Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dave McKean Weekend!

One of the perks of this job is getting to work with truly amazing people all of the time. But occasionally, I get to collaborate with people who have had a direct impact on my life. Such is the case with Dave McKean.

Dave McKean is what we used to refer to as a "hyphenate." He's a multi-talented illustrator-photographer-comic-book-artist-graphic-designer-filmmaker-musician, who just happens to excel at each one of his specialties.

As an artist, Dave McKean changed the look of comic books when his illustrated-photo-assemblage works began gracing the covers of Neil Gaiman's reboot of the Sandman character at DC Comics. He next tackled an incredibly ambitious Batman tale that focused not on the caped crusader, but instead on the mental institution that housed the more macabre among his rogues' gallery. That story written by Grant Morrison was Arkham Asylum, and it quickly became (and remains) one of the best selling graphic novels of all time. His comic book works have won numerous well deserved accolades and awards, but he's also won a World Fantasy Award for "Best Artist," three Spectrum Awards in the categories of "Advertising", "Book", and "Comic," A British Science Fiction Award in "Short Fiction" (shared with Neil Gaiman), and his film directorial debut, MirrorMask premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005. His concept designs shaped the look and feel of two entries in the Harry Potter film series, and if your CD collection veers on the darker side of pop, metal, and avant-garde, odds are you've got a few Dave McKean images there, too. Did I mention that he's an accomplished jazz musician and discerning foodie?

So it would be an understatement to say that I'm feverishly proud to welcome Dave McKean this weekend at two incredible events:

On Friday, February 12th, from 6-9 PM, Dave is signing comics, books, DVDs, CD's and limited edition art prints at La Luz de Jesus Gallery (inside the Soap Plant / Wacko complex at 4633 Hollywood Blvd., LA, CA 90027). For every item that purchase at the signing, Dave will sign one item that you bring from home. NO EXCEPTIONS! So don't bring your entire collection of Sandman comics for him to autograph unless you plan on buying 75 items at the signing. He's a wonderful guy and he'll be happy to speak with you and answer questions -especially about his new body of work, which is debuting on Saturday night at Billy Shire Fine Arts.

New Works from Early Cinema is showing in conjunction with Nitrate & Kinogeists, an event sponsored by Chicago's Century Guild and includes highlights from their inventory of historically significant and undeniably beautiful silent film posters, most of which have been lost and unseen by the public before now. In addition to large format paintings, Dave has included a series of ten smaller ink illustrations that are priced for fans. Believe me -you can totally afford these, so check out the preview on Thursday evening. Whether you're a comic book fan or a patron of the fine arts, if you've been looking to add a McKean original to your collection, this is your opportunity to do so. Whether you're a comic book fan or a patron of the fine arts, if you've been looking to add a McKean original to your collection, this is your opportunity to do so. There are also some limited edition prints for which this will be a Release Event.
Since the exhibition references and pays tribute to lost films from the silent era, there will be a Video Installation with two screens playing footage of recently unearthed and restored films previously thought lost. The artist's reception is Saturday, February 13th, from 7-10 PM at Billy Shire Fine Arts, 5790 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232. A full and complete preview will be available by Thursday evening. The paintings and posters are live on site now.

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