With SCREAM WITH ME coming up, we decided to get to know Brian Ewing a bit better…
On your website, you talk about how you worked for Hustler on the the magazines handling scheduling, prep houses and printers. What made you drop the porn industry to full heartedly pursue art?
I originally took the job at Hustler because I didn’t think I could make it as an illustrator. I thought that I needed an art degree to be allowed to get hired to illustrate anything. (I was young I didn’t know how the world worked. Not sure if I do now…) So I took the job in porn with the goal of becoming an art director. After a few years there of being knee deep in nudity I was freelancing for most of the magazines – during my lunch breaks and after work. And I was doing rock posters when I had time. The job started to wear me down because I wasn’t advancing at all. I was still in production and not an assistant art director. It was kinda frustrating having to do photoshop work for the assistant ADs. I was actually making as much money doing gig posters so I ended up quitting the XXX lifestyle to pursue the rock posters full time. I figured if this whole “art thing” doesn’t pan out I can always get my old job back at Kinko’s.“Would you like that collated and stapled, sir?”
So with a few bucks in my pocket, rent due and a very unhappy girlfriend I quit. I emailed every band, label, art director and publisher a link to my portfolio and within a few days I had my first job. I was unemployed for about two days. I promised myself that Hustler was going to be my last day job. Twelve years later…
Based on your previews, each piece you work on has extensive work behind it. How did you decide to take icons and draw them in layers of bones, muscle, and flesh?
To be honest it started out of desperation and ended up being about evolving as an artist. Hahaha…sigh. There are so many people trying to do rock posters now that a lot of bands don’t want to pay for art. Sometimes not even for the printing. (Not every band is like that some are actually awesome to work with.) Same goes for art prints. Some of these people will cut their mother’s throat just to say they got to do a poster for such and such band…for free. I’m stupid. I still put value on what I and other artists do.I also felt like I needed to try something different. I had just moved from New York City to the bustling mecca known as Columbus, OH. I needed a new approach that wouldn’t take me weeks just to finish one piece. Normally when a project has a shitty budget you usually have more creative control. So I figured “fuck it” and tried something different. If it failed I could go back to my regular style. I did some posters for Swans and the Melvins and it took off. Prints were selling out in less than an hour. From there I decided to switch styles when doing poster work. With each piece I got better at drawing anatomy and design. And it took me less time than my previous style did.
How would you personally describe your style?
My style is dependent on other people’s descriptions. I tell most people that I’m a graphic designer so they’ll leave me alone. So far so good.
What are your favorite mediums to work with?
Whatever I can get my hands on.I’ve designed two toys so far with META-CRYPT.com A toy company my buddy Justin Jewett and I started – to fulfill all of our childish Lovecraftian whims. We are going to do a toy release at the gallery on the opening night.I also enjoy designing patches. It sounds so stupid because it is…but they’re fun to do. I’m a member of the Turbojugend and have designed a few patches for my chapter so far. I also have my own patches. Speaking of which – I designed a new one just for the show to give to the fine folks (for free) that plunk down their hard earned cash on prints. It glows in the dark!
For both I have to use a different part of my brain. The toys require that I think in three dimensions. The patches force me to simplify my drawing and design to fit the limitations of an embroidered patch. It’s a nice change of pace.
Obviously I like inking. I feel like I’m finally getting good at it after years and years and more years of practice.
This kinda sounds like an online dating application… I also like long walks through the cemetery and tiki drinks too. No smokers please.
On average, how long would you say you dedicate to each character?
Way too long. Part of the reason why I show sneak peeks of what I’m working on is to remind people that there’s a lot of drawing going into each piece…aaaand that I’m not dead. When I use mixed media and bring photos into the process it’s hard to see all of the drawing when you’re limited to just a jpeg. A lot of the work is dependent on seeing it in person. There are printer tricks I use that when you look at the print – it transforms from the photo to the drawing depending on which angle you’re viewing it. The closest I can get to showing people that effect online is by posting videos on my instagram page (@brianewing) and by the video Galerie F posted showcasing how the Psycho print looks https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=955352024480867
Some of the pieces have collage backgrounds. That alone takes about a day to research and gather up found images and make new ones to throw into the background then I hafta Tetris it all together. The Psycho and Shining pieces have collage backgrounds. Each bit of the collage is a reference to the movie. My goal was to keep the viewer’s interest longer than usual and to take the poster further with all the added Easter Eggs that I nerded out on.
Zissou and Allie at Galerie F asked me to design new pieces for this show. To save time I changed the size at which I work. Normally my original drawings are 11″ x 17″. I’m working at 8.5″ x 11″ so I can work faster and make the originals more affordable to collectors at the show.That’s just the design end of it all. FugScreens Studios (aka Zissou) has to print all of the pieces. He let me go apeshit on adding more colors and trying out new papers.
Your work varies from working with Metallica and the Warped Tour, to The Strokes and Death Cab For Cutie. What musical artist are you into right now?
