Uncle Marky Makes Marks


Monday, February 1, 2010

Special CC correspondent Mark Newgarden reports in about his recently unveiled mural at Bill’s Bar and Burger in NYC:

This little mural was part of a four person installation at Bill’s curated by David Scher, painter, drawer, sketchbook wizard and sometime restaurant designer.

David, Dawn Clements, Katie Merz and I were asked to punch in at 2:30 am for two consecutive nights this past Dec. The big idea was total improvisation; BYOB (bring your own brushes). We had no solid idea what we would be doing, which wall we would be working on – or even what color paints would be on hand. No sketches, no plans, no forethought. Just caffeine, adrenaline and a ticking clock. This is pretty much 180 degrees from the way I usually approach things. What the hell.

Nobody from the restaurant seemed to be expecting muralists. The walls weren’t primed. There was some vague rumor that we would be painting on the ceiling. I walked behind the bar looking for a screw driver and was chastised to stay away from the liquor. David’s filmmaker friend showed up with some of the world’s brightest lights and most expensive video equipment. There was no coffee.

Dawn annexed the stamped metal wall in the back, Katie took the big landscape format to its left, David grabbed a corridor near the men’s room and I got an 8 x 8 foot square right next to the kitchen door. Everybody went to work. And everybody was good.

Go there and see.

I basically approached my space like a big telephone doodle pad. The carnivore theme was pure wish fulfillment; I’ve been off red meat for a while and was now decorating its shrine. We drew & painted til dawn, came back the next night and did it all over again. There was a smiling hostess and brewed coffee for part two, but titanium white was in precious supply. The back door flew open and shut all morning long as food deliveries and freezing snow blew in. We expired around 9 am.

David went back a third night for mop-up and sent me an email the next day: “Yours is the big hit, the staff loves it. One of the cooks was explaining it to me. I can’t do justice to his poetic exposition, but it was something like this: “The Americans are attacking the hamburger like Pearl Harbor.” I’ll buy that.

2 Ninth Avenue @ 13th Street
New York, NY 10014-1204

–Mark Newgarden, February 1, 2010

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2 Responses to “Uncle Marky Makes Marks”
  1. Bill Kartalopoulos says:

    Field trip! I know Tim likes burgers.

  2. ryan says:

    Hi Dan & Frank:

    Unrelated to this post (great one, btw!) but I wanted to share a link to something both interesting & psychedelic (on a coloring side) and also historically significant:

    One of the first manga ever published in an US magazine / translated in English, VIOLENCE BECOMES TRANQUILITY by Shinobu Kaze in the March 1980 issue of Heavy Metal:

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