By the end of my first full calendar year as a professional artist, I hung in two exhibitions, got back on the ice, painted furiously and most importantly — got engaged to the woman of my dreams.
As you can see, my clean cut advertising image changed greatly per my portrait above. I have no resolutions for 2011, other than to keep pressing forward. 2009 was great, 2010 was incredible, 2011… After the jump, a meandering journey through my 2010 on canvas, and beyond.
“Eustace Tilley and the Rare Three Term Change” was my third painting of the year. After some collage exploration, I found myself recycling the New York Post on canvas, to add narrative… sometimes intentional, other times not, always a slice of each. It didn’t make the New Yorker cover… that is definitely on the to-do.
My first solo show in January, Urbania, was a smashing success, largely thanks to everyone who helped out. Justin Schantz coordinated everything from the venue to the finest details. He debuted his new brain-trust “Left Brain Power”, and is currently coordinating top digital efforts across the globe. Good friend Josh coordinated the Booze, Mike guarded the door, John and Shaun served cocktails in style, and Manny from M&T was an amazing point person throughout.
Urbania got some fantastic press play. It is an eye opening experience to see your name on a to-do list alongside Lady Gaga, who I have heard is quite a famous musician.
Jamie Frevele at The Huffington Post penned a sweet Q&A for Urbania.
Time Out New York was an incredible friend for yours truly in 2010, thank you to everyone over at 10th Avenue.
My collage exploration continued with “Nipple Slip Soup Spill New York Post“, which also included images I ripped from art text books. Now, if you haven’t ever ripped a page from a textbook, I highly recommend it. Nothing is more liberating.
In 2010, The FWA launched a new site, replacing it’s iconic, heavily trafficked home of nearly a decade. Always impressed with the organization, I decided to preserve an undisputed classic… this picture now resides in FWA headquarters.
A four by five foot canvas, this painting of “The TriBeCa Grand Hotel, NYC” was important on so many levels. It was commissioned by Josh Wand, President of BevForce. After painting this in their TriBeCa office, BevForce began to commission brand paintings for their clients. I couldn’t imagine a better situation as a full-time painter… I’m incredibly fortunate to have met Josh, Sean and the BevForce team.
Erik over at the TriBeCa Citizen stopped by the atelier while I was working on the Grand.
“Four Bottles of TY•KU” is one of the brand paintings I have created as gifts from BevForce to their clients.
Casa Dragones is yet another. You will notice an iconic visual stamp in this series… the Bottleman; here, in the lower left.
When I began 2010, I had no idea marriage would subtly, and then not so subtly play a major role. This painting of “The South Street Seaport, NYC” was commissioned to celebrate the Wenders, from the place where they were married, to their current life and family.
“The Central Park Boathouse, NYC” was the place where Scott and Stephanie Gurtman became man and wife… In the foreground, the sign in purple and gold reads “3Gurtman”… for the couple, and their son Ryan.
Prior to breaking my leg, I was scheduled to paint the view from Time Out New York’s HQ. Well, it certainly took some time, but I finally got over to their offices to create “Empire State of Mine – Time Out New York” — my visual homage to New York and Time Out, and shout to Jay-Z in the title of the work.
Empire State got some nice play in Time Out New York.
And on BlackBook… a publication I admire.
And a sweet shout in print.
My brother and now college graduate Tim invited me to Washington DC to paint the Cherry Blossom’s. Well, I arrived, but one day after a violent storm… and thus, my “Jefferson Memorial, Cherry Blossom Free” picture. Clearly without collage, I wanted to see how my one-day plein air painting had progressed from about the same time a year earlier.
This spring, Jeremy Penn, Ari Lankin and I teamed up to Resurrect Painting at BevForce’s TriBeCa Loft. This was one hell of a collaborative effort, which would not have been possible without Josh Wand, his entire company, and my fellow artists.
Our exhibition got strong play from numerous press sources, here, The New York Post (my partner in collage crime).
Fine art source Whitewall Magazine also gave PR a shout, right behind the vaunted Greater New York exhibition.
And let’s not forget Guest of a Guest… where a logo in the lower left hand of the picture means something.
“The Unfortunate Announcement of a Sale, $69.99” was the first collage-painting I created without a central image. I wanted to explore how this would look and feel. There were several phases earlier I could have called it quits, but I decided to push this as far as I could.
Following Painting Resurrected I noticed this and nearly fell on the floor: “The undisputed kings of the season are undoubtedly Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Mr. Brainwash, backed this week by the new local hero, Jason Borbay , re-inventor (of) collage.”
“Martin Brodeur Makes a Save With Much on His Mind” celebrates a man of hockey, arguably the best goalie of all time. Painted while the Devils were amidst a playoff collapse, the maladies have continued for the boys of Newark this year… Michelle Kenneth over at Inside Hockey was kind enough to give this picture a shout, she even put it on her Top-10 Gift List for Hockey Fans.
Education played a big part in 2010. Lora Sanders high school class in California created a series of Borbay originals (they are exceptional). I also gave a presentation at Bay Shore High School about being an artist during their National Art Honor Society induction ceremony.
During the summer months, I like to keep up with my plein air, so I decided to paint the unnecessarily renamed “RFK Bridge Plein Air” from my roof. These paintings are a great platform for exploration, in marks, colors and more. Plus, I get to catch a slight tan, which feels so far away at this snow-piled moment.
Is “My America“ inspired by Jasper Johns’ map series? Of course it is. My color palette contains more oil spills, fires and nuclear threats, but all the same… concept his, execution yours truly. If you haven’t driven across this beautiful country… I highly recommend it.
