I recently went to a Portrait Painting Marathon and Salon de Guerre, hosted by Dr. Barnaby Ruhe, at the Westbeth Artists Housing (original headquarters of Bell Telephone Laboratories) in the West Village. Essentially, it’s a studio where a bunch of artists set-up easels and pour wine and socialize about the art world while musicians play and aficionados pose, drink, and discuss trends and installations. It was very Basquiat, but on the other side of the island and nobody overdosed on heroin. My favorite quote of the evening came from a woman named Maggie, who said: “I moved to Manhattan, expecting it to be like this every night. It took 20 years, but now I’ve found it.”
Banksy’s website updated a few minutes ago to announce Better Out Than In, “an artists residency on the streets of New York.” The ongoing event is accompanied by a phone number (800) 656-4271 that you can call with a specific code correlating to each artwork.
I think I’m going to make a Facebook Moleskine Sketchbook for myself, and people like myself, who would rather draw caricatures of friends rather than read the banal, tiresome updates of real friends. The illustrations in this mock-up were pulled from old sketchbooks, as well as a line drawing of the Red, White & Bubbly, in Brooklyn. The status and life events by my fictitious friend, Walter Sobchak, were pulled from IMDB’s listing on The Big Lebowski.
In archiving old era404 projects, I just came across these twenty illustrations I created in 2003 for the Target Benchmarks Central Park event at Christie’s Auction House in the Rockefeller Center. The event was an auction to raise money for the Central Park Conservancy and produced/designed by Rand Burrus of Phoenix Event Productions. Each illustration was enlarged and reproduced on colossal 8′ x 8′ canvases to provide the backdrop for each of the benches being auctioned. In fact, after the bench auction was over, they began to auction off the illustrations too!