24 April 2011

Who wants to start a mathrock band?

Oh, look! Elephants! I drew and printed these guys for Block Party 2011, a multi-band event put on by Community Records. These friendly elephants are marching at the intersection of Carondelet and Clio Street in New Orleans. By coincidence, my initial sketch bore a close resemblance to the intersection at which this fest is being held. This was pointed out by the record label, and they supplied me with some snapshots of the intersection so I could draw it more precisely.
One of the headlining bands for Block Party 2011 was RX Bandits, who I've read are on their final tour. I saw RX Bandits in 1999 when they were still a ska band (yep). They took a lot stylistic twists and turns over the years and ended up being a totally different (but awesome) sounding band. It's pretty cool to do a poster for a band I listened to when I was kid.
This poster is going to be available on my site shortly.
One last thing: If you're in Chicago, you should get over to Rotofugi sometime soon and check out Jay Ryan's new paintings. I rode my bike in some underestimated rain on Friday to attend the opening (even though I could have driven). Anyway, Jay's new work is awesome, so check out it.

19 April 2011

Oh, hi Mark!

It's raining in Chicago right now. I've finished work for the day and am contemplating what to eat for dinner. I spent a good chunk of the day working on some new paintings. It feels good to paint again. I'm pretty excited about these, too.
I was recently asked to participate in something for the 2011 Version Festival through my friends at Fillintheblank Gallery. The idea was to make a quick visual map of one's personal "art landscape." I had only a rough idea what I was going to do for this, so it mostly came together when I sat down and penciled this out.
This was actually going to be a lot more cartoonish, but I ended up deciding against that. I had a lot of fun with this. It's going to be interesting to see what other people came up with.

For no apparent reason other than to procrastinate on making dinner, here are a few songs that have been feeding my ears today:
Rose Melberg - Each New Day
Jawbox - Sound On Sound (originally by Big Boys)
Fugazi - Furniture
Smashing Pumpkins - Try, Try, Try (alternate take)
Tiger Trap - Sour Grass

17 April 2011

Gallery 1988's Required Reading goes live. Local man has tea and uses internet.

Greetings from the coffee shop down the street from my apartment! I've just been handed my Earl Grey tea, and it has some sort of metal lid and a timer on top of it. I'm not familiar with this custom, but I sort of enjoy it. I speculate the timer is to indicate when the tea has steeped. I also like that they have soy milk next to the sugar and dairy milk. Not that I would add soy milk to a black tea (Can you do that? Would that be appropriate?).
Anyhow, I'm here writing this blog post because I've been without internet at my apartment for a couple of days, and it has been a bit too long since I've updated here.
To the left is my print in Gallery 1988's Required Reading
. For this show, each artist picked a classic book about which to do either a poster or art print. I did an art print for Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions. I chose to illustrate a passage in the book in which the character Dwayne Hoover is standing
on top of the Holiday Inn he owns, staring out at the city and thinking, "Where Am I?" as he thinks of the many ways he is connected to this place and wonders how his life ended up as it has. The fact that Dwayne's mental state is beginning to deteriorate at this point makes this passage interesting, as well.
I think asking "Where am I?" of oneself in this context (minus the impending madness) is a pretty universal experience; to think of past events and experiences that lead you to the moment you have a bizarre but obvious re-realization that this is my life. Reflection of the self and one's surroundings sometimes occurs so infrequently in daily life that when it finally happens, it feels like it's been a few years and you're left wondering exactly when it was you moved into the apartment you're currently occupying (or the Holiday Inn on which you're currently standing).

Required Reading was curated by Mitch Putnam of OMGPosters! and poster artist, Rob Jones. There is a ton of excellent work in the show, which you can check out and/or purchase here. My print, pictured above/left is currently available here. Below are some detail shots.

This was probably the most involved print I've done so far, with the drawing alone taking somewhere in the 16-20 hour area. I completed the full composition in pencil, and I inked the drawing in four separate sections, so I could have four separate key line films (this was how I printed different parts of the city in different colors). The print ended up being nine screens, the final being a transparent layer of white for the glow around the Mildred Barry Memorial Center for the Arts (a stilted, spherical structure described in the book that I couldn't resist drawing).

In other news, Poster Cabaret's annual Bicycle Print Show opens May 5th in Austin, Texas. I just finished my print for the show last week and subsequently shipped it off to the gallery. Other upcoming poster fun will include work for Ween, James Blake, and a tour poster for Iron & Wine. Plus a whole slough of paintings later this year, but more on that later.