From April 25-29, I took part in the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, one of the world’s most prestigious literary festivals. Devoted to helping writers in countries that are not particularly friendly to writers, PEN is chaired by Salman Rushdie and brings in authors from around the world
This year, PEN’s home base was the preposterously beautiful Standard, New York. For every day of the festival, I created a different 4 foot tall painting, on the themes of War, Truth, Revolution, Labour and Money.
This being my work, I illustrated these concepts with lots of tentacles and funny hats.
Painting that much was a sort of artistic martyrdom, an alchemy that you emerge stronger from. It also helped that I had a crew around me: Melissa, Shad, Foley, Dennis, Lauren, Kate, Samantha, Fred, Steve Prue…. thank you for smuggling me champagne, singing me Bobby Sands, taking photos, hauling my massive easel in and out of that bell closet
Also thanks to Joey Jaello, Scott Meriam, and the rest of the saintly crew at the Standard, for letting me totally take over their plaza and living room. And to the sleepless saints at PEN, Jakab Orsos and Beth Weinstein.
The paintings will be auctioned later this month to benefit PEN’s human rights work.
More photos of the actual art to come, as well as interviews with Raw Story, PmC and GritTV