Indian Prairie Library Murals

August 16th, 2010

I had the incredible opportunity to whip up some drawings to decorate my local library.  It is undergoing a remodel/renovation, and as a result there are a bunch of blank drywall panels blocking off the areas being worked on.

I came up with a series of ten sketches representing book genres that the library has.  Five were chosen, and I projected the sketches onto the wall and did some basic inking with sharpies.

Its super-basic, but I think they look pretty good for a ten hour project.  The library’s been getting lots of positive feedback, though everyone is itching to see them more developed.  On the other hand, it’s temporary drywall, to be discarded in a few months.

Come on down to Indian Prairie Public Library in Darien to take a look.  They’re kinda neat!

Superthanks to Dave Bunn for compiling the video!

Monsters in Detroit

July 6th, 2010

Should any of you find yourselves in the ruins of Detroit this July, I’d be honored for you to duck in and see Genghis Kharp relaxing with a host of other monsters.

From Detroit.Work’s press release:

Creative makers and thinkers respond to the question

“What is a monster?”

What makes a monster? Does a monster have to have sharp teeth and multiple eyes? Can a monster’s sole evil exist in its ability to cheat people out of their life’s savings or, to use military force to bully or even kill them? Is a litterbug a monster?

Children draw monsters based on their own sets of fears and beliefs which may or may not wane as they grow older. Culture, science and religion have created and supported various definitions over the centuries. Hollywood has packaged, presented and championed all the cliche and kitsch manifestations and, a new intrusive media machine with ever shrinking boundaries gives a frightening view of the everyday monster next door, capable of inconceivable horror. All this being said, is it possible for “good” monsters to exist, say a monster who opposes and battles more evil monsters (i.e. a “dirty” cop?)

Alex Friend / Arius Elvikis / Bernie Brooks / Catherine Peet / Christopher Cannon / Crista Broughton / Dennis Summers / Daniel Swan / Dave Fischer / Eleanor Rubin / Finn McMillan Schudlich / Gabriella Boros / Heath Durren / Jesse Kassel / Joe Gohl / Joe Levickas / Micki Buksar / Paula Matney / Endi Poskovic / Elvin Poskovic / Stephen William Schudlich /Stephen Thomas / Tony Baker / William Atkins / William Meese / Robert Darabos / William Singer / M.Morgan Eagleton Cullen Stephenson / Zach K. Hewitt Eugene-Carland, PPC / Andy Gabrysiak / Stacey Malasky / Adam Skutt / Melissa Dettloff & Ryan Groendyk / Michael Reid /Justine Sanborn / Tim Jenkins  Matthew Lachowski  / Ethan Swan / Natalie Fedirko / Deborah Marlowe Kashdan

images clockwise from top / Bernie Brooks, Catherine Peet, Tony Baker

Another fish already?!

June 6th, 2010

Well I’ll be durned, more new work!

Though I haven’t been making these as quickly as I liked, they will be made even less quickly this summer as I juggle two jobs: summer camp counselor at the zoo and graphic artist at the library.  Gonna be around 50 hours a week… whoowhee. Lotsa creative juice being spent at my jobs, not sure how much will be left for art…

Apparently butterflies don’t suck fluids through their long spiraling proboscises. The amount of pressure it would take to draw fluid through such a narrow tube would likely make the critter’s head implode.  Instead, fluid is drawn up through a proboscis with simple capillary action, just like a paper towel.

Capillary Action

In this piece I address the monstrously invasive Silver Carp from Asia and its potential to utterly conquer and proliferate across the Great Lakes.   Their route of attack is the Mississippi!

Genghis Kharp

The New Direction

April 5th, 2010

After much consultation with friends and colleagues, I have set upon a new course.  The plan is to do a dozen or so drawings, get them mounted on bamboo panels, and then go to stores and cafes with the pile and get them hanging.

Having training in drawing, printmaking, and digital media, I have to wonder how I want to tackle the idea of these drawings… they are drawn digitally, and thus can be reprinted without limit.  I can assign them edition numbers like they were prints.

On the other hand, as drawings, part of me wants each of them to be unique objects, individual thoughts made manifest and sent out as little tangible ideas, objects that tell a tiny story.

Perhaps there is a middle road, where I make multiples as needed, but change the content in some way to ensure the print itself is unique… perhaps something as simple as changing the hues from color to color.

The first piece is about a nearly extinct galapagos tortoise getting it on. Entitled “Post-Coital”Post-Coital

And the other is an image of the aquatic Celt of the Northern Pacific, the Red Irish Lord, entitled “O’ Sculpin.”


Robin Denevan

March 5th, 2010

I recently visited the Addington Gallery in the city on Chicago and Wells.  It’s one of a few evidently contemporary art galleries in the area and thus drew me in.  There were some nice portraits and bird pieces, but what really caught my eye were the works of Robin Denevan.

Denevan produces encaustic paintings of bleak, swampy waterways.  The spotty textures and vertical streaks look to me like sickly, toxic swamps.  Beautiful in their decay.

Of course, that’s just my point of view.  I am a fan of bleak landscapes , especially since I don’t have the patience to make them myself.  I’m too fixated on creating a prominent figure in the foreground.

Check out his website!

Creatures Among Us

February 18th, 2010

If you’re living in the west burbs of Chicago, you may wanna drop into the Oak Park Art League gallery to see their current exhibition, Creatures Among Us.  It is an animal-themed show that was open to anyone, and on the opening reception they revealed both juried awards as well as a People’s Choice.  I sadly missed the reception and haven’t seen it hung yet, but I plan to in the next weekend or so.  The show runs until March 5th.

I submitted some older pieces as well as a new drawing, “Bare,” inspired by the mysterious fur-loss of some Andean spectacled bears at a zoo in Leipzig, Germany.


Radiolab’s Animal Minds

January 28th, 2010

Anyone interested in the content of my King Sapiens lecture should definitely download/stream WNYC’s Radiolab episode about the sentience of animals (or, specifically, animals that aren’t us), and whether we can ever truly experience the same emotional event with them.

Credit: Photo by Kelly Carmody

Credit: Photo by Kelly Carmody

We are Going to Die

January 28th, 2010

Whoowhee, I finally did it, got my third animated lecture online.  I hope you like thinking about the end of the world!  Check out the new animation, or take a look at the other ones.

Octopus’ Car and Home

December 14th, 2009

The veined octopus will wrap itself around a coconut half and use its structure to prop itself up on the tips of its tentacles, and then runs away to make it his home.  Another example of octopus tool use! The other famous example is the male blanket octopus which wields jellyfish stingers as defensive weapons.

Take a look at BBC to find out more about the octopus and his coconut!

Thanks for the scoop, Rim.

Compassionate Parrot?

December 9th, 2009

I wouldn’t usually share a silly internet vid on my professional blog, but this particular one directly relates to my animated lecture “Tale of King Sapiens

Lookit that! A parrot is very deliberately gently petting the cat!  It’s possible this is simply mimicry, but there’s an undeniable quality of affection that hints at the depths of a parrot’s cognitive capacity, and perhaps its spirit. But, again, it is very easy for us humans to anthropomorphize the actions of pets and see more than there really is.

In any case, incredible.