Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mia Gallery 1987

Booth Installation for the Mia Gallery at Seattle Art Expo, 1987

In 1987 Nancy Worden curated "Faces" for the Mia Gallery and these two sculptures were created for the show.
"Edifice" papier mache, branch, beach rubble with rebar

"Edifice" (detail)

"Edifice" (back detail)

"Healing" papier mache, wire, gauze, hospital pan and blood

Seattle Art Museum Bal Masque, 1987

For Seattle Art Museum's second annual Bal Masque, a group of artists were invited to create two masks each which would be distributed to patrons attending the event. It was a surprise that Seattle's major contemporary art collectors Virginia and Bagley Wright got the masks that I made.


"Like Locusts", papier maché, 22"H x 17"W x 8"D

Like Locusts was inspired by carved Mexican masks and by a quotation from Lillian Hellman's play, "The Little Foxes." The The quotation from Addie, the maid in the play was also written on the back of the mask:

"Well, there are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it like in the Bible with the locusts. Then there are people who stand around and watch them eat it... Sometimes I think it ain't right to stand and watch them do it."


"Fear of Destruction", papier mache, fireworks, 22"H x 14"W x 8"D

"Fear of Destruction" was inspired by Kwakiutl transformation masks and was a response to the Star Wars 'defense shield' of the Reagan administration.



"Fear of Destruction" (inner mask)

The Oregon Horse

When Dale Yarger asked me to do the cover of the Oregon Horse in 1987, I decided to try something a little looser than scratchboard.  Here I worked aggressively with markers to capture a sense of movement.  I then borrowed an Art Chantry trick of degrading the image with a copier before doing a separate gouache color piece. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

A piece I did for the Weekly in style I developed in the early '90s which demonstrates that not everything I did had skulls in it, although I did sneak a little devil in.

My holiday T-shirt designed in 1989

Two screen printed greeting cards expanding on my T-shirt line produced and distributed by Post Industrial Press.

More '80s Illustration

This center-spread illustration for the first edition of the Northwest Extra was for an article about the pesticide hazards faced by farm workers.

An illustration for an article on red tides in the Seattle Times.

Illustration for an article on computers and Wall Street in the Unix Review.

Hamlet on Wall Street for Stocks and Commodities magazine.

Illustration for an article on fraud in the commodities market in Stocks and Commodities magazine.

The cover of King County Written Arts, 1986.

The cover of King County Written Arts 1988.
A spot illustration in the Seattle Weekly for an article on Seattle landmarks. 

Posters for the Empty Space Theater

In 1986 I worked with the amazing graphic designer Art Chantry to produce two posters for for the '86-'87 season of Seattle's Empty Space Theater.

Rat in the Skull is a challenging play about the interrogation of an IRA bomber. While the theater was uncomfortable with the image, Art and I insisted that it was appropriate. It was gratifying that the results of the audience survey confirmed that more people came to the show because of the poster than any other play to date.

For Aunt Dan and Lemon, another disturbing play, I returned to my graphic tape style.

Posters from the '80s

I designed and printed this LP cover sized dayglo poster for a benefit for CANTO that was held at my studio on Wall Street. It was a great event with great radio DJs.

I designed and printed this dayglo poster for a benefit for Radio Freedom, the outlawed underground voice of the African National Congress.

I designed this offset poster for a concert by Nigeria's legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti and his Egypt 80 Orchestra and Dancers in 1986.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Scratchboard Illustrations

In the mid '80s I discovered scratchboard, which ultimately became my primary medium for illustration. Here are some samples of work from the mid to late '80s.


This piece was done in 1986 for an article on corporate murder in Portland's Clinton Street Quarterly. While the author suggests that corporate executives who knowingly produce products that kill ought to be prosecuted for murder, he also recognizes that that will not happen in our private enterprise system. This story echos louder with the recent Supreme Court decision regarding corporate influence in politics.


This illustration for the article "Requiem for the American Empire" by Gore Vidal was published in the Summer 1986 issue of the Clinton Street Quarterly.


The cover of The Rocket's first annual Northwest Music Directory, 1987


Cover for The Rocket, August, 1988


Illustration for an article on the Bob Dylan tour with Tom Petty

T-shirt design for The Rocket


Done for an article on the management of the ferry system in The Seattle Weekly


This piece was done for the Seattle Weekly for a story on Boeing.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Smool Studio 1985: 101 Wall Sreet

In 1981, Day Moon Press, our printer for The Belltown Rag, moved out of 101 Wall Street and Smool Studios moved in.
By 1985, I had taken over two more storefronts next door on Wall Street, accumulating about 3,000 square feet of space for $275 per month.


While I hadn't done too much to the exterior of the spaces, I did a fair amount of work to the interior and it was probably the best studio I've had. In 1985 I did a series of 'speakeasies' I called Club Carl. I collaborated with two DJs, their friend with a professional sound system, a bartender and a door man. Admission was $2 and at the end of the night we split the till. The place was packed.

It was around this time that I got a call from the someone at the Seattle Times' Pacific Northwest Magazine saying that they had heard from someone that the space was very cool and asking if they could do a piece on my studio and send a photographer over. I paused, looked around, and said that the person must have been exaggerating and that I didn't think it was a good idea. What I didn't say was that it wasn't a good idea to advertise that I was living 'stylishly' in a space that was not zoned residential. I did however think it was a good idea to photograph the space, so I asked Mark Sullo, and now all these years later I can share his photos,


The mottled grey paint was a cool way to camouflage the very patched and stained ceiling.

In the '80s one could scavenge just about anything including the French doors that led into the front room of 107 Wall Street, the 'residential' space.

The old gas stove was a beauty and the linoleum carpets were taken from the abandoned and rather derelict Cameron Hotel upstairs, as was the claw foot tub in the bathroom.



The bathing room walls were covered with urban blue prints from Architects I knew.


109 Wall Street was the funky space where I could really make a mess, and where I could move the extra furniture from the front when I threw a party.

This picture looks at the back doors of 107 and 109 from a parking 'courtyard' surrounding the old boiler room building that had heated the block.

All of the photos on this page are by Mark Sullo.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Graphic Tape Illustrations

You can run but you can't hide. COCAzine, 1986

Statue of Liberty Centennial illustration for the Village Voice, 1986

The Village Voice, 1986

The Village Voice, 1987

The Village Voice, 1987

The Phoenix New Times, 1986