Saturday, April 17, 2010

APRIL 17, 2010 AD

I'm in Chicago, living a vagrant life for a weekend. I'm currently sitting in a pretty awesome coffee spot called New Wave Coffee, on the corner of Logan and Milwaukee. It's kind of funny how Chicago... there's kind of a lot of people that look eerily just like Cleveland people I know, or at least see around. I can't decided if they're just doppelgangers or part of a whole big system, like components of the "urban hipster" or "dirty beardo" machine. From a distance, Chicago is really beautiful. The city spans forever the horizon, but also the vertical. Buildings on buildings, it's a time collage. I love driving without directions or an immediate destination. I've soaked in a lot of architecture and atmosphere in the last 24 hours.

SO: Today is the Day! Record Store Day, 2010! I'm hundreds of miles away, but down on Waterloo, over in Collinwood, things are gonna go bananacakes!

Music Saves, Blue Arrow Records, and This Way Out! are all having all kinds of ridonk special stuff spilling out all over the street. I'd head down that way just for the spectacle of it all, but also: tons of exclusive awesome releases and cool deals on stuff. I dunno, read these fliers!

Cleveland Bachelor, Back Again! At the Beachland tonight: DOSH, White Hinterland, the Sleeps!

I wanted to write a lot more about this piece, a lot of thought and wishfulness went into it's design and execution. I definitely approached it from a position of wanting to do something different. Something slightly cleaner and more refined. I can sometimes feel myself getting settled, getting comfortable, feeling like I'm spinning my wheels and not engaging in the constant uphill struggle. I don't like that. I like the struggle. I like pushing myself. I don't like repeating myself no matter how successfully my jams go over. It's one thing to be working something out, but it's another to beat a dead horse. However, I've been short on time and internet access for the past few weeks. Honestly, I'm shocked I'm posting this even now, as I type!

One of the themes that I wanted to stress and remember with this piece was about the notion, the idea, of community. What's been going on over there, what started with the Beachland ten years ago, is something special. The people involved have all been working together to make something that I think might be rare and ...needed, for too long. I thought about it for a long time. How to visually represent what I feel is an idealized situation.

I've had this vision, a fantasy land, with neighborhood sized buildings that scrape far into the sky, populated by vegetation and alternate energy sources. I see greenhouses that grew up. I see no stairs, but spiral ramps in every direction. I see platforms for long distance communication and open trade between these garden monstrosities. I think about how far we've come, and think about how much further we could go. I see how fragile that is, but how it doesn't have to be.

I spent a long time on these colors. I knew what I wanted to do before I even started. I think I may have even planned the colors out before the art. I wanted to do something diametrically opposed to my diptych from last month. So, when it came time to bust, I found the idea of moving from day to night just sitting there waiting for me to take it and run.

There's a LOT of text on these. It was such a tough challenge to work with, but I love it. I love the work of putting this jam together, and making it not look hideous. Which, this much text- it could have easily ended up looking hideous, even with my powers. STILL: It doesn't. It looks readable. Anyway, I'm really proud of this set, and I hope all my Cleveland people take a minute to head down to Waterloo and visit my homies. Don't take it for granted, it's there for you.


Anonymous said...

The dimensions of Chicago: the vertical vs. the horizontal, the old vs. new, are one of the things that make me really happy when I'm there. There are certainly things to be dazzled by but there is also a grittiness that tempers it.

The triptych is great. The community that has continued to grow around the Beachland is inspiring. The sentiment of community seems more necessary than ever.

Also, breakfast recommendations for tomorrow include: Orange, Ear Wax, Lula, and the Bongo Room.

maja said...

i have a question for you how did you decide to name your blog ninepanelgrid is there some story behind hwo you named blog