Posts Tagged ‘art’


Chelsea Hotel # 2
36″ x 24″
Acrylic, Pastel Stick on Canvas

The gradually stumbled upon “Lost Souls/ Fallen Angels/ Dive Bar/ Dangerously Nocturnal People/  Beautifully Sad Music” type series combining my love of great sad songs, early renaissance religious art, graffiti/stencil street art and seedy city underbellies rolls on. I like the idea of portraying everyday(or every night) people who might have made some wrong turns as saints and angels. This one I was listening to some of the sadder, older Ryan Adams(not BRYAN Adams) until I heard his song about the Chelsea Hotel. Then it was all about one of the greatest songs of all time by one of the greatest songwriters…Chelsea Hotel # 2. The Lyrics to most of the song are on this one…I think this one works. Here are the Lyrics:

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.
Ah but you got away, didn’t you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don’t need you,
I need you, I don’t need you
and all of that jiving around.

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, “Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music.”

And then you got away, didn’t you babe…

I don’t mean to suggest that I loved you the best,
I can’t keep track of each fallen robin.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
that’s all, I don’t even think of you that often.

Here’s some Ryan and The God Leonard Cohen




Born To Die
24″ x 36″
Acrylic, Pastel Stick, Paper, Headphone Wire & Nail on Canvas

fra angelicostencil_graffiti_beansI have been doing nudes for the first time in a loooong time and it started in an almost Anime style and morphed into Stencil Graffiti territory. I am also finally incorporating my love of Early Renaissance religious/ gold-leaf halo type work(think Fra Angelico). I am alllllso using the films like Hardcore Life, American Friend, Boogie Nights and even 80’s trash like Angel as inspiration for the whole Fallen Angel/ Seedy nightlife feel…girls who made a few too many mistakes, late night dive bars, lost innocence, youth, etc… The soundtrack while painting was Lana Del Rey’s Born To Die/ Paradise double Lp. I even used a still from one of her videos in this and attached it 002with headphone wire with holes punched by a nail…both attached to the painting. I love the idea of everyday fallen angels and I am intrigued by the combination(sort-of) of very old, classical styles with the newer, 003more immediate street art that has been a passion of mine since I can remember(it might have been my earliest artistic influence and definitely the earliest things I ever drew. I remember doing tags in kindergarten, long before I cared about any traditional art. I love tying it all together. It is feeling pretty good for now.



The Bad Ones
18″ x 24″
Acrylic, Pastel Stick on Canvas

Another night in refuge studio produces another piece. I am now in a phase that seems to involve nudity…who knows what that’s all about. I was listening to the album The Bad Ones by Blonds. I wanted to do a pin-up but wanted it to look like a stencil/graffiti piece. She is by hand, with a brush. I am not patient enough to make a stencil. Anyway, there are lyrics to two songs on here. They are below for your enjoyment( well, the first song is, I couldn’t find the other…so…here is another from the album. I was listening to it as well.)



An Average Night In Refugee Studio.

No easel, record’s playing, newspaper on the floor, smudges all over from fingers, feet(in this case elbow)…the only thing missing is either a cup of tea or a glass of bourbon(just not pictured here). This post is mainly for me to have everything I painted in one place and kinda in order. It all started this year with two veeeery small pieces(I only mention this because I like to work large) for a charity exhibit benefiting a suicide hotline in NYC. It took off from there with various series and some one-offs. Some were sold, some were made for special people in my life and most hang on my walls. I generally put my ipod on shuffle while I am gathering materials and getting the space ready and most of the time a song jumps out and sets the mood. Sometimes I put on records, sometimes I leave the ipod shuffling and see what happens. In a few cases below, I will list the music that helped make these, although some will be more obvious than others. Anyway, here is 2012(basically from April on…)



Those two were only 5″ X 7″. But that’s all I needed to get the juices flowing. I was painting again.


