Monday, September 30, 2013

[THE LOST WEEK] Stitched Portraits: Truman Capote

(b. Sep. 30, 1924)

When an artist's work and personality are equally enigmatic, they can earn the title of Dandy. This is a proper description of Truman Capote. He wrote some pretty great books that were turned into some pretty great movies as well. Happy Birthday, Mr. Capote.

Here he is all stitched and wonky:

Sunday, September 29, 2013

[THE LOST WEEK] Stitched Portraits: Les Claypool

(b. Sep. 29, 1963)

Wow, this guy turns 50 today. He was such a hero to me when I was a wee teen. In high school I saw Primus more times than I probably should have and his goofiness rubbed off on me. Thankful for his singular bass playing style and his ridiculous songs that feature talk of mud and beavers, I love Les Claypool - jambandiness forgiven.

Les (hatted):

Saturday, September 28, 2013

[THE LOST WEEK] Stitched Portraits: Annie Clark

(b. Sep. 28, 1982)

Monster guitarist, cute little frame, Annie Clark knows how to stand and she knows how to lead at the helm of St. Vincent. David Byrne noticed this and they've been touring together for the past 2 years with their joint brassy project called Love This Giant. I do, too.

Annie Clark (with freckles included):

[THE LOST WEEK] Stitched Portraits: Carrie Brownstein

(b. Sep. 27, 1974)

"Don't touch me. You're a hippie. You do not get punk rock at all,"

said Iris.

Carrie formed Sleater-Kinney with Corin Tucker and they killed it for years (1994-2006).
Then the band split and Brownstein started doing comedy with Fred Armisen that led to the funniest show ever about Portland and they called it Portlandia. In 2010 she needed music again and formed the band Wild Flag with a bunch of other kick-ass ladies.

Here she is (w/ scowl):

Thursday, September 26, 2013

[THE LOST WEEK] Stitched Portraits: Winsor McCay

(b. Sep. 26, 1869)

Last year at this time I was losing it. The one-a-day project of stitching portraits had become too much. My wife suggested I take a week long vacation. Wisely, I took her advice. Not only for my sanity - but also to keep my family from hating me.

At the end of the 366 days, I went back to the week that I had lost (Sep. 26 - Oct. 2) and completed the portraits.

Winsor McCay (the first in this series) is one of the most influential illustrators of all time. His Nemo in Slumberland served as a boilerplate for artists like Maurice Sendak, Tomi Ungerer, Walt Disney, Bill Watterson, and Chuck Jones. His works have been recreated, referenced, and repurposed and many of today's graphic novelists and cartoonists consider McCay to be a forefather of the art form.

Winsor (a drawing at his drawing table):

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Giorgio De Chirico

(b. July 10, 1888)

The Metaphysical Painter, De Chirico was obsessed with self-portraiture. Dealing with themes of emptiness and space - his imagery was haunting and occasionally dream-like. This would explain why he so strongly influenced the Surrealists.

I always come back to his piece, Love Song from 1914.
It includes a prominently hung orange glove. I found the glove once, and i stole it:

I Stole De Chirico's Orange Glove, Ricky Katowicz, 2006 (Found orange glove, Found wood, Found nail, Found paper scrap, pencil, painter's tape)

Looking at this stupid piece every day in my studio always makes me smile.

And here, his stitched portrait - reminiscent:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Redman

(b. Apr. 17, 1970)

In every relationship there is a Method Man and a Redman. Which are you?

Below, I've stitched mine:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Bruce McCulloch

(b. May 12, 1961)

I can't pick a favorite Kid in the Hall, but Bruce as a lady always tickles me.

Here he is as her:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Leo Tolstoy

(b. Sep. 9, 1828)

Last year at this time I was confused when I read that it was Tolstoy's birthday. Just 12 days earlier, Wikipedia had told me that same fact (August 28).

I thought to myself - "No way there are TWO notable Leo Tolstoys!?!"
Which is true, there aren't.

So I learned that sometimes the internet is wrong.

But today, a Russian writer gets his stitched due.
Happy 185th, Leo.

Tolstoy (White Bearded):

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Tilda Swinton

(b. Nov. 5, 1960)

Known for her sharp performances brought to stage and screen, Swinton has caught attention this year for brave acts that are outside of traditional acting roles. Recently she held up a rainbow flag outside of the Kremlin. She also created a performance piece/installation for the MOMA where she would randomly show up and sleep in a glass box.

Here is a portrait of that:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Stitched Portraits: Keith Moon

(b. Aug. 23, 1946)

Known as the crazy, English drummer from The Who, he was also the inspiration for Jim Henson's Muppet, Animal. He hit the drums hard and had a good time hitting everything else hard as well. He died too young but is forever remembered as one of the greatest drummers in the World.

(A side note: Recently, I sold the birthday portrait from August 23 [see: Letta Mbulu] and I've decided to replenish them so I always have a full year set. You will be seeing other new portraits in the weeks to come, refilling the catalog based on all the birthday portraits that have sold.)

Keith Moon (English TEETH):

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

On Threads and Tangents

Next month I will be giving a presentation/performance in stitching at the RISD Museum. I'm very excited about this. And here is the poster I made this weekend to prove it: