Monday, December 19, 2011
I made the artwork for this mix tape over the summer. My friend Hugo from the event told me that he wanted something animalistic for the cover. Or something like that. He always tells me some of his ideas and I usually take them in another direction. I’ve always been a fan of album art, so it was a treat for me to make this for him. Text is from my typewriter, as usual.
Looking through a vintage children’s book, I encountered this image. I usually take an image and remove it from it’s content. Here I decided to use the text that was right above the image. While I was in class making the shirts, I noticed a visiting student was watching me work attentively while I made these shirts. He came up to me and asked me if I would mind putting that design on the blank shirt he was wearing. It was the best compliment I could receive. Of course he got the design.
I had photocopied the image of this woman and had a number of ideas in my head of how to use her for a design. I went to see The Cure that same week, and after they played Plastic Passion I knew what I had to do. The design was created on the screen and only 7 shirts were made.
Monday, December 5, 2011
I’ve experimenting more with creating designs on the photocopier. I looked through the many clippings I have and found two clippings with the word whore. I decided to create two whore-themed designs. The image is probably from the 60's, the clippings from the 70s.
I made these pins for Fanboy, a ‘party for queers of the geeky persuasion’ in San Francisco. Many things came to mind when creating these pins – comic books, sci-fi, innocence, fantasy, etc. I rarely use images outside of my vintage books and photos, so finding the proper images was a challenge at first. After digging through some children’s books, I started finding images that would apply. I took them to my favorite photocopy place and worked on reducing the images to a size that would work for the pins (never an easy task). Once at home, I played with the small images, manually adding color and the text. It was a very fun project and I was very happy with the final results. These are the first five pins in a series of ten.
I’ve had a late 60’s religious workbook for girls for a while and have always admired the imagery. I decided it was time to use some of the images as designs. I tweaked the size of the images and text on the photocopier, then manually created the designs on the screen before printing.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The new Discolooser season has just started. The previous season’s flyers have all featured my art. It has mainly been art featuring women, from vintage pin up magazines. This time around I thought it was time to feature men. I got some vintage gtay magazines and got to work. Many photocopies later i came up with a new set of flyers. It is appropriate that the new season start with ‘la puttana’, one of the strongest pieces in this new set of flyers.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
This was a last-minute idea I had for a design. I wanted something short and simple that I could fit into some extra space I had on a screen. Once finished, I sent a picture to a friend of mine and he replied with a question mark. I guess if you get it, you get it. If you don’t then it’s hard to explain.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
After having made the Friends prints/shirts using the vintage images, I decided I wanted to do a gay line with those images. I wanted the gayness to be subtle, as the images are pretty gay already. I selected a number of images and typed a number of words that came to my mind. I then went off to make photocopies. Back at home I combined the text with the images. I don’t think I realized what I had done until I printed the first shirt. The colors jumped at me and I loved it.
Being a huge fan of the Smiths and Morrissey, I decided to make some pieces as a tribute. I wanted to do something very simple, with just text from my typewriter. i didn’t want to use the computer. I enlarged the text to the size I wanted and made the screen with that. So in the end I only used my typewriter and a photocopier.
We had to do a 4-color print for my class. I have this vintage exercise book from 1938, that’s where I took the image from. I wanted to give the print a vintage feel, so I picked colors for that effect. I did a number of prints, playing with the colors. I was a big fan of the results.
The first assignment for one of my screen printing classes was a stencil. We were to tape a paper stencil to a screen and create prints. I had never done a stencil before and had no idea what image to use. After some trial and error, I decide for the image you see here. I saw a picture of some pandas and decided to give it a shot. I added the letter with some letter stencils I have at home. I decided to add the fire as a second screen.
I started taking some screen printing classes this fall. It has been a lot of fun. I’ve been learning plenty and watching my art grow. The image for this print was from a very small early 70’s picture. I scanned the picture and then applied a halftone to it. The text is from my typewriter.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Romeo and I were having fun messing with gay terms and taboos. I think we both knew that even though what we were doing was at a small scale, it was a big project. What we were doing was not only unique, but it was forward-thinking and challenging to both straights and gays.
I learned from Romeo the use of the word “obvio”. I guess a simple way to describe it is that if you’re gay and people can tell you’re gay, then you’re obvio. It’s normally used with a negative connotation. I applied that to the playful image that Romeo had intervened. There’s nothing wrong with being obvio, I think that’s what the final message is. It’s like saying I’m obvio and I don’t care.
“Todos Somos Putos” is a play on male promiscuity.
The next few days went by pretty quickly. I was now a guest at the house were Romeo was staying. I would get up in the morning and go directly to the studio. I’d never had that luxury in my life before.
