Arts: May 2014
Painting Between the Lines: Local artist Luke Quinn is messing with you.
Don’t adjust your glasses — what you’re seeing is designed to boggle your eyes. The bright colors and intricate lines of artist Luke Quinn’s work are his signature, and he takes his time creating them. “I like to spend years working on things,” says Quinn, who creates his art under the playful pseudonym Danger Diddley Deadnettlez.
Born in Alabama, Quinn moved to New Orleans in 2000. The artist, tarot card reader and kombucha-maker is a tough interview: shifting from persona to persona, he rarely gives a straight answer. “I’m an interdimensional traveler — as are most artists,” he says. “I got my start in art in the year 2012. The Mayan apocalypse activated my third-eye chakra!”
Quinn relies on a multi-step process in the creation of each of his dizzying artworks. “I start with pencil, move to ink and then move to watercolor,” he says. Then it’s back to pencil, and then to watercolor pencil in order to bring out certain lines. After that, Quinn scans pieces of the artwork and creates digital collages. He uses a program to extrapolate the magenta and cyan elements of a piece, manipulating these colors in a way that gives the piece three-dimensionality when viewed through traditional 3-D glasses.
Finally, the pieces are printed on canvas, where Quinn touches them up with matte medium and oil paint. “I work with 3-D because you can encode secret information in it,” he says. “That’s why I never sell originals! I’m not actually an artist; I’m just a money launderer.” The artist also writes a song to accompany each artwork.
Quinn is involved with the 24-Hour Draw-A-Thon, a yearly community art event offering artists and amateurs alike a chance to draw to their hearts’ content, and he designed the 2013 event’s signature T-shirt. His work will be on display at the upcoming “Feast Yer Eyes” New Orleans Comic Anthology Party at Antenna Gallery on May 10. deadnettlez.net
Musical Mouthful: New band Biglemoi keeps it simple — except for their name.
“The word ‘biglemoi’ (big-leh-muah) references a fantastical dance, which, if performed in the proper way, creates an atmosphere of flowing energy and encourages other people to join in,” explains Violeta del Rio of Biglemoi. The band found its name in Boris Vian’s surrealist novel, “Froth on the Daydream”; the book also notes that New Orleans music is “one of the best things in life,” del Rio says.
Biglemoi formed in Sept. 2013, and includes George Elizondo and Jordan Prince both doing double duty on lead vocals and guitar. Del Rio takes care of backup vocals, keys and special effects, with Matthew Bigelow on backup vocals and bass, and Jonathan Arceneaux on percussion.
Band members cite diverse musical influences, from Radiohead and Grizzly Bear to Nick Drake and Debussy. “We all kind of view the way we sound a little differently,” Bigelow says. “It appeals to each member in a unique way.” But Biglemoi members are able to mesh their tastes into a unified sound. “Our music is a broad mixture of all of our separate influences,” Prince adds. “Each of our songs is very different from the last. Ultimately, we try to play what we think sounds good.”
Biglemoi performs often at Gasa Gasa and The Allways Lounge’s popular music series, “Bustin’ Out!” The band hopes to record its first EP within the next few months. facebook.com/biglemoiband
Mighty Pen: Lionheart Prints emphasizes personality over perfection.
“Specialty printing methods are kind of my thing,” says graphic designer Liz Maute Cooke. She’s referring to the embossing, foil stamping and laser engraving that characterize her creations for her business, Lionheart Prints, a tiny design firm specializing in hand-lettering.
Lionheart is fueled by Cooke’s passion for spreading happiness. The company’s custom stationery, greeting cards and wedding suites stand out for their joyful, looping script and saucy messages (think, “I hate everyone who isn’t you” and “Hey girl, everything you do is so dang cool”).
As a young designer, Cooke’s search for the perfect font became frustrating. “It’s easy to know what doesn’t work, but it’s harder to find out what does work,” she says. She started lettering by hand to solve her own problem … and it’s working. Over the past few months, Lionheart’s line has expanded from cards and invitations to clothing, party cups and even engraved flasks.
Because Cooke’s lettering isn’t computer-designed, it’s imperfect — and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “Imperfections set me apart; they don’t make me better,” she says. “I’m talking about lettering, but I’m also talking about life. That’s what makes it human. That’s what gives it heart.” lionheartprints.net