Whichever musical artist that wants to hire me… To misquote my girls in TLC – “I ain’t too proud to beg…”That is the toughest question people ask me. Because I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different bands my musical tastes are influenced by all of that. If I’m working for a specific band I will melt my brain by listening to their albums for inspiration until the project is done. Then onto the next one. I grew up in the 80′s with my older sister listening to House/Hip Hop, my older brother listening to Zappa and Zeppelin, my Mom listening to Elvis and Leonard Cohen and I listened to a lot of shitty punk and metal bands. Add all those influences and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Because it’s October and because I’m a nerd I even made a spotify playlist to keep me inspired while I worked on all the pieces for the show called halloween (https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:user:1249036794:playlist:27OmJlT60LzuZxRhEbWxdY)
Do yourself a favor and come in to Galerie F and see this exhibit.
It’s been a rough go of it but we are finally ready to spill the proverbial beans. Of course, we don’t want to overwhelm you so we’re going to take it one step at a time. Let’s start by introducing our newest partner in crime, The Logan Theatre.
The Logan Theatre is a small local movie theater that has established a stronghold in this community as an entertainment staple. The theater is not only a beautiful building [opened in 1915 if you can believe it] but screens both contemporary releases and cult classics. The team over at Logan Theatre have reached out to us to create an ongoing series of film posters to promote and commemorate the cream of the cult classic crop that they regularly show on the big screen. We felt like we hit the jackpot when they told us they wanted to premiere our partnership in October alongside their Horror Movie Madness series. Our first release is Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING – a Halloween masterpiece re-interpreted in this sleek minimalist design.
Tom Whalen is an unbelievably talented and prolific designer who knows precisely how to encapsulate a film, avoiding tropes and creating visually interesting designs. We are very excited to begin our working relationship with Whalen and look forward to the next few projects we have planned together.
The Shining by Tom Whalen. Edition of 75, hand numbered with a certificate of authenticity. Measures 18″x24″. Printed at FugScreens Studios. Four colors on Cougar Natural 100#. Part of an ongoing collaborative series with The Logan Theatre.
AVAILABLE Monday October 27th at a RANDOM TIME at galerief.com
Be in touch with any questions, comments, concerns, qualms, queries, and whatever else you’ve got.
The opening reception of Cut Along the Dotted Lines was quite the eventful night. It was possibly the muggiest day of this summer, but we were still a full house. Thank you to everyone who endured the heat with us and enjoyed the quality works of EPYON5 , Jason Rowland R6D4, and SARO. The works were intricately made with layers of hand-cut stencils and paint. On one wall, we displayed the stencil cuts. The artists were pleasantly surprised by how their cut outs looked framed as art themselves. On the exhibit wall, each artist brought their best work out to show the city. The show is available for viewing now until September 10th. Originals are selling quickly, be sure to purchase them before they’re gone.
We were also very happy to host The Sketchbook Project as they made their way along their Midwest tour. It was fantastic seeing how interactive the project was with everyone passing by, everyone here for the show, and those who came out for the project. Visitors were able to walk up to a tablet and enter a key word. The system would then give you a selection of titles of sketchbooks to chose from. The lovely members of The Sketchbook Project would then receive a text message with the number of the sketchbook you selected and a random mate for it. You were then able to sit down and immerse yourself into the life of someone else. These sketchbooks are jam-packed with creativity and love. Flipping through them, it was evident on how vast the content of each varied.
Thank you again to all who came and especially to the artists! We’ll see you at the next one.
Galerie F is proud to announce the release of our Galerie F Exclusive Box Set on August 11th at a random time. Within this colossal set there are 82 exclusive prints by 33 artists. Included in the set is renowned designer Justin Vangenderen’s series of “Location, Location, Location”, Jason Edmiston’s sold out Texas Chainsaw Massacre print and variant, and a number of other sold out prints.
Also included is “Made in the Midwest” poster signed by all artists from the show and remarques by Justin Santora. This set is ideal for avid collectors, comic fans, film buffs, fine art lovers, and poster people alike.
With 82 exclusive prints by 33 various artists, this set’s value is $3,000. Do not miss this limited time sale of it being $2,000.There are only FIVE sets available.
Shipping is $49.95 for domestic customers. International orders will be sorted out on a case-by-case basis. For further inquiries, email us at [email protected]
PBR, in collaboration with Logan Square’s Galerie F, bring together a hand selected group of Chicago artists to participate in a showcase of a snapshot of some of the city’s many diverse and talented artists. The artists are utilizing a blank PBR 16 oz. can as the canvas to bring their style to the classic imagery.
It will be interesting to see some of your favorite street artists’ work go from an urban landscape to a can of PBR; both so familiar yet strangely spectacular together. The opening reception will be held on Friday July 11th at 6 pm lasting until 10 pm.
Artists being featured are: ABC KILLS – PETE ZIEGEL – JKAE GOODBEAR – REVISE CMW – JC RIVERA – GREVE DC5 -CHEMA SKANDAL -TUBZ – MAX WEBER – JEREMY SCHEUCH -RADAH – PENNY PINCH -DEAL35
The reception is open to the public and free. Thanks to PBR, each 21+ attendee will also receive a complimentary PBR.
