Monday, August 17, 2009


It has officially been 90 days since I last posted on here.  The main reason being I have been living out of boxes since June 30 and am finally getting settled in my new (amazing) living quarters.  Equally amazing and exciting is the fact that I now have a drawing table!  But anyhow, I am here to update some goddamn art, not talk about my new material goods.

SO!  One work I am extremely proud of is now finally available to the public! .... The new I REFUSE EP CD/12"!!  I have been friends with some of those dudes for a long time now (dating back to Club Saw-when we still thought moshing was cool and a legitimate form of anger management), so needless to say I was stoked when they asked me to do their artwork.  They were very specific in terms of what style they wanted: modernism (think Hot Water Music albums covers).  Aside from the style, I had carte blanche to do whatever I wanted in terms of subject matter.  Mariful gave me a copy of the lyrics and mentioned that a big theme for the album was personal-as well as political-liberation.  So I went from there..

I wanted to depict the notion of liberation by showing the subject raising his fists as though breaking free from chains.  The chains here are invisible, which speaks to the notion that we are often trapped within and by ourselves, and therefore that liberation must happen internally in order to move onward personally and in regards to others/external events.  On that note, the figure is divided into two halves: the right half is simply a man, whereas the left half is of a man wearing a scarf/shirt over his mouth, glasses, and a hat that evoke guerilla warfare, thereby speaking to the more political aspect of liberation.  I also wanted to depict a man of an ambiguous ethnic background in order to avoid evoking a single current political conflict.  In other words, I wanted him to take on features from a number of ethnicities: a Palestinian, as much as a Chiapan, as much as an Igloolikian, etc.

I definitely felt the challenge of painting in a style I was not used to, but after some experimenting I found some techniques that would allow me to get the desired effect.  Namely, I made a collage using a number of different photos from magazines.  I then photocopied this collage while also enlarging it by about 200%.  Then, with the help of gel medium, I used a very simple yet effective transfer method to transfer the photocopy onto canvas paper.  Having transferred the image onto canvas paper, I now had an amazing base to begin playing with color and textures.  I used mixed media to get the desired effect: oil pastel, soft pastel, acrylic paint, charcoal, conte, etc.  While the I Refuse guys had specified what style they wanted, I still tried to put in my own spin.  I also wanted to leave more abstract areas since they were in line with I Refuse's previous releases.

Therefore, all this led to what you see above, namely:

1) The original painting, 14 x 20 
2) Detail of the face (taken by Paul Galipeau)
3) Detail of the fist (also taken by Paul, and found under the cd in the cd case)
4) A sweet looking black and white adaptation/ new Jane Doe? /poster done by Mariful 
5) the actual CD cover

I tried to take a picture of the rest of the CD but the case is so shiny that all you see is me an my camera!  Oh well, I guess that means you just have to go out and buy it!

SOOOO in other news!  I just finished my first illustration contract for a BOOK!  How neat is that!  It is a book for parents who are raising adolescents.  I haven't read it, but the women writing it are great so I'm sure it will be great as well.  In any case, I had fun doing it and would love to post the illustrations but I actually/officially signed away the rights, so I will have to check with them and see if I can put them up.

Otherwise, I am currently working on my friend Jeff's sleeve, which will be AMAZING!  More to come later...

Until next time!