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AJ Ransdell

 

AJ Ransdell (b. 1965) is Southern Californian experimental painter and punk musician with 30 years of film set-making and prop-making experience in TV shows such as Twin Peaks, Pirates of the Caribbean, and everything in between.

Leaving home and starting out as an early teen punk during the late 70's and 80's, AJ wrote songs, supported touring bands, partied, and performed as a backup singer with his friends from "Secret Hate". In the late 80's he formed the hardcore punk band 'Das Klown' where as vocalist, he wore stage clown makeup, and toured internationally. Life on the road, overcoming drug addiction, early fatherhood, and a tragic industrial accident that left AJ with an amputated-and-reattached right hand were key parts in his learning journey into a life of self-development, discovering strength and freedom through navigating intense physical and mental challenges. 

Having to relearn fine motor function through his left hand, AJ taught himself how to paint (mostly with acrylics), and creates an array of visually stimulating images that encompasses light and dark narratives, figurative characters, feelings and textures, color collisions, personal stories - anything that breaks out of conceptual monotony and normalcy. His advice is simply to 'let your personal journey shape its own expression and style. Do whatever makes you happy and fuck what other people think.' AJ still practices woodworking through building custom frames and shapes for his artwork. Retaining a sense of wonder and acceptance of his creative experience through his disability, AJ's art proves that skill and technical abilities increase over practice, and staying open to what more can always be learnt.

Despite years of music (and its frustrations) and finding deeper fulfillment through focusing on his family and fine art, AJ still works on music projects - Wrong Beach with his friend Rikk Agnew, and recently started recording JAGAD, featuring members of Das Klown, Wrong Beach, and The Crewd. He lives and paints in between his home in Long Beach, CA, and the beautiful desert vistas of Joshua Tree.

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