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Synthesis : Contemporary Collage

April 2nd, 2009 by D.Billy

Plugging like this blog has sprung a leak!

APRIL 3 – JUNE 12, 2009
SYNTHESIS : CONTEMPORARY COLLAGE
Carroll Square Gallery, 975 F Street NW, Washington DC 20004
OPENING: Friday, April 3, 6 – 8pm

CURATED BY HEMPHILL FINE ARTS, and FEATURING WORKS BY:
D.Billy | Billy Colbert | Nathan Gluck | Franz Jantzen | Camila Rivera-Morales | Holli Schorno | Al Souza | Daniel Tierny

MUSCLE

KSSH

RONNKK

WHAM

These are my contributions to the show… but you’ll have to swing by the gallery to check out the excellent work by the other seven artists. And, of course, to get the full sensory experience of my pieces… which may or may not include olfactory overtones of the studio environment in which they were created. (Hint: think propane heater, macaroni and cheese, Mexican Coca-Cola, and cats.*)

*Kidding. They’re unscented and hypo-allergenic. I swear.

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Who Watches Obama: Watchmen/Obama Subway Poster Mash

March 9th, 2009 by Jeff Simmermon

Whether or not you cared for the Watchmen film, you’ve got to respect this: for the most part, people aren’t defacing Watchmen posters on the subway. It’s amazing. Every other poster, there’s teeth blacked out, toilet-stool poetry scrawled in Sharpie, or, most notably, 3-D genitalia sculpted out of chewing gum. But for some reason, the Watchmen posters get left alone.

Except for this one — which has been dramatically improved by replacing Billy-Crudup-as-Dr.-Manhattan’s CG head with Barack Obama’s wise and otherworldy dome-piece. Complete with hydrogen atom symbol on the forehead, too! You can see this for yourself at the A/C/E/B/D/F/V stop at West 4th street, NYC.

Here’s the total poster:

Who Watches Obama?

Here’s a closeup:

Dr. Obama

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Time Travel Via Shiny Plastic Marketing: The New York ComicCon

February 8th, 2009 by Jeff Simmermon

I spent most of the NYC ComicCon lurching in circles with my mouth half-open, hunting for a copy of Detective Comics # 587 and spending way too much money on plastic bullshit that reminds me of my childhood. The experience was spectacular.

I haven’t been to a comic book convention since 1991, in Virginia Beach — the whole enterprise was dusty, pasty and pungent. Not now, baby. Now that comics, computers and sci-fi are billion dollar businesses, nerds are out of the basement and blinking in the klieg lights. Pop culture’s always been a byproduct of marketing campaigns, but we are now in a golden age of hype and shiny bullshit.

girls_hunting

Today’s thirtysomethings were the target audience back in the ’70s and ’80s when Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and other pop mythologies did the first Triple Lindy into the collective consciousness. Now we’re just old enough to have kids who get just as pumped about Star Wars as we did, and fetishizing fictional universes is a family affair.

Whenever alien archaeologists unearth whatever temples we leave behind, they’re gonna think that Spiderman was our God and stormtroopers were some kind of high priests. Frankly, I’m thrilled. Digging through comic boxes and buckets of chipped action figures gets me all stoked and unstuck in time and I get the same sense of wow, cool wonder that I got when my dad took me to see Star Wars for the first time.

But this thing was for everybody. Really, it was just like the Mermaid Parade except indoors and marginally less sexualized. The people-watching and the costumes were spectacular and totally worth the admission price.

This is my favorite photo from this weekend’s NYC ComicCon, but there’s a lot more after the jump:

kid_at_comiccon
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20 Easy Steps to Wellness – Now With Extra Danzig

January 26th, 2009 by D.Billy

So, I have a cold. Or something. And it effing SUCKS.

I’m on day 5 (or so) of this weird illness that appears to be using a random symptom generator each morning. Today, I practically need to take direct snorts of menthol or pepper spray or sulfuric acid just to smell or taste anything, and it feels like I’m sucking in a quarter pound of sand every time I open my mouth to take a breath, only to erupt in a wheezy coughing jag when all I wanted was some sweet, sweet oxygen.
But lucky me, formerly-DC-but-now-LA-based artist — and apparently very funny dude — Zach Storm has my remedy. In 20 easy steps, Zach has the cure for the common whatever, and I love him for it. Here we go:

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Cut N’ Paste

December 9th, 2008 by D.Billy

I’m talkin’ X-Acto knives and rubber cement, y’all!

