1942 – 2016
Last week I spent the evening at ARC (Architectural Resources Cambridge) in Boston. I was invited to be a guest critic for some incredibly awesome final presentations from students at the Boston Architectural College (BAC). “Skyscrapers & Superheroes” is an advanced design studio created by Mark Urrea and Richard Yeager. The studio explores what it means to introduce a small change in an ordinary system through utilizing the qualities of superheroes. It challenges the students to explore how a small design intervention can have the potential to radiate and change the perception of an existing context/host completely. Each student was given the task of creating an intervention for one of Boston’s most famous landmarks…the John Hancock Tower in Copley Sq.
Images from Kun An’s presentation incorporating Iron Man from Marvel comics…
In the Spirit of Remembrance…
I never met Prince, but was fortunate to be in his presence on two separate occasions, courtesy of my good friend Evan Theodore Stent (as much as you think you might know about The Artist, this bro knows more. TRUTH).
The first time was in the 90s, back in my NYC days at a private record release party for Larry Graham and Chaka Khan in the east village. I had just relocated to NY for work, and before I could unpack one box, I was at a party with industry heads, celebs and music lovers till 3 or 4am. I remember Prince casually walking right past me when he arrived. No heavy entourage or bodyguards, just himself, Larry Graham and a few other people. I was amazed at how chill, laid-back and accessible he was the whole time we were there. Class Act.
The second time was the first and only time I got to see him perform live. It was in ’04 on the night of the 19th annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The ceremony was held at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC and broadcast on VH1. Prince hosted a private after party/concert at Club Black in Manhattan (now known as Terminal 5). The location was never publicly announced, so you had to be in the loop to even know where it was. The club had an upper level over-looking the stage that was reserved for the guests coming straight from the Waldorf (VIP). The rest of the club was standing room only, first come, first served and we were front row, off center, to the left. I’m a music lover. So, by definition, that would make me a Prince fan. Not the biggest Prince fan…not even close, but music lovers love good music. To say I was mesmerized would be an understatement. It was easily the BEST live show I have ever seen. The band was flawless. The sound was top notch. Perfection. And this brother just got off stage from his own induction ceremony performance a few hours prior…a true testament to his dedication and mastery of Performance as Art. Inspired? You better believe I was!
The connection between music and visual art is seamless. It’s all story telling. It’s all connected. It’s all Art.
When we look back on our lives and recount all of the significant people, places and things we encountered along the way, we will realize that all of it, the good and the bad, the painful and the pleasant, contributed to the men and women we have ultimately become.
All Art is Relative and we have lost an Incredible Artist. Godspeed my brother and Thanks for the Love.
I teach comics classes at The Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts in Boston. The school celebrates its 340th birthday this year. Boston Neighborhood Network did an excellent feature on the school, giving a window into its rich history and affiliated programs.
You can watch it here…
SEQUENTIAL ART: THE NEXT STEP was a first of its kind traveling exhibit spotlighting the contributions of African Americans to mainstream comic book art and popular culture. It was created and curated by yours truly (Rob Stull) in 1994. The exhibit’s mission was to increase the understanding, appreciation and awareness of sequential art. The secondary aspect was to empower people of all ages and races, by bringing attention to the fact that talented artists of color not only work on characters like Batman, Spider-Man, JLA and the X-Men, but we also create, write, illustrate, produce and publish our own properties as well. The Next Step debuted at The FESTIVAL OF CARTOON ART in 1995; an event organized by Ohio State University’s Cartoon, Graphic and Photographic Arts Research Library, which is the world’s largest archive of original cartoon art. 1995 marked the centennial celebration of the American comic strip and my exhibit featured the first ever gathering of comic book artists in the history of the festival. From that beginning, The Next Step was featured at The NATIONAL CENTER OF AFRO-AMERICAN ARTISTS in Boston, The WORDS AND PICTURES MUSEUM in Northampton, MA, The AFRO-AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER in Charlotte, NC and The TUBMAN MUSEUM in Macon, GA. The exhibit traveled for a total of ten years and showcased over one hundred works of art by both independent and mainstream contemporary African American comic book artists.
Life Drawing Studio
Tuesday nights 7-9
For more information: http://eliotschool.org/classes/figure-drawing-drop-sessions