Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Usurper "Human Waste" vinyl release

Here is some album artwork I completed recently for Usurper's latest release, "Human Waste". It's always wonderful when you have a lot of freedom when doing an album cover, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to draw your inspiration from for the imagery. In this case, I used some of the lyrics as a guide. The line was something about cancer breeding, cell by cell. I went off this and decided to create a human-like figure that is deformed and anomalous in appearance. Compared to many other album covers I have done, this one was really fairly simple. Below are some progress pictures of the artwork, as well as my original brush type used for the final version.


I had the chance to participate in a group show with Antler called "Revolver", that allowed me to do a collaboration with fellow artist friend Ben Kehoe. Ben and I had side by side solo shows at Antler back in August and were game for the collaboration! We decided to do a painting. Admittedly, painting is much more Ben's thing (he is a master) and drawing is more mine, but we figured we would find our way somehow. Ben tossed out a bunch of ideas as a starting point and I made a bunch of sketches which I then sent to him via email. We decided on one and from there I purchased a gessoed board on which I started to sketch out the image in pencil. I think the process was fairy organic. Ben and I have similar types of narratives in our work, although his is more humorous in my opinion, so it wasn't hard to mesh our sensibilities in terms of the slightly ambiguous story we wanted to illustrate. In our piece, a large creature breaks off the branch/antler of a pyramidal  building/figure, thus rendering the figure powerless, left to vomit up a river of blood as he suffers a long and painful death. Nice right? His worshippers mourn at the base of the structure in utter despair. We appropriately titled it "Dissolution of the Oracle". After I got the whole thing sketched out in moderate detail on the panel, I mailed it to Ben who managed to finish it in a number of weeks. We had a snow storm in between him sending it back to me, so it got kind of tight with the deadlines, but we made it! After receiving it back, I added line-work over the whole painting and also some more shading in certain areas. Armed with a liner brush and some golden liquid acrylics, I did the best I could not to obscure or deface Ben's great work. I hadn't done much outlining in paint before, so I was a tad nervous, especially over someone else's work. Anyway, I think it turned out pretty great!

The show was also part of a gallery swap with Hellion gallery in town. So, Antler and Hellion held their show at each other's spaces. Half of the show was artist collaborations such as Ben's and mine, and the other half was small works based on themes from previous Antler shows. In my opinion it was one of the best group shows they have curated so far!