Friday, May 31, 2013

Yes or No? (2)

Mos Def
12" x 8"
oil on wood, 2010
However insignificant the question I posted two weeks ago may seem, for me its ramifications are very significant. The question isn't answered yet so I'm stating it again: Yes or no? And while I await the answer, that I know will appear to me (probably from an unexpected vantage point) I will post a few images from the Top 100 2009, the year before I started blogging. The images of that year's top 100 have been published in Berry van Boekel: Top 100 2009 in an edition of 100 by Iconoclast out of Cincinnati. 
Number 29 in the Top 100 2009 was an anonymous B-Boy street performance made in Brooklyn. The recording appeared in the documentary film The Freshest Kids: The History of the B-Boy. The "B" in B-Boy stands for beat. The film chronicles the history of break dancing and while the dancers are mostly credited, the musicians remain largely anonymous. Luminaries from the early hip-hop scene are interviewed and I suspect that some had a hand in the soundtrack. Mod Def is one of those interviewed and since he was only a point short of being in the list himself, I chose him to illustrate the anonymous performance. This was particularly challenging simply because one of my favorite musician's portrait is of Mos Def done by Illinois based artist John Jennings.
John Jennings
Mos Def
digital print
The process of how the poster is produced is interesting: First there is a small pencil drawing in a sketchbook. Next there is a scan of it. The coloring, the effects, and all the rest of the work is done on a computer. I used the concept once in an advanced drawing class for college students. The students could use any drawing they fancied and take it from there. I was surprised how little experience students from this computer savvy generation had with graphic programs. It took a while to get it going. The process sounds easy but in reality it is not so. What it really requires is vision, you have to be able to make a mental image of the sketch as a finished product. John Jennings came for a visit, the students met him, saw his work...and his visions. A few students were inspired. And that's enough.

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