Monday, October 31, 2011

After the Barbarians

One of the artists I met at Pierre Feuille Ciseaux was Anton Kannemeyer (AKA Joe Dog, co-creator of Bitter Komix with Conrad Botes). His work kind of blew me away. He's got a show up in New York right now at Jack Shainman until November 12.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Portrait of the artist as exhausted boarder

When I was in London I stayed with Tom Gauld, his partner Jo and their two truly delightful daughters, Iris and Daphne (check out pages from Tom's forthcoming Goliath, here). Iris did a couple of wonderful little drawings for me while I was there, which I will also post soon, but Daphne did a drawing of me (above, complete with stocking cap), as well as one of Tom and I in conversation for Comica at Orbital (below) even including the slide show (note slide of bird in flight). How awesome is that. Podcast of Tom and my conversation here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Marine Invertebrate Room

My fourth day in England I drove back to London from Leeds, arriving with enough time to get to the Natural History Museum for about an hour before it closed. There was a bunch of cool stuff I'd like to have sat down and drawn for a while, but wasn't in the mood, somehow. I ended up spending most of my visit in the Marine Invertebrate room, which was the emptiest room in the museum, it seemed. Me and a bunch of lonesome, weirdly beautiful shellfish and coral, regarding one another sympathetically across the centuries from behind glass.

This is a kind of lobster:
And this a squid:

Below is Number 45:
And Number 57 and 58:
These are Sea Cucumbers. Apparently when Sea Cucumbers feel threatened they spit out their guts and "breathing apparatus" at their perceived predator, coating it in sticky slime. They can then grow a new one. Which seems a small comfort somehow.

Lastly we have a Coelecanth. It's a bit out of place in this list, given its having a spine, but I thought it had a nice, sympathetic color. Apparently the people who know about these things thought the Coelecanth had been extinct for millions of years. Then they found some swimming about happily in the 40's. It's never too late.
After that I went for a walk in Hyde Park, which was very nice, but I didn't take any pictures

Thursday, October 20, 2011

So here are the last pictures post Pierre Feuille Ciseaux. The first few are of June and Charlotte's apartment in Besançon.
We got in late after a signing in Poligny and a few slight misadventures. The spread below is Chinese food from up the block. And the two cats above (both top and bottom) are Hercule (top) and...crap, I forgot the kittens name below. He was hilarious, though. Kept trying to follow Hercule up the shelf, but ended up each time collapsing down to the floor, dragging books and wires and various items down with him in a cascade. Look for him again in the next picture.

Below are Charlotte and the amazing Gilles.
And the back of Zak's head.
Below, the parting of our little quartet. Zak, June and I left Sarah in Paris and got on the train to Brussels.
The signing in Brussels was a miniature reunion of the residency. Here are Zak and Bert bonding over their choices of apparel.
The Buddha drinking espresso and talking on his cell. And a reminder about Buddha nature. Thank you Buddha. I'm trying. Quit calling me.
At Poligny I did a drawing of Gilles. He moved before I got to his other lens.
A drawing from my sketchbook, partly inspired by a drawing on June's wall.
And another drawing I did mostly during the signing at Dole. The text was already in there from weeks before, in Chicago.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tonight I'm going to be talking with Tom Gauld and Paul Gravette at Orbital in London.

In the days after that I have three more signing and reading dates – at Travelling Man stores in Manchester, York and Newcastle. And then home sweet home.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

PFC part 2

One of the buildings housed PFC's three exhibitions: one featuring the work of Polina Petrouchina (and her mom, who did the sewing), one of my work and one of the results of the week of collaborative exercises from PFC last year, and (eventually), this year.

The exhibition of my work was, I think, the first time work from all my different books and all my various styles was squeezed into a single space together. I gave a gallery talk on Sunday, assisted by June for interpreting in French, and it was an interesting challenge to try to make it sound like it all made perfect sense.

The magical awesomeness of Pierre Feuille Ciseaux is a little difficult to express. But one big part of it was the support staff which included a team of screen printers and a second team of woodcut/lino printers who basically didn't sleep the whole week while this gaggle of 20 enthusiastic, spoiled artists banged out images for them to print. Below is Nono indulging my extremely tightly registered two-color printing job.

The screens.

The first color.
And the finished print. To get the red to really pop it was necessary to underprint it entirely with white. Even all those spindly little lines. Nono was probably ready to strangle me. by the end. He did an amazing job.
The main task of the screen printing/book-making team was to produce the book below. Almost everyone collaborated, starting on the first day, in doing a three color print based on one of the twelve labors of Hercules. Below is the cover, following are several spreads from the book.

Below, on the right, is the image I produced with Anton Kannemeyer. I drew Cerberus, he drew Hercules (I should mention that I was kind of inspired by the subject, my own print, discussed above is on the same subject – all 12 labors).
Finally, a few more shots of the grounds.

And the awesome doorknobs.
And the workroom, rendered deeply meloncholy by the absence of frenzied creation.