There’s no question that Tom Petty would eventually end up as a subject of mine. I can’t think of any artist that was more universally loved. Although I’ve been a life long fan, he was put into the queue after a series of appearances brought him to the forefront of my mind. Starting with the Super Bowl in 2008 and then multiple appearances on rock documentaries such as Sound City, The Defiant Ones and his own four-hour masterpiece aptly titled Running Down a Dream.
As for the style of this piece, I’ve been meaning to do a loose concept complete with warts and all (i.e. pencil marks, etc.). Petty just seemed like the perfect fit for this style. Although the title was pulled from the hit song “Running Down a Dream” (seemed like a natural fit) the background was inspired by the 1985 video “Don’t Come Around Here No More” for a variety of reasons. First off, I believe it is the quintessential 80’s music video that truly represents that entire era. Second, I have had the pleasure of meeting the actor (Wish) that played Alice in that legendary video (wife of a friend and talented musician in his own right). To sit and talk music with these two, who grew up in the LA music scene, was a real honor. When I sat down to put Petty to canvas, it certainly played a large part in the inspiration.
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 artwork 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.