Saturday night, May 23.....Whatta night! My nephew Christian and I had the Opening Reception for our two-man art show MAKING BELIEVE at GEEKS comics shop in Whittier, CA.
The event ran from 7 pm to about 10:30 or so. Least, that's when the last of the guests left. Having a two-person show with my nephew, his first official art exhibit actually, and having so many friends and family in attendance was wonderful. I can't stress enough how important it is for us artists to get out of the studio and actually share our art in person with the public. And I'm not just talking about standing there and discussing your artwork, I mean just the new people you meet and the discussions that follow give you a good, positive dose of humanity. Least it's always been that way for me.
I'm going to spread this post over two separate entries, as there is so much to share. Today I'll just share the actual artwork with you, and tomorrow you can see pics of me and Christian with our family, friends and fans!
Here's the statement/bio page, written about an hour or so before the show opened!
Christian Silva, standing tall and proud! This is my favorite piece of the whole show, his "Nicole's diary":
This one's called "The Strangers", which Christian tells me is inspired by the novel THE STRANGER by Albert Camus:
I actually never read that book, but I looked it up on Wikipedia and made an interesting discovery. Apparently, the late comic book writer Steve Gerber was partially inspired by Camus's book when he created his signature comic book character, Howard the Duck! Howard the Duck is one of my all time favorite comic series, and I first read the comics back in the late 70s. Here's what Gerber said about Camus's influence: "It relates directly to that sense of alienation I mentioned. Howard is Mersault with a sense of humor, an existentialist who screams and quacks as a hedge against sinking into utter despair. The very first line that ever came out of his beak, back in Fear #19, had to do with the absurdity of existence." (This is taken from the actual online interview linked at Wikipedia). It's funny to me that at age 12 or so I was reading Howard the Duck getting a comic book version of existentialism in the form of a cranky, cigar smoking talking duck, and Christian is getting it from a classi French novel at age 18!
Two more pieces from 'the kid':
We also worked on a jam piece. I gave Christian a canvas and told him we would both work on it. I didn't have any pre-planned method for how we would do it, only that I would retrieve the canvas from him at a later date. Well, when I saw the piece, I figured I wanted to use his painting as a background for a drawing I would create. So I pulled an idea from my sketchbooks (yet another character I have floating around the 'back burners'!) and placed him in the environment Christian created. I thought it was a great mash-up of our styles. My graphic, bold comic imagery mixed with his free-form style of design and color. In the interest of not publicizing the character's name just yet, we called this 'untitled'!:
Here are the pieces I had on display. First one is yet another idea I have for a comic, this one created to be an ARCHIE comics-type story, based in a future Super-Mexico, revolving around this trio of friends!:
This one is the old 1960s/70s Frito Corn Chips mascot that was pulled once it was deemed 'racist' toward Mexicans! This was bought by a lovely Mexican couple with a sense of humor (fellow Cartoonista Raul Aguirre and his wife!). "Frito Bandito":
Two more, including a character that I will forever be linked to (at least, I'm trying my damnedest to!):
The other painting I debuted that evening was 'Man Swamp', which is the image I'm using for the cover of my upcoming comic book. Not one to let a promotional opportunity pass me by, I also had this little flier on display at the front counter:
Some folks told me they would be returning to GEEKS to get their copies of the comic, and let me say, to my complete surprise and gratitude, a lady at the exhibit wants to commission me for a Man-Swamp tattoo on her arm!! Tune in tomorrow for more on that little bombshell!!
Additional opening night reception pix and commentary on Monday's entry, please come back and check them out. Thanks to Jim Lujan for providing most of the above photos!