Five of Phifty-two
|Title:||Bear Turned Wook|
|Size:||30″x 30″ each
|Materials:||Wooden Frames, Spray Paint
|Inspiration:||Becoming a Fan|
My introduction to Phish came in a roundabout way while I was attending college in ’94. My favorite musical styles at the time were Post-Hardcore, Metal, and a bit of Alternative. Bands like Fugazi, Helmet, and Quicksand were regulars on my CD player. Along came a friend, a persistent and dedicated fan of The Grateful Dead, with a few cassette tapes (live shows) – “Dude you gotta check out this Fox Theatre show… a gift from the heavens!”. Over time I began to understand and appreciate a few songs from the Dead. Eventually the band (GD) became my favorite and only music. Flash forward hundreds of listening hours and almost a year later – on a quest for some fresh Grateful Dead tunes (hoping to find a show on CD) I went to the local record store where the man working told me that Phish had just put out their first live release “A Live One”. I had never heard Phish before but took the recommendation and bought it. I thought it was pretty good, but like many people got hung up as I tried to compare it to the Dead (it’s like comparing Bears and Wookies – similarities, but very different and unique creatures). I don’t really know when or what did it but, even though I still appreciate The Grateful Dead, Phish became and is my number one band.
The foundation of this week’s art piece is inspired by one of street artist Banksy’s creations featured in his month long residency in New York (Oct.’13). His piece was created in tandem with Osgemos (or “The Twins”) a pair of twin brother graffiti artists. These two images were also the cover for the Village Voice a local free NY Paper.
“Bear Turned Wook” is about my experience transitioning from a fan of The Grateful Dead to one of Phish and about the common misconception of equating the music of the two bands. Why the Bears and Chewbaccas? Since 1970, the Dancing Bear has been a fun-loving symbol of The Grateful Dead. In Star Wars, Chewbacca is a creature called a Wookie. The term “Wook” became a sort of derogatory term associated with some Phish fans.
I take no offense to the term… just look at this photo of me in ’97. Enough said.
This project was created with stencils and spray paint. The process took a lot longer than I had anticipated since each character consists of 3-4 separate stencils and due to the drying time required between each spray. I used the stencils 168 times to create these two images.
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About the Artist
Brian Bojanowski, a native of Wisconsin, has spent the past 17 years working as an educator in both public and private schools. He has taught special education, elementary education, and art instruction in a variety of settings to thousands of children. He and his wife Wendi started Noah’s Art – children’s art center in 2001 and experienced immediate success. Brian, earned his Bachelor of Science in both Special Education: Behavioral Disorders, and Elementary Education from Evangel University in Springfield, MO. As an accomplished artist, Brian has had artwork on display in galleries and illustrated three published books, one of which is currently on the Amazon.com’s best sellers list. Under the direction of Bojanowski, Noah’s Art has received several awards for it’s curriculum and program. Bojanowski currently teaches out of his studio in Charlotte, NC and oversees the development and creation of Noah’s Art curriculum, and training new Noah’s Art Licensees.