Earlier this year I spent a lot of time finishing up a retrospective book: DRAWN IN STEREO.
I started pitching the idea 7 years ago, and really it took that long to make it work.
The book process took many turns and I'm incredibly grateful to have had the support of an encouraging group of people without whom it would have faltered.
Jeanette Abbink at Rational Beauty did a stellar job of supporting the project, and ultimately, designing the book to the nth detail. I first met her in the early noughts when she was the Art Director of Dwell. She's one of those people who can't help but give 100% and I'm blessed to have had the benefits of her generous might!
The bulk of the written content comes from a conversation between me and Justine Frischmann. I first met her in 1994 when she was the singer in Elastica, situated right at the epicenter of Britpop London. 20 years on she also lives in Northern California and I got back in touch a while ago. She very graciously and gracefully brought out my story.
Finally, Fred Deakin: former head honcho of design group Airside and pop group Lemon Jelly wrote a blush worthy foreword.
I'm really excited at the end product and I hope folks dig it.
The book is published by the fine folk of AMMO in Los Angeles, OUT NOW .
You can check it out at the Drawn In Stereo site HERE.
I've been looking through old work for my book and stumbled across this Iggy Pop piece. I originally did this portrait for GQ, a quick throwaway illustration, vignetted on a white background. Revisiting it, I could see that it had some power, but not RAW POWER! so I remixed him.
I painted this portrait to loosen up. Roger Law is a very inspiring creative force, most known for Spitting Image, but I also know him as the creator of the covers of Jimi Hendrix's Axis Bold as Love
and the Who Sell Out. He was a very forceful illustrator in the '60s and now makes heroic ceramics, a good example of a creative long haul.
A portrait of the Parisian economist. The left piece, is the initial concept based on Mai '68 graphics (he has his ideological and familial roots in the movement). Picketty developed the U shaped graph that shows how the ultra rich's slice of the pie declined and then rose back with avengence in the last century, so I tried to tie these together.
The final piece was more straight up.
I used to be often asked about computers and making art. Now, it's so commonplace, it's as quaint as asking about the cars effect on the horse.
I still love making pictures that can be hung on a wall, in a frame. Something that becomes part of a home.
The digital world has made it so much more exciting to have that still moment with a piece of unscrollable, physical art. It stills connects with our cave man psyche. I find it much more restful to make too.
I drew this to capture the modern state of rock music. A burnt out shadow of its glory years, still twitching under of the streamable avalanche of everything playing at once (for free).
ROCK ON. Pencil on Paper 2013.
Then I scanned it, and did this... ah Photoshop.
When I went to art college in the late '80s, airbrush was the uncoolest thing- its '70s prime long gone.
I recently read Overspray, "Riding high with Kings of California Airbrush". Turns out those '70s kings were all full of cocaine to stay up to meet the deadlines, some serious casualties. The handmade takes its toll.
Illustration to accompany an article discussing Hollywood's often distorted portrayal of marriage.
It cited Stanley Donan's "Two for the Road" featuring Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn as an example of an attempt at realism. Albert Finney is such a one dimensional arse, that it's a hard watch these days.
A full page to accompany an article about the pulp appeal of TV show
Law & Order.
I started the art before the copy was finished. Initially the direction was how female fans find watching the violence cathartic, stylistically it was to be collaged and cinematic- a nod towards Polish design.
The copy was starting to come through so this was scrapped and I was asked instead to focus on the female lead Olivia Benson, whom female fans identify as an Avenging Angel.
By now, the story was in, and the art direction changed to a more conventional painting. I really liked the first 2, and making them flexed a graphic muscle which is evident in the final's bloody skyline. I really enjoyed the journey. The tags I made on the left read SVU, Avenger, Victim, Gats and MG.
20 years ago this month saw my first piece of printed work in Select magazine.
Select was to become the parish news of Britpop, and this article was allegedly the first to trumpet that scene. Stuart Maconie's piece defined the attitude if not quite the players. I collaged it together not long after I'd left college, I couldn't paint fer toffee.
By March '93 I'd worked with Saint Etienne, and occasionally joined them to see gigs. I saw Pulp Islington Powerhaus, Dec 23rd 1992. The stage was entirely covered in wrapping paper, which, during their first song, Jarvis's fingers poked through to lob tangerines in to the audience. Instant convert.
After the article came out I started doing a monthly piece called Pop Tarts that lampooned the scene. It ran for 50 issues and my enthusiasm really mirrored the rise and fall of Britpop. Jarvis was the subject of the first piece. In the early days, Select was home top a load of great writers, basically half of 6 music: Andrew Collins, Mr Maconie, Steve Lamaq, Miranda Sawyer...also Graham Linehan. In those pre-computer days I'd get on the tube and take the artwork in to the office, It felt like a scene.
Late '97 much had changed at Select and I dreaded working for them, I'd had enough so I bowed out at 50.