This one was huge(for my work space anyway…36″ X 48″ I was listening to Coltrane albums non-stop for this. This was the first time I ever started to paint with nothing in mind. It was amazing. I wasn’t worried about how anything was supposed to look…total creation. I just listened to the music and went with it. Also, working on the floor is great for me, I kneel, lay, sit and straddle the canvas. I always find thumbs, toes, arm prints…I really get into it.


Below starts a Freddie Mercury series, but it didn’t start out that way. I heard a song off of Queen’s first album and played the album over and over. The next day I wanted to paint Freddie again(I was on a Queen kick now) so that night I painted something inspired by Queen II. The next morning I wanted to keep going and realized that the canvases were shaped (sorta) like playing cards so I decided that I would finish with 4 and make them each a suit(Queen of Hearts, Diamonds etc…) This was interesting to me as it progressed because I hadn’t don any realism/portraiture for years…I was trained but hated realism so I abandoned it for a long time. On the second piece, I did a portrait that was basically the equivalent of a stencil, just black and white-no real shading but then it progressed. I liked mixing abstract with realism.





Now another big one…could it be anything less for Prince. I had used pieces of a mirror ball and other things for texture previously, but Prince got a purple feather boa and zebra skin…Another big piece


This was done for the cover of a friend’s book/manifesto I was listening to the Clash, Gil Scott-Heron and Slayer, trying to distill the energy of Wilkins Frias



I started a series of blues musicians here. Also, the portrait of Lady Day is probably the most classical technique I will employ for a long time. I enjoyed it, but it was around this time I found myself being too concerned with the technique…I am done with worrying about technique. The art is in the journey and when I am “working” at making something look a certain way, it wasn’t as much fun. I loved the outcome though



This one was interesting as it has two kinds of booze and some hot sauce mixed into the paint, labels from said booze and hot sauce, speaker wire laced through the canvas and a rubber chicken foot attached to it.


Inspired by some stencil graffiti I saw and Sigur Ros


The only painting I have ever done where I didn’t coat the canvas in black to start(I always like to start with black…always have)


The four pics below are really of two pieces. I had painted each one and the weeks later was moved to paint, but didn’t have canvas so I took them down off the wall and painted over them. They are shown in order here.


I was watching Aguirre Wrath Of God and Kinski’s rage inspired me to take this off the wall and pillage it


Woke up from a dream where I was doing Chekov…these were the lines…I got out of bed and painted this in about an hour(mostly drying time of the blue so I could write the lines)


Similar story, except with a book on Crowley

003 (2)

001 (3)

This last one was done election night. I was in the middle of worrying about the election, studying for exams, and intentionally not getting laid…those three things really found their way into this piece – pic of Obama, Chemical Formulas up top and my first nude…which carried over into my work in 2013(see this post )



3/4 (Waltz)
18″ x 24″
Acrylic, Oil Stick

painting1My first piece of 2013. I always put on music and wait to be inspired…usually takes about 3 songs. Here, it’s clear (to somebody who knows the song) that I had Regina Spektor’s What We Saw From The Cheap Seats on repeat for the 2-3 hours I was working on this. The phrase is from her song “Firewood”. Anyway, glad to be painting again

Video stores are great places to meet people(especially in NYC) and working in one really puts you in an interesting cast of characters. I’ve gotten to meet all manner of celebrity, both global as well as local(like Ivan Ivanov..the large, bearded man who loved his cats so much he always rented movies about, starring or heavily featuring cats…believe me, this man was famous to people btw 23rd st and 30th st, east of Lex). The many co-workers I’ve had at the stores also had their talents(some artistic, like the man below, some magical; like closing a register 1300$ short when it only opened with 75 $ and had maybe 150$ in total transactions) and I am glad to have known each of them. Below is the work of Nathan Gelgud, a former manager of the famed Video Stop and current co-appreciator of great mustaches of Gene Hackman. It is a 3 page illustrated history of the relationships, both romantic and otherwise, of the incredible Nico(“Biography by Association” written by Claire Frisbie). He is also in the midst of an epic cycle of portraits chronicling every game of the New York Knickerbockers phoenix-like ascent to greatness. He has produced many other pieces that I have loved over the last few years, but I am not going to turn this into a long review. I will let the work speak for itself:

Nico 1

Nico 2

Nico 3

Now the Knickerbocker Cycle:


Chris Copeland gets some early PT in Knicks win.


