Clockwise: Gene Simmons from KISS, P. Diddy, Madonna, Rihanna.
These were four portraits that I did for a book published by VH1. They go at the four corners of a large map that describes all of the different genres of music. The portraits are meant to look somewhat like the small heads on old maps that show the different wind directions, weather currents, etc. I worked in a tighter and more graphic manner to get the feel of some of those old maps but keep it contemporary. I worked with Emily Oberman at Number 17 on the project.
With all the stars that have been passing away lately I'm starting to feel we should start giving props to people while they're still alive! Lets hear it for Madonna. Still around after all these years. She's got the hits from the 80s and 90s but for some reason I like this one that didn't get much play from 2005. Maybe because it samples ABBA. Bold move with the tacky outfit, socks, and high heels. Yeah, I just admitted to liking Madonna and ABBA. Whatever.
I still have a fondness for KISS. One of the first American rock bands I had ever seen back in the early 80s, I assumed all rock bands in this country painted themselves like demons and cats and performed with loud pyrotechnics blasting behind them. I had no idea what they were singing about at the time, but this was my favorite song:
And this would be me circa 1982 on 'drums'. The old guy behind me is my grandfather visiting from Cuba and likely wondering what the hell had happened to his grandchildren. The 'drums' were made out of cardboard boxes, painted with latex house paint by yours truly. The symbals were hubcaps tied to a broomstick. Rock. On.