There are many reasons to love Philadelphia. We can write for hours and hours to share so much of the beauty that makes up this great city. I can’t say I am an expert of this city, but every time I visit I fall in love with this place. My wife and I went down for a visit this last weekend for the Thanksgiving holiday and we met with some friends to take a walk around with our cameras. We spotted lots of wonderful architecture and had a great meal at Monk’s Cafe. It was a memorable day with agreeable weather that just made everything perfect!
We spotted some beautiful tags known as Wickeds here in Philadelphia, I tried to take a few photos of them but this one made by the writer Smock just has the hand quality of a seasoned graffiti writer. Did you know that there’s a distinct graffiti culture here that pre-dates New York Subway graffiti? A very special city for those who love the American folk art form of graffiti.
I spotted this lovely sign. I couldn’t help but take a photo.
This is a perfect holiday photo with the skaters and the glory that is the Ben Franklin Bridge.
I caught the photo for this illustration on our first day in Kazakhstan this summer. When I saw this car I knew I had to make an illustration of this but I wasn’t sure if it would work for our project. After our project was finished, I decided it would look great as a poster and it somehow represented the image of life in the small towns and cities that work in and around the bazaar culture.
I had these made by a local printer here in Hartford, Connecticut. The print is a limited edition for our project Voices of Taraz. For those who donated 200 dollars or more would receive a special printed poster with the name of the project, signed, dated and numbered.
I think the print came out quite nice! I like the satin paper feel of this. The image is at 24 inches x 18 inches.
Above you can see a close up shot of our logo with a Cossack soldier. Cossack soldiers were part of the Russian military and often served at the borders of the Russian Empire. Many of those people who live in Taraz and the rest of Central Asia are descended from this ethnic group.
Always trying to expand on a theme with my work, it’s great to see this image for the band Brass Magic worked in with a little detail. We’re hoping to get these made into t-shirts for the band to sell as swag for their concerts. There’s a festive feel to this man sitting on a bench with a bottle of horns! I’ll post the shirts when and if they get printed.
I’ve been working on a series of watercolors for those who have contributed to our Voices of Taraz project. A lot of really interesting little works that I hope will make our contributors happy that they’ve helped fund our project.
Some of the works are at 5×7 inches and others are at 8×10 inches. They’re all watercolor on paper and each one will be signed, dated, and with notations that it was part of our project.
Daniel Lubin from Brass Magic asked me to make his album cover art. You can see them above busking in Washington Square Park in New York City. I wanted to capture the energy of the band and make a logo that felt like the sound of the horns but also to give them some brand identity. The lead musician Daniel Lubin is a Tuba player so we decided to go with the logo of the tuba as a representation of his spirit and influence, but to also give you the sense that this is no doubt a horn playing funky brass band!
The final logo for Brass Magic
This was an early idea for the Brass Magic Logo that didn’t make the cut
I like this one in black and white! I think the fonts are nice too!
Daniel Lubin and the Brass Magic guys wanted something festive so we went with a guy holding a bottle of Vodka for the album cover and also maintained the two tubas logo on the inside of the cover.
Throughout the summer I’ve been working on a project called Voices in Taraz in Kazakhstan. Above is the invite which has already past at this point in time. The exhibit was wonderful and we had a great learning experience. We had a blog for the whole project which was in Russian and English: http://voicesoftaraz.blogspot.com/p/the-idea.html
Lots of incredible artwork came out of the exhibit! I made some video installations, took lots of photographs and most of all my love for watercolor was fully explored this last summer. I painted my favorite subject which are houses!
We had a wonderful exhibition at the Central Exhibition hall in Taraz! There were all sorts of different people from the community who came! We were really happy to see all of the wonderful people who came to talk about their city and local history!
The artist Gulnara Kospakova (Left) Me, and Anthropologist Eva Marie Debuisson on my right
We got to collaborate with a bunch of really wonderful people too! That’s the real power of art when you can bridge the everyday with a project about their city and they can all contribute a little to the project to make it something really fun!
My favorite part of the project may have been making a pinata for the kids as a memory of my own childhood to share with them. It wasn’t easy to do something like this because they had little idea how to play this game. I had to teach them plus I had to build the pinata. They had a great time and someone from the exhibit said they were going to build their own too!
I hope to make more projects in the near future! We’ll see what happens next!
I finally took a moment to finish this streetcar in the city of Almaty. I’ve been trying to catch a good photograph of one of these for several years now. They’re always locked in traffic or I don’t seem to … Continue reading →
The Central Exhibition Hall in Taraz is an excellent place to see wonderful Soviet art. They have a lot of fine examples of Soviet Socialist Realist Art here and ongoing exhibits of local artists painting the local scenery.
A few weeks ago I took a walk along The Ters River here in the Zhambyl region. A small river that cuts through the steppe and just outside of Taraz. There is water here at the edge of the desert and it seems to make this region into an oasis, though much of the water in this area is diverted to power the hydroelectric plant.
I found this wonderful sign at an amusement park here in Taraz and had to make it into an image. I hope to make it into something in the near future. Perhaps it would make a great print but I haven’t quite figured out what for yet. I love the way the original sign painting follows the contour of the building. For my design I balanced out the size of the O and the letter M.