There is something about Apple. “5th Avenue Apple Store – Target Steve Jobs” explores the implosion of former partners, Apple and Adobe, as well as the phenomenon of a glassy retail box sitting on Fifth Avenue. In fact, with the help of the exceptional Kent Eisenhuth, we launched the world’s first website for a single painting featuring this picture.
Get your Apple on… in Flash.
This picture also received a nice feature on The Wall Street Journal Japan.
Painting the “Museum of Art and Design – Target Bernie Madoff“ in Columbus Circle was eventful. Many visitors, some from as far as New Zealand, others as close as Delaware… learned a great deal about street territoriality, and it lead to a radio interview.
You can check out my radio chat with Valerie, it was a damn good time (and no, I haven’t abandoned my cross country adventure).
Thanks to my fiancé, I now have a second state: Minnesota. “First Avenue Minneapolis” was my third painting of the Minny Apple… during the creation of this painting, a homeless guy made a deposit near my easel on a hot summer day. Let’s just say, I will not tell you what he left me… but I will say, if it was on the other side of the Target Center wall, lots of field would be fertilized. Around this time, I had an interview with 716 Fine Art…
No year is without its share of tragedy and heartbreak. A good friend is no longer with us, and this picture was created on a long sleepless night next to one of my best friends. No matter how challenging life is, remember, each day truly is a gift.
Can’t get enough of your love babe! “The Guggenheim Redux – Target Tony Hayward“ is my second Guggenheim painting… from the same location. I intend to paint the Guggenheim every summer for 20 years… it will be my benchmark to see where my style has come, or gone.
Every now and then, you want to go Ed Hopper on some Long Island piece. “Long Beach Bungalows“ captures a summer day filled with beer, brownies and a whole lot of easel.
“Sheep Meadow, Central Park“ is a magical summer mating ground, where New Yorkers shed their blackberries for minimal clothing, frisbees, wine, blankets and lust. Nothing beats setting up shop and capturing the skyline with your pals Ari Lankin and Jeremy Penn.
“Kanye Bear For Sean Conner“ is my homage to Murakami, as much as it is Kanye. This picture was commissioned for Sean by PR Maven Melissa Duren. The contrast of pastel and primary colors creates an optical illusion; YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING IN ALL CAPS TO GET YOUR POINT ACROSS WHEN YOU USE COLOR.
Built for Y2K, “Country Home, Chester MA” is a paradise in the woods of Massachusetts. Erin and I made one of our frequent visits to Steve and Claudia… always a wonderful experience.
“FlyNY West Side Kite Painting“ was painted during Fly New York’s excellent kite building/kite flying extravaganza on the West Side Highway. It was quite a day, creating around others creating.
“Sheep Meadow with George Steinbrenner Keeping an Eye on Things” was another Sheep Meadow painting created alongside Ari. Here, I wanted to experiment with a small amount of collage in a plein air setting. My shout goes out to the man of the Yankees; while I am a Mets fan (though, starting to hate baseball because of them), I have to admire a man of so many wins, so many dollars, so many indictments… yet so much love.
“Bryant Park Grill“, A present for the newlywed Garricks… what a fun night.
“In Case of Fire in the Catskills” be sure to grab a beer and hang out with Jeremy and Jessica Penn at great length. Ah, twas a terrific weekend in the woods of Woodstock… Shortly after this painting, I gave a lecture in Ryan Seslow‘s Iona College Art Appreciation Class.
“Krulewitz Commission, Palace Hotel and Camp Tel Yehudah” is a painting commissioned by Josh Krulewitz for his wife. When you have so many important places and memories that it’s hard to narrow it down, life is good.
“12 Inspirational Education Leaders” was my big project from the summer through the fall. Painted for The College Board for their Forum event, this twelve 9″X12″ panel painting celebrates educational minds. It was clearly a departure from what I have done to date, but it was an incredible experience. These paintings will be hanging in The College Board lobby… as soon as they are up, you will know. A special thank you goes out to Tony DiGiacomo, without whom, this project would have never happened.
The “Hakker Short Film Festival“ has become an incredibly important event for yours truly. Two years ago, I was a player in the winning film, and this year, my picture, the aptly titled “New York Post” took top honors.
This movie was a collaborative unscripted effort, shot by Greg McMahon and starring Nick Mahoney. We had a blast, and keep your eye out for The Hakker Short Film Festival, it’s only going to get bigger and bigger.
Celebrating the Arbit wedding, “The Depot Minneapolis” is a hybrid style painting. Many people braved the largest storm in Minneapolis since 1979 to get to Debra and Alex’s wedding at The Depot… and we had one hell of a night.
Warhol’s old haunt Max’s Kansas City posted my exclusive pictorial/verbal editorial.
Friend Tony Black suggested I might have had something to do with “The Collapse of the Metrodome” on Twitter. Considering my last three non-summer visits to Minnesota featured over 40 inches of snow, I can’t blame the sentiment that I am the snow whisperer. As for the painting itself, exploration.
This painting received a nice shout on the Star Tribune.
2011 will kick-off with a portrait series, starting with Jay-Z. As soon as the weather shapes up, I will be back out on the streets of NYC, capturing the ever-changing landscape. In July, I am marrying my love, Erin Hessel…
I wish my friends, family, acquaintances and everyone a wonderful 2011. I’ve been following my dream for nearly two years, and every day has been incredible. Thank you for your support and love.