Sticky Webs


Another poster last week… They’re coming in waves! This one is for my friends at CounterPulse, the amazing performance/community space. It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 years since they opened on May Day 2005… Now it’s their second anniversary, and I was given pretty much free reign to do as I liked for the poster and postcard.

What’s weird is that this poster is a return of the repressed. For one thing, the design is very similar to a sketch I submitted for Cat Power a few months ago. What a disaster that was! I did a total of 11 sketches, and they were all rejected. This one I really liked, so I was glad to finally pull it out of cold storage and put it to good use.

But even weirder is the fact that I’ve gone back to high school. As a teenager, I drew endless doodles that looked sort of like spider webs covered in oil — and now the sticky web forms have returned. I guess it’s true that what goes around comes around.

Speaking of high school, I was in San Diego for an EFF event — that whole city for me will just always be in a time warp of the 1980s. I guess it doesn’t help much that people in SD still dress like it’s 1987. The last time I lived there I was 18, and I was such a different person. But maybe I wasn’t… On this trip, I looked up my old friend Chris Whittal (who does not have a web page and so I cannot link to his amazing industrial design work!). Chris and I were buds in 87-88, and ever since then we’ve kept in touch sproradically. But it’s interesting how easy it is to reconnect with some people. The only way to explain that is to say that we probably haven’t changed as much as we think we have.

One quick thing to say about my friend Chris: He really embodies the word magnanimous.

While I was down south, I drove up to LA to see the AMAZING Mark Ryden show. I had to drive all day to do it, but it was entirely worth it. I love the way he references science and mysticism, and slaps them right up against crass pop cultural goofiness. He’s my hero, even though I’m sure that if I ever got talking to him I would not agree with his spiritual take on the universe.

There is a store I like to visit in LA called the Cowboyz Shack. It’s a kind of nirvana for fans of vintage western shirts. Whereas in San Francisco, I have to search fruitlessly for weeks to find a good vintage western shirt, down in LA they have a whole store with way too many options. Anyway, it just happened to be directly across from the Ryden show. If you’re in LA, it’s on the corner of Beverly and Laurel. Lucky thing I don’t live there…

Big Fish

My friend Ara Anderson asked me to do a poster for him about 5 years ago, and now it’s finally done.

Ara’s band Iron and the Albatross is playing the Red Poppy Art House on Friday, along with his girlfriend, Katy Stephan. These two are both so amazingly talented that I had plenty of inspiration, which I guess is the reason I like doing music posters in the first place. Katy had a project a while ago called Every 7 days, where she wrote a song every week. Now she’s in the studio recording the fruits of her labors. And Ara is a maniac. When he is on stage, he literally glows, like he’s radioactive. It’s weird. I love Iron and the Albatross, and also his other project, Boostamonte.

I’ll be at the show with a stack of posters. It’s a small venue, so if you’re thinking of joining us, you’d better come early!

Meanwhile, out there in Internet-land, someone has finally taken on Stephen Colbert. It’s about time someone stood up to that guy. He talks about “truthiness”, but as this site points out, it’s really “falsiness”. (You might not be able to view the video through YouTube, but the QuickTime link on the site works.)

Comings and Goings

On my first blog post, I thought I should mention that I’m in a group show this month at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in LA. Here’s the piece that as far as I know is still up and available for purchase by any greedy collectors out there.

I went down to LA for the opening, and happily met up with Christine and Rama, two awesome artists. I met these two when Mati and I were down in LA for the Girly Show.

Rama gave me a wallet made out of one his fantastic illustrations. It’s a sci-fi image of a squid, which everyone knows are the logical form of intelligent life on other planets. When Rama and I last met, we realized that we had both independently come to this speculation, that an intelligent species on another planet would have to be a tool-maker, and would have to have hands… Why not 10 hands? Squids and octopi also have the advantage of lacking skeletons, which in theory would allow for very large brains. Absurd? Absolutely, but Rama and I think this is much more likely than the common sci-fi image of child-sized humanoids.

At the moment, I’m working on a poster for my friend Brook Turner, celebrating the decision to turn the building at 557 Ashbury at Haight into a historic landmark. There’s no way around it, the poster has to be a 60s-style psychedelic thing, but I really struggled with the color scheme. The whole clashing color thing just doesn’t work for me, so I borrowed a color scheme from an old art nouveau poster. But somehow the sketch seems better than the final, which is so often the case.

On a side note, Brook tells me he is now working for Barak Obama’s campaign. I have been curious how Obama is planning to deal with his middle name, which in case you haven’t heard, is Hussein. Brook says they’re just planning to do a slow unveiling of that fact, so that it doesn’t blow up into some huge non-scandal at some point. But it’s hard to see how the name isn’t a deal-breaker. We’ll just have to wait and see.