Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One On Each Side: The Day Art Was King

Lighthouse On Truck With Inscription

Slice Of Pizza On Metal Panel With Inscription

Bum Rogers Insisted On A Female Sook Even Though I Tried To Talk Him Out Of It

OK, it's not exactly fine art.  But I'm showing these in response to Katharine Cartwright's recent post on starving artists.  That and the most impressive response by Linda Roth, who essentially spelled out the story of my life.  What a fantastic forum.   This is one of my career iterations that I did to keep from having to starve, while protecting my fine art from compromise.  One gravitates to where one is appreciated in the money for art game.   Besides as a process artist, what difference does it make what the product is as long as the process is being experienced?  Same materials.  Same thoughts.  You know, lighthouse with crashing waves, gestural scribbles, portraits, pizza, crabs, whats the big deal?  

That pizza was for Larry Farrago, a former creative director at one of the big ad agencies.  Quit all the stress and started a pizza business.  How he found me I'll never know, although I was not unknown in transportation graphics.  Anyway, the piece was done in a Truck equipment firm--about a dozen mechanics, sales staff and office people.  As the painting reached it's final stages people started moaning in hunger.  Then around lunchtime Larry showed up with a few cartons of pizza and a portable oven, and treated the whole company to all the pizza they could eat, being so happy with the looks of his truck.    Art was king that day.

The illustrations were done in OneShot lettering enamel with Naz Dar Screen Printing Varnish as a glaze medium base,  drying times being manipulated with other types of varnish.   Hand lettering is done with Langnickel quills and OneShot Lettering Enamel.   Scale drawings of each truck were approved in advance, with the full sized patterns prepared in this studio. 


PS  I don't know what the puffy art colleges teach now, but in my day they didn't teach any of this.   I agree with Linda, and add they need to be ashamed of themselves for extracting all that money and not teaching people how to get by.   That said, my AA laid a firm groundwork in commercial art for which I have always been greatful.   Then there's the BS I've discussed in other posts.  My Freudian slip is showing.  Sorry.


hw (hallie) farber said...

Transportation graphics--art that's moving. Art is art, whether it's on the road or in a gallery. I like the crab (though I don't eat them--or lobster-- because they're cooked live).

William Cook said...

Hi Hallie--Thanks so much for voicing that. That's the attitude with which I approached those truck projects. Art is art! \\///\

Sonya Johnson said...

These are all great, William. Art that serves a functional purpose such as these is still art, and I'd *love* to be able to do projects like that. I did commissioned medical illustrations when I was in medical school, and I'd still be doing them if someone would pay me!

That crab is fantastic.

Anonymous said...

On the road, I always look at the art on trucks. Seems like these days a lot of it looks photoshopped, which is a shame.
This art you've done is ART!

Jane said...

No matter how you do, it always comes out beautifully..to say the least, - of course the light house to me has a the biggest attraction. And like Hallie I don't eat crab or lobster for the same reasons, I like your cab though:-)

Kathy said...

These are great, Wm!! I could go for a blue crab about now :-)
Yes, Linda's comment was right on target. I've found that few colleges/universities teach the business side of art but some are waking up, now. It's a tough, competitive field and computer graphics have transformed it.

craigstephens said...

Ah Yes, One Shot lettering enamel, I love the stuff. I worked my way through art school lettering trucks and painting signs and billboards. I still do the occasional side job and enjoy the heck out of it! Beautiful work!