The LA Times asked me to make some drawings during rehearsal of the Los Angeles Ballet . The company was working on a program of three George Ballanchine ballets, “See the Music, Hear the Dance.” It was a real privilege for me to have a chance to observe these wonderful dancers up close in their rehearsal studio in West LA. I could feel the energy in the room the minute I arrived, and it was clear that I was watching artists perform at a very high level. I also learned why visual artists have drawn and painted dancers so often throughout history; even when dancers are at rest, they seem to be striking poses that exude elegance and strength.
Here’s some illustrations for this month’s Wired Magazine about plans for High Speed Rail in America. The project made me think of articles in vintage Fortune Magazines that promoted future technology. I tried to bring that kind of optimistic vision of the future to these pieces. The spreads also included two maps that were going to get a lot of information graphics laid on them.
Last week Jazz ABZ opened at The Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, FL. I’d like to thank Museum Director Hope McMath and all the staff of the museum for mounting the show. The gallery looks beautiful and the opening was a wonderful experience. Over 1000 people came out, there were lots of families, and the music was great. I met some nice people and heard a lot of stories about jazz music and musicians, including a gentleman who told me he loaned Ella Fitzgerald money when her band was stranded in Boston. I was so busy, I forgot to take any pictures at the opening. I’ll be back for a talk during the Jacksonville Jazz Festival.
I noticed that there was a big drop-offin quality when you go from these 15th Century temperas on panel to those airbrush and ink jazz images.
After the opening, Jill and I drove down to Sarasota to visit the legendary Alex Steinweiss. He was exactly the way you’d like to be at 92 years old. His apartment is full of modern furniture, books and paintings, and he was full of stories. He told me that all those covers he did for Columbia Records didn’t have to get approval by anyone but him. He made the images, sent them to the printers, and they showed up in the stores.
Here’s a portrait Alex did of his beloved Boston Terrier, Maestro.
This message hangs right by the door. The person Alex talked about the most was his art teacher at Lincoln High in Brooklyn, Leon Friend, a teacher who had a huge impact on many students including another legend, Seymour Chwast.