Usually the way we worked was that Romeo would intervene an image, usually with acrylic paint. I had to come up with the caption for the image and create the stencil. This sounds a lot easier that it actually is. Sometimes I would stare at the images for what seemed like hours. Some captions came to me very easily, some were almost forced out of me. Each stencil was handcut and applied with acrylic paint. Sometimes I would get nervous to apply a stencil to Romeo’s finished work.
The house were Romeo was staying now was simply amazing. A beautiful yard, a pond and a huge studio. There was not much more I could ask for. We start working right away, after eating a giant chicharron preparado, though. I had some letter-size photocopies so we start working with those images. We were to use two solvents – paint thinner and bleach. I think that first night we worked on three different shirts. We were both nervous about the experiment, but became quite confident after the first attempts.
The next day we had to make photocopies of the images I had selected from all the ones I took. The issue was that most of these images were nudes. We were to make these photocopies at a local miscelanea. A female was operating the photocopier, so it was just a bit awkward to hand her a handful of nudes to photocopy for us. “We need to have some photocopies made”, I say, “but many of them are nudes. I hope you don’t mind”. She didn’t mind and made all the copies. I think she kept one of my female nudes because I simply never saw it again.
When I sat down with romeo at the café, I realized he did not want to waste any time. I wanted our art show to be called ‘Romeo y Leopoldo – Los Jotos del Futuro’ (the fags of the future). He wanted my to clarify my ideas and simply show him what I had in mind. After a few hours of talking we had an idea of what we wanted. We had talked about our gay lives, relationships and many things that tend to bother us about the gay world. We are the fags of the future. Yes, we were both aware that joto (fag) is an offensive word. We were not using it in that context. We are the fags of the future, a future were insulting words like ‘fag’ don’t matter.
The plan now was to make t-shirts together. Each shirt would be unique, there would be no duplicates. We would use the images I took with me. Somehow these postcard-sized images were going to turn into t-shirts. “Let’s start today”, he says. I pay my hot chocolate, pick up my stuff and off we go to his house.
I met Romeo last year when I went to Chiapas for the first time. I was in San Cristobal de Las Casas, one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited. I remembered I was walking around the city. I pass by this gallery on my way to the Mercado and see a young man putting out a sign that obviously was from a restaurant. Instead of the menu of the day though, he had listed what was on sale. Shirts, postcards, etc. I liked his approach and decided to stop by after the Mercado. “I thought you weren’t stopping by”, he said as I walked into the gallery. Then I saw it – the gay art all over the walls and all over the articles he had for sale. The common themes here were religion and sexuality.
I ended up hanging out with Romeo quite a bit during that trip. We’ve become good friends since then and I proposed that we work together for this trip. We exchanged some ideas through email. I packed images, photocopies and blank shirts for my trip to Chiapas. When I get to San Cristobal, I text him while having some tacos by the mercado. “Let’s meet at the usual place”, he says. So I head off to meet him at the same place where he once read my chocolate cup after I was finished with it.
Along with the pins I made for Las Hermanas Vampiro, I made the candles you see here. I’ve been making candles in LA for a while. I thought that having their images on candles would be very appropriate. I made the images in LA and decided to add them to blank candles once in Mexico City. Of course obtaining the candles was part of the fun. Before I knew it, I found myself searching for the candles. Through the clues of some friends, I ended up deep in Mercado Sonora. Live animals, santa muerte everywhere and candles candles candles. You can find candles for just about everything. I found the candles I needed (blank ones) and bought a box of them. “I hope the box doesn’t tear, I’m taking the metro”. After I said that, the guy reinforced the box with string and over my shoulder it went. I crossed the Mercado again during my exit, stopping for some quesadillas and a calculator watch.
So much could be said about Las Hermanas Vampiro. They’re a Mexican drag ensemble. They’re performances are always full of surprises. You never can know what to expect from one of their shows. I met them last year when I was in Mexico. I wanted to do something for them for this visit. I came up with these pins. I wanted blue to be prevalent on the pins, since they are known for their blue wigs. Some of the backgrounds on these pins were painted by me, others were taken from vintage textbooks. I sold these pins at their shows in Mexico City. I’m proud of knowing my little creations are being worn by people in support of the great Hermanas Vampiro.
I made a series of gay pins for this trip to Mexico. I mainly used images from vintage American gay magazines. I used words and sayings that are very unique to Mexico. My favorite are the pasivo/activo/pasiva/activa ones. I always think that sexual roles are always taken too seriously. Turning activo and pasivo into feminine can be interpreted in many ways. As usual, I like to leave the interpretation to the viewer.