Sunday, January 20, 2008

More Porkroll

In the future there just may be a class taught in universities across the world called “The Porkroll in Art” and there among those classical treasures will be the Thom Reaves porkroll collection. (I guess I have delusions of grandeur).

Here’s more of the art and opening photos I promised in my last post.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Infamous Porkroll Baby

It is peculiar that I have not mentioned this previously, as it is one of my most fun ideas। It is something devised by my sometimes “off the wall” mind and something which surprisingly has had much success। It is the creation of the cute & loveable Porkroll Baby!

For those of you outside the Jersey area who don’t know what pork roll is: It is a type of sausage-like pork product made from coarsely ground pork shoulder, developed by John Taylor of Trenton, New Jersey late in the 19th century। It is called pork roll due to the "roll" or tube-like sack in which it is traditionally packaged। It is also called Taylor Ham. (Paraphrased definition from Wikipedia).

It is very delicious as many will tell you। So delicious that I thought that a character just had to be made from it। Although actual pork roll is pink, Porkroll Baby is colored dark red and wears a diaper. He is depicted in many ways: You may see him as a little angel, or a little devil, wearing an egg on his head as a hat, or even dressed up as Marilyn Monroe, visiting the circus or being tossed around with lottery balls.

I was very free with the character and there are limitless possibilities of which I am still discovering। I have had soft sculptures and hard sculptures made, coloring books, painted cutting boards and many small paintings. In 2005 I had a showing in Philadelphia called the Completely Porkroll Show at Zonk Arts Gallery. It was the most successful show I ever had in terms of pieces sold. It was a night of fun and laughter with pork roll appetizers and cheese. My friends even made me a pork roll princess to go with the baby! (It might be a bit crazy, but we have fun with it). There was some of my other art there too as you can see in the pic with me in it, but it was primarily the delectible breakfast meat.

I’ve since written Porkroll Baby’s back-story, created a supporting cast of characters and have the beginnings of another comic। I’m seeing how far I can take him।

I have posted pictures of Porkroll Baby in different versions: paintings, sculptures, drawings and photos of the pork roll vernisage. More coming soon. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Everyday People

Well, since I’m merely “on the way” to producing some new completed work, I thought I’d post more work I’d done over the summer।

I found the watercolors to be quite freeing and looser than my regular medium of acrylic। The subject matter is a little different than my regular as well.

I find that when I create people in my artwork I tend toward the idealized representations. This time, I wanted to do some down-to-earth, regular, every-day people, so I painted two older people walking down the street. I find them to be quite charming if I do say so myself. (Hey, I gotta feel good about my own work, right?). I think I need to come down-to-earth some time and represent real people. I had fun doing these.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

More Fashion Art

In the spirit of one of my New Year’s resolutions - to up my production of artwork, I’ve started sketching। This is the place where all the ideas come to life for the first time on paper. I love sketching ideas and I find that I have to be aware that I avoid doing actual art pieces because I get so involved in sketching. It’s my process, I guess.

Posted here are two paintings which I have posted before: Eblouissant and La Reine Abielle। My dealer, Martha Press, at the Farnsworth Gallery in Bordentown, NJ conversed with me about these two paintings. “It will be a certain type of person who will purchase these paintings”, she said. I agree with her - and they will have to have enough room on their walls as these paintings are not small. She has to find a space (most likely in a corner of the room) on her gallery walls to hang them. Because of their size and color, they would dominate any of her walls - especially because most of her featured works are small. I digress. To get to the point, we discussed a possible buyer for them. This potential client however ,would not even consider purchasing them because there is no representation of an African-American woman. I totally understand this frame of mind as I am a black man. Many of our culture want to see our own faces represented in the arts and not only the Anglo faces which have been so prevalently promoted in our American culture. (Not to get into it here, but its funny how race plays such an important and powerful role in our decisions, our actions and how we relate to others. Many want to think this is not an issue anymore in our American society. They are na├»ve). Back to the paintings - I came up with a third painting for this series and here is the sketch for it. I’m very happy with the idea. Haven’t decided when I’ll get to work on it but I will get to it. My issue is finishing it once I’ve started it.

Regardless of my personal work, I have more of a tight production schedule at my job at Wegmans। Here is one of my latest signs made for Chinese New Year (
Though for political correctness, we can’t say that because of our relationship with China at the present time. We have to say “ASIAN” new year. Political correctness in an instance such as this is the STUPIDEST thing I’ve ever heard! People who get offended at trivial stuff like this need to stay home. Its not Asia‘s New Year, its China‘s). Anyway, with the display, I think its one of my nicer signs. At least I’m being very productive in my work life.

Till next time.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy 2008!

Although its been awhile since my last post, I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy New Year to anyone taking the time to read my blog। And in the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions that many of us seem to make at this time of year, I’m resolving to up my production of art and creative venues this year.

At the present time I have set my sites on Miami; a center where, I’ve been told, my work may do very well. (Think Britto Central). Although at first planning on up and moving, I’ve come to my senses and decided that things like this need to be done in baby steps. My job right now is to get all my ducks in order before I send them out. And that’s my resolution on this aspect of my fabulous life. I thank God that he has brought me through to another year safely and I wish you all a safe, blessed and prosperous new year.