I am obsessed with the vibe and music scene in New York in the 70’s. Rock was at the height of its decadence, glam rock was emerging along with disco and hip hop, and if that wasn’t enough, punk came along and punched the whole scene in the mouth.
I am continually drawn to this era due to the diversity and artistic impression that seemed to be flowing through NYC. Right in the middle of all this was the emergence of Kiss. I was once again introduced at a very young age by my brother who stumbled upon Kiss Alive 2 and played it until the needle wore out. Kiss became an obsession in my neighbourhood and Halloween started to look like a Kiss concert. I was always costumed as Ace Frehley, right from the start. I can’t tell you why I was drawn to him, but I was. My first Kiss/Ace record (and possibly my first record overall) was a 45 of “New York Groove” with “Snow Blind” as the B-side. Looking back, I can say with conviction, NYG was my first favorite song. To this day that song remains on high rotation in my car and studio.
The background of this piece is not without calculation. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many cool cities throughout the world but my favorite city by far is NYC. The background reflects my favorite time of day in the NYC; There’s always a palatable buzz in the city, but that energy seems to shift gears in early evening. As theaters in midtown start buzzing, and the cocktail lounges, pubs and restaurants start to fill up, there is a sense of anticipation that overcomes me…whatever the night brings, “it’s gonna be ecstasy, this place was meant for me”.
Trevor "Stickman" Stickel specializes in musically based portraits that capture legendary moments, powerful ideas and raw emotion. His work is described as gritty-yet-fresh, complex-yet-simple. Graduating from a Jekyll and Hyde influence early in his career in which he divided his time between family portraits and design work on helmets and Harleys - Trevor had the epiphany to combine both styles while reading "According to the Rolling Stones". Two weeks later he finished his first canvas portrait of Mick Jagger that would thrust him into a different realm of the art world an aptly titled it "Please allow me to introduce myself".
The idea or "mission" behind my art work was to create an artistic tribute to something (music) and to the people (musicians) that have had a tremendous impact on me and basically shaped my world. Historically these tributes have been limited to photos/posters that have adorned the bedroom walls of teenagers and dorm rooms throughout adolescence. I wanted to create a style of art that brings these iconic figures back into our life, and do so in manner that we as adults can display proudly in our homes. When planning a piece I often imagine how the finished piece would look in a contemporary living room, dining room, lounge, etc.
In order to achieve the mission stated above as well as explore my creative and artistic side, the idea of amalgamating different artistic disciplines on the same canvas was born. The concept is to take my portrait realism and juxtapose it with a background that expresses my feeling and emotions of the subject I'm painting. This method also allows me to explore other disciplines of art - many of my backgrounds will include Abstract, Expressionism, Impressionism, Realism, Pop Art, Street Art, Surrealism and quite often a combination of these. This is where I get to enjoy the artistic side of these pieces as well as paying additional homage to some of my favorite visual artists. My work is a true collaboration of music and art where I take a very influential subject matter and combine it with inspiration from artists such as Warhol, Bansky, Basquiat and Pollock to name just a few.