Fine Cartoon Art

exaggerated, in a good way

Posts Tagged ‘radar curatorial’

Posted by jtebeau on July 27, 2012

(The following is a little write-up by Brooklyn arts reporter Stephanie Thompson on the recent show I have in Park Slope which ends Friday. Thanks, Steph!)

Who Will Save Us?

The Art of John Tebeau

It could be the bacon or the inviting open doors that draws one first into the new Dizzy’s Diner on the corner of President St. and Park Slope’s bustling 5th Ave. But once inside, the bold poster-style art that screams from the walls is the big star.

The arresting images by John Tebeau, up until July 27, immediately bring a warm smile of recognition followed by a giggle at the artist’s sly clever twists on the

“!978” acrylic on canvas

familiar. In the powerful illustrated montage, 1978, there is the full white-toothed smile and solid stand-up breasts of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, power bracelets braced and ready. There is Steve Martin, mouth and eyes open wide, an arrow through his head. There is Cap’n Crunch and the Play-Do primary-colored O-faced grin of Mr. Bill. There too are the gun-toting feather-haired girls of Charlie’s Angels, the Grease logo and John Belushi’s mug atop a “College” sweatshirt. There they all are and there we are, those of us who remember, brought back to a comfortable time and place, secure.

As a longtime illustrator and packaging designer, Mr. Tebeau clearly understands the power of icons and symbols to motivate emotions and drive people to action.

“I try to inspire or excite people with iconography, I want my art to be useful,” Mr. Tebeau said in the same earnest winking tone of his fabulously entertaining images. “If it makes somebody feel better or focuses them in a way, great, then it’s worked.”

"Stroh's (that 70s Brew)"

And it has. The blue-skinned James Bond depiction, the purple-hued Duke Ellington, the orangey-red rendering of Star Trek’s Uhura, not to mention the Stroh’s beer can, all goose the diner-goer to stop mid-bite of bacon and reflect on the great motivational power of heroes, superheroes and icons from a certain place and time in history. Time past always seems better, more hopeful somehow. We can see the changes that artists make more easily with hindsight.

Mr. Tebeau’s work is inspired by artists Peter Max, Wes Wilson and Victor Moscoso whose bold posters reflected what he calls thejoyous optimism” of San Francisco in the fast-changing ‘60s and ‘70s.

By hearkening back to that time, Mr. Tebeau well captures that optimism and the necessity of bringing it back again.

“It’s easy to get distracted in life, especially the way it is now, with a lot of stimulus and not all of it good,” he said. For Mr. Tebeau personally and, he believes, universally, images and icons offer up necessary inspiration and focus to drive one’s intended life work.

“I see work as a form of salvation, although maybe that sounds too religious,” Mr. Tebeau said. “But ‘work’ is what you’re supposed to do in life. John D. Rockefeller said, ‘If you want the key to happiness, find something you do fairly well and do it with all your heart and soul.’”

As the regulated work world morphs more and more into unstructured freelance, necessitating greater self-motivation, Mr. Tebeau’s suggestion is actually faith-based: we need to trust and believe in a fair bit of divine intervention.

In Universe, Mr. Tebeau reflects the hand of God offering Adam an Ace of Hearts.

Divine Intervention

“It’s about good luck and love and the divine, about the unlikely opportunities and interventions that can come into your life that you need to seize and claim, that can help motivate you,” he said.

It is reflective of Mr. Tebeau’s own great joyous optimism that he believes this can happen to people, to anyone.

“If you focus on a vision of what you want, you can bring it to yourself, draw it to you…” he said.

As proof, he offers up the story of an investigative journalist who asked him for a rendering of his hero, Edward R. Murrow. After hanging the image over his

Murrow-Five-Ways

work space, the man went on to win three Edward R. Murrow awards.

Mr. Tebeau is commissioned for such work but also wants to inspire more widely with his images.

“Art doesn’t work if no one sees it,” Mr. Tebeau says, grateful extending thanks to Dizzy’s owner Matheo Pisciotta and his wife, Mary Fraioli.

The couple works with Park Slope-based art curating service Radar Curatorial to set up shows featuring local artists like Mr. Tebeau every three months at the new location on 5th Ave. as well as on the original location at 9th St. and 8th Ave.

“We have such amazing talent in Brooklyn, it’s great to support them,” Ms. Fraioli said.

Her husband agrees. “I say, ‘Buy art, save lives.’” Is the saving just of the starving artists, or is it ourselves, that is the question.

The couple has featured the art and music of staff as well as that of friends and neighbors since they first opened their doors in 1997, among those they gave their start the now well-renown photographer Lori Berkowitz.  More recently, they formalized the effort by hiring Michele Jaslow and Spring Hofeldt of Radar and offering wait-staff a 5% commission for any art they sell.

Visit Dizzy’s for the bacon, for sure, but think of buying some salve for the soul as well.

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Come For the Hash, Stay for the Paintings

Posted by jtebeau on April 13, 2012

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Make No Mistake. You WILL.

I think I got that right. Or maybe it’s come for the PAINTINGS and stay for the hash. The hash (corned beef, not you know, Turkish) is damn good. Really damn good. (Yes, I have to swear.) House-made, the meat all shreddy and complex, the taters and onions a little crispy n caramelized from the grill. Best I’ve had in NYC, ever.

Okay, I digress. The point is, with the help of Spring and Michele of Radar Curatorial, I’ve got a show hanging for at least the next four months at the new Dizzy’s (the FINER diner) in Park Slope, corner of Fifth Ave. and President St.

The place looks great, too. The walls are a warm yellow (couldn’t be better for these particular paintings), and Matheo and Mary have installed a long diner-counter-style formica bar that would make George Bailey himself swell with pride, while Archie and Betty and Veronica watched Jughead go into a food coma after his thirteenth bacon (it’s BROOKLYN!) double cheeseburger as Norman Rockwell painted the whole damn scene. Oh, and Don Draper is in the corner booth, smoking a Lucky and grimly slurping Grandad on the rocks. Wait. That was Freddy’s drink. Never mind. You know. If you don’t, don’t ask. Freddy had problems.

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Dizzy's Excellent Bar.

But anyway, the restaurant opens this weekend, and on an upcoming Thursday (yeah, you’ll be notified) Matheo and Mary will cook up a dynamite prix-fix menu for a night to stop by and check out the art. I’ll be there… in the corner booth with Don. NO! Kidding. I’m KIDDING. Come ON. Not there. Not with him. Not never.

I’ll be at Dizzy’s on 5th, though, probably wearing my Rydell High varsity jacket and saying stuff like “swell” and “so’s your old man.” Will I rebuckle my knickerbockers BELOW THE KNEE? Will I be telling JOKES from “CAP’N BILLY’S WHIZ BAG?” That remains to be seen. Be there or be square, all reet? 23-skiddoo, daddios.

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Spring and Michele, hangin' tuff

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Note the outdoor seating area. Yeah? Like that? Yeah!

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