Welcome to Komodo Week! Our good friend and young creative Johnathon Williams, also known as Johnny Komodo, decided to make the most of his birthday not just by celebrating another year of life but also using it as a stepping stone towards his aspirations and expression of himself. Only when each of its parts were conceived within the last 2 years did Komodo week take full form. The project consisted of 3 events, each offering another sense of expression of himself as well as memories and ideas that have stuck with him over time.
Day 1: Sticks And Stones
"The first event came from the thoughts I would play back in my mind from people in my life that still had the power to stir up the same emotions as when they were first said to me. It was then I started to think about how powerful the words have been from people in my life. The smell, taste, touch, and sounds and sights of relationships all seem to fade but the words are what continued to resonate with me the most. That is where I got the name Sticks & Stones which comes from the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."
Each piece is made from leather and indigo power, expressing a different statement that seemed to connect with everyone in their own way. We might have heard or said these statements in different context but the feeling those words held were all present. It was interesting to see that Johnny chose this particular form of art considering his work is predominantly photography, but as he explained he believed with words he was able to create the opposite effect of his normal medium of expression.
Day 2: Made from Scratch
"The second event was an idea that was birthed from my passion for the culinary arts. Never having gone to culinary school this one was probably the toughest for me to complete, but opening a restaurant or at least competing on Chopped has always been a dream of mine so I tried to construct a menu that simulated that. The concept behind each of the dishes was to utilize as much natural blue and purple colored food as possible. Blue and purple are very rare colors in nature but foods with these colors are high in antioxidants. I didn’t start out knowing this but as I did more research and began accumulating the ingredients, it was a pleasant surprise to know that the food I was making would be healthy as well."
Blue Riverside Salad
Purple Kale, blueberry, Raspberry Walnut Vinagrette with a Blue Cheese and Olive Bruschetta
Blue Chicken Biscuit
Fried Chicken Breast, Honey, blue cornflower biscuit, macaroni and cheese and string beans
Pink Pearl Taco
Charcoal Seasoned Shrimp, white rice and black beans, corn flour tortilla wrapped in purple cabbage leaf
Naga Dragon Ribs
Ghost Chili pepper and honey seasoned beef shortrib, purple potato French fries, and purple cabbage
Sponge cake, Vanilla ice cream, blueberries, honey, ghost chili powder
The dinner was warm and intimate as some of Johnny's closest friends gathered in Hell's Kitchen to be a part of the second phase. The night was full of laughter and good conversation. Each person who attended the dinner also lent a helping hand with the preparation. The tables were set, food was prepared, cooked, and enjoyed by each one of his friends over a glass of wine. One of our creative directors, Dina Volpe also contributed some signage to greet each person for the evening. Overall, the dinner was a success and Johnny seemed to thrive as Head Chef for the night.
Day 3: Power of Love
"The first event that was conceived was the Power of Love about a year ago. The Power of Love came to me when I was with a former girlfriend that I hadn’t seen for some time. At that point she was using songs to communicate her emotions because it was easier for her to express herself that way. I remember her introducing me to a song from a band called Redline Graffiti and in that moment the song resonated with me so much because of the feeling of summertime, walking with a loved one, and a song that spoke to love. That is when I realized I wanted to hold an event that played strictly Love and Positive music, because the music we listen to has a lot of control over our thoughts and expressions. I felt that so many of our parties play songs that are only about negative themes and conflicts."
An early brunch in the heart of Brooklyn on a beautiful day was nothing short a great finish to what already was an amazing week so far. Music built on love and positivity became the theme for an atmosphere of great energy all around. From day to night the party only got better to what became the eventual turn up. After all, we were celebrating another year of life with the people that mattered most.
Towards the end of the night I sat down with Johnny and had a very positive conversation over some drinks as he reflected on the whole experience of the week. He showed gratitude and joy seeing his ideas and work come into fruition. He was also happy his work and efforts inspired others around him including myself to go out and work towards the things that we find happiness and purpose in. The first-annual Komodo week comes to an end but was a complete success.