I was sitting here wondering what interesting content I could add to the site. Sometimes I try desperately to come up with ideas and it’s usually the simple things that work best. For instance, this painting is called, “Webster Hall Remixed”. It was partially done at the famous NYC club about a year and a half ago.
I’m part of a DJ collective called Mojito Jones and one of our members, Joaquin Morales, had a guest spot with our friend and fellow DJ, Juan C. Often when we DJ, I paint at the venue as well. It’s usually billed as “LIVE PAINTING”. I always hated the term “LIVE PAINTING”… is it the opposite of DEAD PAINTING? So my Brother Seth, Armand Green, the 3rd member of Mojito Jones, and I trekked thru NYC on a cold January night heading to WEBSTER HALL.
Our trip started out in Jersey City, NJ. I always park in downtown Jersey City (JC). There is something about J.C. that I love. Part of it is because my older Brother Demmick and I spent lots of time there. Demmick has been deceased since 1994. But every time I go to New York, I start out in JC where I jump on the PATH TRAIN….This time was no different. Yes we carried the door on the PATH and several blocks to get to the club! Seth and I did most of the hauling. It went smooth except for the fact that it was FREEZING!!! It seemed like it took forever to get to the club.
Once we were finally there, we had to lug that door up several flights of stairs before getting to the room where the party was being held. The party was called “Hanky Panky” and it was in one of “THE VIP ROOMS”. It was cool looking, but nothing special. DJ Juan C and Joaquin had been there for a while and they told me where to set up. There was a simple stage off to the right of the DJ booth in a lounge area, including several chairs, a couch and some velvet drapery for a dramatic retro feel. Every time I say the word “velvet”, I wanna (and sometimes do) say it in a Yiddish accent…with a touch of BROOKLYN!! I’m just sayin’.
Anyway, my usual set up whenever I do live painting is having my briefcase full of acrylic paints open on a table, and several cup/cans of water nearby. I always pray for a little bit of light, lean the door on a wall close by my briefcase and I’m ready to go!
Since I had the images that I planned to use on the collage printed already, my main concern was gluing the paper on the door. Once the paper is glued, then I add the paint. Long story short, after several hours of gluing, painting, dancing, drinking and chatting it up, the door is done.. or at least I thought it was done.
Only thing I was not at all happy with the results. I felt there was something missing and the painting literally sat in my apartment for almost a year. I took pics of it; I even put it in an exhibit at the Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune New Jersey and still didn’t like it. The only reason I didn’t paint over it was because my brother loved the painting. You can even say he had invested some of his time and energy to help get the painting done. That’s a truth I can’t deny. If it wasn’t for Seth encouraging me to do something different, I would not have carried a door in the middle of winter through Manhattan for car fare. So I can understand how and why he admired and wanted to keep the painting.
But day in and day out I used to look at this collage and say to myself, “You gotta paint over this bad boy”. Well, one day a fellow artist,Lee Alston and my girlfriend told me about a “call for art” for an exhibit where the theme was “MUSIC”. That was right up my alley. So I start pulling together artwork for the show. The exhibit, which is up until June is at a spot called “Steam Cafe” in downtown Jersey City. I reached out to the owner, Chris and she loved my work! I set up a drop time to take the pieces selected for the show and it so happened when I got there that Chris wanted more of my artwork to display! So then I decided to create new art for the show…NO, of course I can’t make it easy and give her old art! So I started two new paintings and I began adding more elements to the Webster Hall painting, thus the name, “WEBSTER HALL REMIXED”.
I added so much to this painting that I didn’t think I would finish in time for the exhibit. When you get close enough to this painting, you will notice that so much detail and work went in to this collage. Keep in mind that it’s not just the painting that was hard work, but also what Seth and I endured to get the painting to the club. So there you have it, the story behind the painting.You can see this painting and several others at Steam Cafe, 276 Newark Avenue Jersey City New Jersey. The painting is for sale however limited edition prints will be available after the exhibit. Please call Steam Cafe for all inquiries at (201) 706-2489. Also, on Saturday May 25th there will be aclosing reception for my exhibit at Vonda’s Kitchen, 183 West Kinney Street Newark, New Jersey. Please call the restaurant at (973) 732-4532 for details on the artwork and the daily specials. This is my first “Story Behind The Painting”, stay tuned for more.