making art and become everyone’s low priced whore. A step above a beggar but with your heart forever on your sleeve. Unless you make trophies for the rich. Material items that show what good taste they have. How does one keep art for the people ? stir the emotions of the one’s that need the uplift the most. You have to keep it in the streets, on peoples backs, in their face. Force the world to deal with it , grow it bigger and bigger , snowball it til it avalanches and kills a few skiers. Bomb with love. If all their power comes from keeping us in fear of the other, then why not mongrel up. It is all in the mix. To refine and shine should be the goal as we seek our higher selves. To help enlighten the world to love and beauty and zen and oneness.

As an introduction we will try to explain some of the theories, thoughts and prayers that form the basis of our expression. In a nutshell we attempt to provide artistic answers to materialistic consumerism or our shared throw away culture.

In a time of mass media onslaught and advanced propaganda technique the need for an alternative seemed paramount. We decided to build a platform for this expression.

The overwhelming need to give voice to the voiceless, to champion the un-championed, to tell the story that has not been told. We also undertook this mission to give hope to light the way in these dark times. We at Yamabushi feel a responsibility to hold out that hand of hope, to show others that they can create and make a difference.

It has been a long stubborn difficult road, yet we remain hard-headed and hopeful. We stay true to the principles that have guided us this far. By blending the use of symbols as well as cultural icons with real life and dream contexts we formed a new pictorial language. With multi-level meanings, activating simultaneously, we explore the stylish pop cultural versus the deeper secrets and hidden code. It is exactly at this junction, the interplay between the two, where our power lies. The alchemist’s dream is something from nothing.

detail_funkadelicThis is how we work: concocting visual mixtures for those that have eyes to see. The overall flavor is due to the sum of the ingredients. We live on concentrate keep it personal and take it deep. The soul searching and the tribulations all are shared and incorporated, nothing is watered down. By combining mythology with magic and meaning, the artist becomes the vehicle for divine inspiration. One just channels and rushes headlong into the fold. We are culture hunters, scouring the globe with a mad man’s glee, trying to find the next score the next forgotten deposit that can be reborn in the flame of creation and take flight from the ashes.

It is an information war and we are the generals, the planning tacticians, who operate behind the lines with hidden hermit status, pushing the positive propaganda. We activate the genius mastery to destroy the veils of complex illusion and frequency control.

Directing covert assaults we labor to fight the good fight to stay ahead of the curve to strengthen the weary to illuminate the way. We have to transmute the enemy advance and transmit our own dominate message. It is now time to expand the band-with, broaden the broadcast.

detail_butterflyUsing a wide range of media we hope to share our struggles as well as convey our highest hopes. We have to make it a family thing and grow forward to the future. Everyone has been divided and conquered it is time to bring all the tribes together and mend the hoop. We try to be personal, yet universal with our message, take it all, put it under one tent. To act as artistic soothsayer observer of the hidden truths so easily overlooked.

The purpose of art can be to incite, inspire, instigate as well as to unify or understand. We at Yamabushi are very thankful of the people who seek us out and inquire within. We would not still be doing this if it were not for all of the people who have supported us over the years. We have been at it for a while now the art has made it all over the world into magazines and rap songs and we have even more schemes up our sleeves for the future. So with your continued support we will keep ever advancing to the next level.

The master-plan has been to grow and share our collective aesthetic distilling and refining as we go. Like Galactus ‘devourer of worlds’ one has to constantly absorb the more you absorb the greater the pallet you have to draw from the more power you have to employ.

detail_ladycobraWe try to remain free and open in our ideas and subject matter and by blowing up independently no one tells us what to do. Our growth has been tremendous and yet we are standing on the tip of the iceberg. The potential for the future is amazing. We will continue to concoct the necessary alchemical visual transmission. We wish to encode our world for the tapestry of time.

Another important aspect of our mission is to honor the fallen and glorify the memory of our ancestors. We wish to represent various forms of culture that are ignored or overlooked. We at Yamabushi are buckling down for the come up. We did it our way like Sid Vicious ten years in the game. We have also stayed in the shadows slowly starving getting work done but not being as effective as we need to be.

It is edifying to have our work so loved by people from all over we are very thankful. We at Yamabushi could not do it without the support of everyone out there. I have the intention that the shirts be a marker for our tribe for us by us.

detail_mayhemThat whenever you see someone wearing one that person is automatically a potential ally at least it is one step in the right direction. We are not some huge corporation outsourcing our work to sweat shops in China we are not greedy we just want to get the message out. Making art about our shared collective culture is what we are all about all our hopes and dreams are wrapped up in this. Green Knight culture Rangers lead the way we represent the witchdoctors of the tribe.

The shirts have been Johnny Apple seeded all over the place over the years with no real consistency we want to change that now with this new web site so long in the making we will have the base to be able to take it to the next level.

So again we are sorry for the long wait if you are out there reach out and touch base we are accessible at the Yamabushi collective and we need your help and support to wait for the super nice breezes the powerful gusts that flow like the waves in the ocean.

We want to be there for future generations when you have children. Be a positive force keep the circle deep and correct keep the ciphers going. We at Yamabushi will continue to expand our communication capabilities to broaden our scope of influence as much as possible.

We want to continue unique and interesting ways of fighting this information war. So for those of you out there dedicated to the cause we salute you, for those that were fans come back and check out what we are up to now. For all the new comers enjoy this. Continue to the First Chapter: “In The Beginning…”