This Friday, December 12th, 2008, Civilian Art Projects in Washington DC opens their last show of the season, entitled Media.Mix: 21st Century Collage.

They were nice enough to invite me to participate, thanks in part to my friend and former roomate Steve Frost, an excellent artist who has work in the show himself.

Sadly, I won’t be able to make it down for the opening, so if you’re in the DC area, go and represent!
If you do plan on going and want to pretend that you’re me, these are the new collages about which you’ll need to make up something to say in art-speak:

Victory

Zip

1000x Refreshment

I recommend heavy use of the word “recontextualized”.

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Doctor Doom: Well, At Least Things Can’t Get Any Worse

November 18th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

If you’ve read this blog for any time at all, you’ll know that me and David are suckers for brightly-colored comic-themed street art. Particularly if there’s a visual non sequitur involved. Like this poster I saw plastered around the streets of Philadelphia this weekend.

It’s an image of Marvel’s Doctor Doom charging toward the viewer with the phrase “Well, at least things can’t get any worse” superimposed over top in bright pink text …

worse_doom_poster

Pretty much perfect, I think.

Although it contradicts the Simmermon family motto, which I swear I am not lying about. My dad always says

You know, Jeff, we have a saying. “Things go on like this for a while, and then they get worse.”

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Vegans: Moderately Advanced But Cowardly, and Constantly Radiating Anti-Gravitons.

October 6th, 2008 by D.Billy

From The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Vol. 1, No. 11, November 1983:

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ZOMBIE HULK SMASH BIKE THIEF!

June 6th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

My friend David snapped this awesome photo of a zombie-fied Incredible Hulk guarding some bikes in Greenpoint.

Burned Zombie Hulk

Zombifying any pop icon makes it it exponentially cooler. It’s true. Have a look at this zombiefied Elvis karaoke robot and see if I’m not right.

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Candy-Colored Plastic Galactii Emerge From Nightmare Mists At Dawn: Japanese Toy Robot Photos

March 19th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Japanese robot

I went to this cool Japanese pop-culture exhibit at the Kennedy Center a while back – and as you might imagine, robots were all OVER the place. There were a bunch of really cool robot toys on display, and I photographed most of them for some kind of gallery presentation. I wanted to try out a few different Photoshop techniques to make these into something other than snaps some guy took in like, ten minutes.

I’m trying to simulate they might look if I were approaching them through a gray, misty dawn, like they were looming up out of a toy plastic nightmare or emerging from mountain mist to shoot everyone’s eyes out with pre-safety obsession missiles shot from spring cannons on their arms and back.

And I have no idea what these things are named … apart from Tranzor Z and Godzilla. If you know the names, go ahead and drop ‘em in the comments.

I’ve pulled out a few of my favorites here, after the jump …

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Grace: Greasy Rays of Hope

March 4th, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Grace

Things have been dark lately — dark and funky. Not like a good Jamaican dub record from the late ’70s, either. I’ve been getting migraines in the middle of the night.

I feel sort of numb, like a deep cut that’s had a band-aid wrapped very tightly over its surface. When I sit still, things are sort of okay but moving around hurts like hell.

I have a good job and I’m surrounded by loving people but I can’t shake the terrible feeling that life is whistling past while I sit in the corner staring at a glowing screen. The seas are warming, ice is melting, and we’re all just pushing pixels around.

I know I’m not going to live in New York forever. At some point I’m going to have to — going to WANT to — go back to Virginia and help take care of my family. In the past month, four close family members have had some horrible health scares. One of them died. I feel removed from it all, not that my magical Superman doctor powers could help if I were down there, and I’d be miserable in Norfolk, VA — but I can’t help but wish I were on the scene helping out.

On the other hand, I just got here in July. My big fancy New York life has barely gotten started. But enough about that. The three paragraphs preceding this one have all started with “I,” a sure sign that I’m weeping salty tears onto my colon, crying the blues with my head jammed right up my ass.

This cartoon really put it in perspective for me. It’s from Cat and Girl, by Dorothy Gambrell. The image above is a cut-out from “Grace,” a cartoon that perfectly summed up my self-indulgent whinging and ended it all with a sweet, greasy ray of hope …

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