So this Saturday, I attended my first Pancakes & Booze art show and it was a great experience! First of all let me tell you what Pancakes & Booze is all about. Pancakes & Booze is an exciting grassroots, underground arts and music movement, founded by Tom Kirlin. It's the warped tour of the art show world! You can read more on how it all started, in his interview with Crave Magazine.
When I found out about this art show, it felt like the perfect place to show my work. Weird street art, check. Awesome music, check. Live painting, check. All you can eat Pancakes, double check and Booze? Count me in! So of course I submitted my artwork, and when I received an email saying my artwork was accepted into the show, I was ecstatic, but also curious. I didn't know quite what to expect, other than what I had found about them on their website. Because face it, this isn't the typical sterile gallery setting art openings, and it isn't a tented art fair, or a comic con. No, this was different, this is urban art, lowbrow, street art culture coming together to create something epic. So I decided to I watched this video posted on the founder's vimeo 5 years ago and I read the FAQ on the Pancakes & Booze website. That gave me the best idea of how to prepare for the show. I selected 8 pieces I felt would fit, for the show, made up new business cards from Moo, and grabbed 2 blank 24"X36" canvases to create something new to show off at the show. I also seen the opportunity to live paint and body paint, which I love. Live painting anywhere is fun for me. I especially loved it at this event, because I was able to feed off vibe of the music and the people that would gather to watch me work.
Upon initially showing up at 4pm, to hang my artwork, for the event, I walked through the door of the Underground Arts, and down the stairs, to a world that seemed so punk rock. I was greeted by curator, Brandon Quiroga, who checked to make sure my name was on the list, and I paid the "hanging fee" of $15 per piece to hang my work. When I brought my pieces in to hang, I was immediately offered help with all the hard work, by a guy with a hammer, box of nails, and a ladder. I decided on my spot to hang, and I took turns passing him pieces, so he could hang them right above the door, under the bright lights.A note to any artists participating in future shows: If you want to pick the best spot to hang, arrive early. I luckily still got a great spot, that I was happy with, and I set up my live painting station in a corner, out of the way of foot traffic, below my artwork.
While hanging my work, I met a few other artists, that were prepping for the show, and made friends with Brandon, who expressed his love of my work. It only took about an hour to hang my pieces, and since I had time to burn, in Philly I decided to go to my favorite place for a drink and a burger, Village Whisky.
After 2 Old Fashions, (theirs are the best!), a Whiskey King Burger, and some delicious baked Alaska that was flambéed with bourbon, it was almost 8, time to head back to Underground Arts for the show. I went downstairs 5 minutes before the show, and walked around, admiring all the work, hung by fellow artists, before they began letting everyone in. I introduced myself to any artists that were free to chat, before sitting myself down and starting in on a 20"x20" blank canvas that I intended to complete by the end of the show.
By this time, DJ Mike Saga, who I had met prior to the show, was mixing some great tracks, and the air had taken on the smell of butter and maple syrup. The crowd gathered out front was let in, and people came by to admire the work. Many stopped to watch me paint, and chat with me during the process. I fed off their input, their compliments, and their interest in my work, while painting and taking short breaks to grab a drink. I love hearing feedback that can help me better relate to the people who enjoy my art, and want to own a piece. Brandon, the curator of the event, stopped by throughout the show, and doted on my work. Him and the majority of the audience there, named "Clown Bukake" their favorite piece, by a landslide. Which makes sense because I specifically created it, to be hung at this show.
All in all, Pancakes & Booze was a fun time. I got to meet and interact with new fans of my work, fellow artists and gain more insight into the urban and lowbrow art scene. In fact I enjoyed it so much, I will be making the trip down to Pancakes & Booze, DC, August 4th. For another fun filled night of art, pancakes, and debauchery. Hope to see you there!
Photo credit goes to fellow artist Jeremy Petrachonis follow him @jpabstractart. He's the one on the far right!
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