Monday, September 14, 2009

"I hope the exit is joyful - and I hope never to return"

this painting was done for the Autumn Society's show celebrating "Dia De Los Muertos" at Philadelphia's Proximity Gallery (2434 East Dauphin Street!) October 1st - November 1st

feel free to click for a larger view!

i also burned/carved into a frame for the piece

the piece came a bit from a lot of sources. one is the Catrinas of Mexico, which are elegant female skeletal figures intended to show that the rich and fashionable, despite their pretensions to importance, are just as susceptible to death as anyone else is. i like how a "king may go through the progress through the guts of a beggar" from Hamlet illustrating death as the great equalizer. my disdain for celebrity worship and the upsetting things popular culture and the media often celebrates were the impetus here

Octavio Paz observes that, undaunted by death, the Mexican has no qualms about getting up close and personal with death, noting that he "...chases after it, mocks it, courts it, hugs it, sleeps with it; it is his favorite plaything and his most lasting love." even old samurai thought upon death just enough to find peace with it, however and whenever it came. my favorite is when my Dad coined the term "Miracle of Death" that coincides alongside the Miracle of Life. that would be something i would love to touch upon artistically someday

for now, the show should be a fun one. happy holiday!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Coco Chanel

wow, what a day

Alarmcaster !

Philadelphia's Alarmcaster started off as 'friends of a friend' and quickly became 'friends'. we weren't sure if i could achieve the look they wanted at first, but we chipped away at it until the band was really excited about it, which of course is the best result i could hope for. Keats was a really super guy to work with and was terrific about the whole collaborative process. This awesome blistering CD is getting hand screen-printed on eco-friendly cardboard by the talented folks at Sire Press

concept thumbnails:

i really liked this next direction, and were getting close and feeling better, but not quite

The Final (click for larger looks if you like!) :

I 'heart' Harlem

moving to NYC and Harlem in Manhattan has been incredible so far, and thanks to an amazing support system of friends here, the enthusiasm of family, and of course Sarah Daisy Baugh as the best partner you could ask for in any adventure, it's hard to believe we've already/only been here for one third of a year!

the neighborhood and community has been wonderful, and we must be assimilating well as neighbors because I have already helped out two local Harlem entrepreneurs!

this photo is of a possible new club that may be opening, who needed a simple realistic logo of a leopard to get the branding rolling

this led to working with Harlem's historic jazz club the Lenox Lounge, a 70 year old institution like the Apollo Theater. They needed a new logo and updated menus to go along with their famous Zebra Room! I was very grateful and excited to work for such a local landmark

Augustus : viva la vinyl!

just because it was quiet on the blog doesn't mean August was without activity! I hope to make amends with that with the next few posts

as always, feel free to click on the images for larger views

one fun LP i got to work on was for TN's amazing Blacklist Royals. It was fun to design and I hope came across classic and authentic. The LP comes with playing cards for a drinking game, so be sure to check it out when Paper+Plastick releases it
I am actually pretty proud of these labels for the 12". I hope it looks like an old LP you might find in someone else's attic
layouts are hard, and making a lot of type look nice is always a challenge, but hopefully I did the guys and their lyrics justice
next up was formatting a diecut LP for the band FUN. I can't take credit for the terrific artwork and design here, but setting up elaborately packaged colored vinyl is a pipe dream of mine and working with Paper + Plastick as well as Nettwerk records (sometimes while I was driving from NYC to Texas i might add!) put me on cloud 9
and did i mention....Adam Arcuragi's 2nd long player "I Am Become Joy" is out!?!?! now, between you me and the lamp post, the record doesn't officially come out on High Two records until September, but if you go and catch any of Adam's live shows now, you can put it on the Victrola in the atrium NOW! I can't tell you how VERY proud i am to have been a part of this record both sonically as well as artistically (the art for the CD, LP, and digital itunes and emusic versions all vary!). Adam came over and let me approve the test pressings, and bias aside, this is a gorgeous collection of songs that are so genuine and true i don't dare try and describe it (so click on his name and preview some tracks on myspace!)