I was in China not too long ago. It felt like months even though it was only three weeks. I visited family and explored the Yunnan Province. This part of China sits at the center of the Golden Triangle, which is a lucrative trade relationship between its neighboring countries, Laos, Burma and Thailand. We started in Kunming and stayed on the Yunnan-Tibet Road, which of course, is a path that links China to Tibet. Our furthest destination was the devastatingly beautiful Shangri-La. This trip made a lasting impression on me in ways I can’t even begin to describe. Strangely, it’s easier to explain in Chinese. China seems to be a place of enormous contradictions. Such beauty and history, yet great economic disparity and destruction. Lots of destruction and constant building.
When I got back, Gallery Nucleus asked me to be apart of their travel themed show, Adventure Awaits! It was just the perfect opportunity to reflect on my trip artistically. I’m so happy to have my work hung up by some pretty badass illustrators. The opening night is tomorrow, 5/24, so if you’re in LA, check it out! The following two pieces are in the show.
The Xanadu Houses were a series of experimental homes, built to showcase examples of computers and automation in the home in the United States. The architectural project began in 1979, and during the early 1980s three houses were built in different parts of the United States: one each in Kissimmee, Florida; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The houses included novel construction and design techniques, and became popular tourist attractions during the 1980s.
The Xanadu Houses were notable for being built with polyurethane insulation foam rather than concrete, for easy, fast, and cost-effective construction. They were ergonomically designed, and contained some of the earliest home automation systems. The Kissimmee Xanadu, designed by Roy Mason, was the most popular, and at its peak was attracting 1000 visitors every day. The Wisconsin Dells and Gatlinburg houses were closed and demolished in the early 1990s; the Kissimmee Xanadu House was closed in 1996 and demolished in October 2005.
Dragons of Xanadu: Sculptures Discovered in Legendary City
The remains of three colorful dragon heads made of clay have been discovered in a huge palace in Xanadu, a city constructed by the grandsons of Genghis Khan.
The palace sprawls over 9,000 square meters (about 100,000 square feet), or nearly twice the floor space of the modern-day White House. Archaeologists have been excavating the palace, learning how it was designed and decorated.
Made of fine, red, baked clay the dragon heads would have been attached to the ends of beams and used asdecoration. They “are lifelike and dynamic” and “have yellow, blue, white and black coloring” glazed on them, researchers wrote in a report published recently in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics. Read more.
Lately I’ve been working on a project with Fred Stewart based on the book, River of Doubt.
It’s about Theodore Roosevelt’s lust for glory and power. I’m illustrating his dreams of Xanadu. Here are some pieces featuring Kublai Khan!
killer instinct - a collection of the best showtunes sung by villains
always a woman - 9 to 5: the musical // the bottom line - newsies // evil woman - xanadu // don’t be the bunny - urinetown // i’d fuck me - silence! // i want the good times back - the little mermaid // forbidden fruit - the apple tree // evil is hot - the toxic avenger // they don’t know - thoroughly modern millie // the hammer - matilda // spread a little sunshine - pippin // aftershocks - next to normal // pretty women - sweeney todd // forever yours - once on this island // killer instinct - bring it on: the musical // suppertime - little shop of horrors // meant to be yours - heathers: the musical // superstar - jesus christ superstar