So, gather a group of friends or adventure out on your own and come meet some of Chicago’s most prominent street artists.
Galerie F is excited to host our first booth in the Block at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. This jam packed three day affair starts Friday April 25th and runs through Sunday April 27th at the McCormick Center.
All weekend long we will be having artists meet and greets at the GF booth, some folks have flown across the country just to be here! Artists will be signing works and chatting up according to the schedule below.
We have asked a dozen artists and designers, some new and some old to the Galerie F roster, to create brand new exclusive art prints for this event. Here’s a sneak peek at a few prints that will be available. Not able to attend the event? Not a worry, all prints remaining will go live on the Galerie F webstore on Monday April 28th 2014.
In collaboration with Chicago’s Galerie F, D.C.-based artist Tracie Ching debuts her mini solo exhibition, “Well Read”.
“Well Read” investigates the relationship between contemporary films and the literary classics from which they are derived. In this body of work Tracie Ching explores different novels that have spawned successful film counterparts, creating her own interpretations which carefully adhere to their respective stories. The show itself is a response to the use of source material and the effects that different visual representations have on them over time. Every representation, including Tracie’s, is a result of applying different filters to a piece of work that has become larger than the creator could have ever imagined. While the film industry may introduce aesthetic, thematic, or even plot changes, Tracie attempts to stay close to the original source material while applying aesthetics attributed to the time period of each novel.
Limited edition silk screen prints accompanied by letterpress bookmarks and custom bound books will be available at the opening reception on Friday, March 28th. All remaining works will be posted in Galerie F’s online store the following week. A portion of all proceeds from the show will be donated to Reading is Fundamental, , the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States (rif.org).
MADE IN THE MIDWEST: A GROUP PRINTMAKING EXHIBITION
We invite you to join Galerie F in celebrating over two decades of the Chicago printmaking scene with the opening of “Made in the Midwest.” Twenty-five established artists exhibiting works themed on the Midwest, printmaking, and everything in between.
Each artist presents a new exclusive art print for the exhibition shown with pre-production materials, giving insight to the process of their individual styles. Original sketches, cut rubylith, crudely drawn stick figures on used napkins – anything deemed significant by the creator in their artistic process.
We also are happy to announce the release of a minimalist “family tree” art print paying homage fathers of the Chicago gig poster scene, Steve Walters [Screwball Press] and Jay Ryan [the Bird Machine]. Designed by Michael Lauritano and Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff.
Galerie F and Matthew Hoffman have joined forces enthusiastically to present “You Are Beautiful: the Next Chapter.” This group exhibition serves as a celebration of TEN YEARS of the You Are Beautiful campaign. The exhibition will be on display daily [Tu-Su] from 11am to 6pm through November 17th.
You Are Beautiful is the little sticker that started a worldwide phenomenon. This message, spread by the community, has touched lives on everycontinent in the world. After ten years of spreading positivity, You Are Beautiful will join Galerie F in exhibiting over twenty artists that have contributed to YAB in the past. Matthew Hoffman, founder and custodian of YAB, will be producing a series of cut wood pieces for every year passed and every lesson learned.
This exhibition will also premier the first chapter of the upcoming You Are Beautiful biography, printing in winter 2013. Our exhibition draws strongly from the cathartic and extensive research Hoffman has conducted to create this book. Stay tuned for details on the book’s release through Galerie F.
Artists participating in ‘the Next Chapter’ include…
Chris Uphues· Goons · Starshaped · Dan Grzeca FugScreens Studios · E. Harris · Jeremy Schultz · blütt
Nice One · LUCX · Brooks Golden · Penny Pinch
Sent Rock · Andrew Lawrence · anna cf · Ian Ferguson
Ben Wagner · MOSHER · Clam Nation · wren
Alex Synge · upso · Adam Hanson · Sean Mort Print Shop
JC Rivera · Sean Starr · Annica Lyndenberg · Don’t Fret
Galerie F is pleased to present ‘Who Will Save Us Now?’ EPYON5′s introductory solo exhibition debuting new prints, paintings and spraypainted canvases. Please join us for the artist reception October 4th from 6pm to 10pm. The exhibition will be on display daily [Tu-Su] from 11am to 6pm through October 20th.
E5′s work draw from the bold simplicity of propaganda posters while integrating its thematic opposite – grandiose Baroque decorum. These challenging aesthetics frame pop culture characters, creating instant icons.
EPYON5 hails from the Midwest. Originally trained in the fine art of Renaissance style realism, e5 has shifted his focus to the more immediate and gratifying medium of stencils and spray paint. Although his subject matter is familiar and contemporary, Epyon5 tries to infuse elements of classical design into his current works; thereby still retaining a feel of past grandeur and spectacle.
Michael Denardo & David Liddiment
Finch's Beer Co
St. John Berchmans School
Richard Ormsby III
Justin Van Genderen
Chicago Art Leasing
Matt Maldre, Spudnik Press
Madeline Carol Matz
Mike Moore - VfishV