JR Smith dances off court in Knicks win.


Spike Lee makes his first appearance of the year, repping the Big Apple in the Big Easy. Knicks win by 22.


Tyson Chandler is beastin. Knicks squeak by Cavs.


One team remains undefeated. Clyde is into it.


Iman Shumpert very excited about Knicks win.


Jason Kidd gets hit on the head again, rocks extra protection. Knicks beat Nuggets.


Stoudemire looking more like his old self. Knicks win.


Sheed and the Knicks beat Brooklyn.


Knicks are on fire. Woody Allen is impressed.


Coach Woodson and the Knicks beat the Heat … again!


JR hits a buzzer beater again.

Now, here are some of my favorite of Nate’s pieces from the past(I couldn’t find the “famous initials” series, but if I did, they’d be in here):


5973_1218333660132_3528454_n 8128_1244653278106_8088704_n 15769_1294386481405_8365985_n 20360_1341526299871_3865548_n 25259_1378661108218_1888105_n 66627_1651671413305_4062715_n 149658_1720321169506_1110376_n 150207_1720368850698_393125_n 154323_1720368930700_61887_n 189168_4730480221601_1276939820_n 269887_2256583015717_2656258_n 283485_2256907943840_6503026_n 284973_2249539719639_857272_n 314964_4417453236122_67128734_n 321654_2450929874267_105717657_n 377552_2730433021671_1566423650_n 382125_4995688051631_1916679274_n 408695_2945110388471_669370383_n 483263_4546413220041_336720789_n 524667_3768856981621_342885089_n 541022_10200165116392286_1402568901_n 578670_4360879341810_1598913341_n 381189_2738779790335_505135528_n373965_2738779310323_1101218917_n

Nathan Gelgud : Proud Mustachioed Artist, residing in the garden spot of the world: Brooklyn U.S.A


Now, let’s see a series on the Hack!


I don’t know anything about this artist except that she might be from Brighton and is probably still a student. I just saw the above illustration in Juxtapoz magazine and loved it. These are some of the other pieces I found on her blog…




I love the periodic table and I thought this was cool for a baby to have…anyway, moving on…


I really like her use of Fairy Tale and Fable elements. I hope to find more of her work. Her blog has pics on it but I have yet to look through it for more work. Really fresh stuff so far.


History of American Graffiti     2010
Gastman & Nelson    

I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this book. It is  basically a text book for a course smart enough to acknowledge that Graffiti is the most vibrant, urgent and important form of graphic art. Over it’s 400 pages, there are bios on important writers, chapters on tons of different cities/eras, and an encyclopedia of terms (throw-ups, Bombing, Motion Tags), history of the form (overview back to Rome/Egyptians/Caves, Then history of hobos using it on boxcars, but then more in depth starting in Philly/NYC in the 60’s). Still, the pictures are the shit here. Page after page of sick pics that almost gets you smelling the paint, piss, burning oil and rat poison that is usually the trade-off to see this art. Just check some pics from my copy:






I got this thing on E-Pay for 12 bucks but I think it lists for like 50 or so…I still would be satisfied if I had paid that price. Out of all the books on Graffiti (and art, in general) I have picked up through the years, this is one of the best, both for the art lover, casual Beat Street fan or hard-core street art historian.

Anyone not loving this should catch the 3rd rail… Ramo-style! (check 1:22)

Czech Art Nouveau master, Alfonse Mucha started out his career forced to make ads for champagne and cigarette companies but later moved on to be commissioned to make the stained glass windows of St. Vitus in Prague and eventually created Slovanská epopej (the Slav Epic), a huge (20 panels each about 24 feet by 18 feet) cycle telling the history of his people. I don’t care to give more detail than this. This isn’t wikipedia. I just want to show some of the most beautiful transformations of paint into women I’ve ever seen.