July recap, days one, two, and three: Dave McKean/ Nitrate and Kinogeists

I keep waiting to make a post until I’m properly recuperated, but it doesn’t seem that it’s ever going to happen; the leviathan of Century Guild is rolling forward, picking up velocity and branches and leaving happy kids everywhere, just as Sammy Davis, Jr. predicted.  If I don’t take a moment now I’ll never catch up.

After weeks of preparation for the one-two punch of Nitrate and Kinogeists in Chicago and SDCC in San Diego (the materials headed for SD had to be prepared packed to leave well in advance), Dave McKean arrived on Thursday July 16th, which was the beginning of the public phase of the military operation.  We stopped for a moment at home, then on to the book store.  The signing at Challengers was wonderful, lots of friendly faces (as evidenced below!)

At the end of the night, Jack cornered me on the subject of this being the beginning of a long, long two weeks of public appearances…

The next morning, Dave and I met artists Alex Ross, Doug Klauba, and filmmaker John Terendy for a magnificent lunch at a dramatically underrated Logan Square restaurant, Real Tenochtitlan.  (Dave knew how to pronounce it, I didn’t.)

Then off to the Portage Theater to begin the weekend…

Marquee at the Portage Theater

Marquee at the Portage Theater (photo, Jeff Millies)

When Dave and I arrived, the line stretched all through the theater; he hadn’t prepared to be signing as we thought the first day would be a casual artist’s reception, but he was graceful and everyone left more than a little bit happy.  We were lucky that Allen Spiegel sent us a nice selection of rare and out-of-print Dave McKean material; treasures were found by all.  In addition to the exhibition of five massive Nitrate paintings by Dave McKean, this event also launched the Transmission Atelier editions of Dave’s homages to early cinema, the Nitrate series.  (For the earlier post on these breathtaking prints, see here.)

Dave McKean signing at Portage Theater

Dave McKean signing books at the historic Portage Theater

Dave signing his Tarot books

Dave signing his Tarot books; (here and above photographed by VAM- go to aisforaccident.com and visit him, you'll be glad you did.)

The night (d)evolved into a wonderful cocktail party, one of the nice things that can happen in an old theater that serves up alcohol.  A huge sea of friendly faces wandered through, studying the giant Dave McKean paintings and rare antique European Silent Film posters, and after a few hours we all moved into the theater.  The three photos below were taken by Dave, from his twitter:

'Original poster and my painting of The Student of Prague from the Portage show last night.' -DM

'Original 1926 poster and my painting of The Student of Prague.' -DM

Oona Tramps and Michelle L'Amour onstage before Faust

Oona Tramps and Michelle L'Amour performing onstage before Faust

'Faust painting and the moment in the film that it is based on, the live organist is the dot of light below right.' -DM

'Faust painting and the moment in the film that it is based on, the live organist is the dot of light below right.' -DM

The high point of the weekend for Dave was learning from John Terendy the name of the film for the painting that until now had been called “Méliès (Untitled)”.  Thanks to John, original materials were presented to Dave that showed the still that inspired the painting to have come from the 1901 film La phrénologie burlesque.  Both Dave AND the painting were happy!

Copy #1 of the now properly titled 'La Phrénologie burlesque', a gift to John Terendy for his sleuthing.

Copy #1 of the now properly titled 'La phrénologie burlesque', Transmission Atelier edition on special paper- a gift to John Terendy for his sleuthing.

More photos below; thanks to everyone who came.  It was a wonderful weekend!

Signing the first Faust print

Signing the first Faust print (photo, Jeff Millies)

Oona Tramps

Oona Tramps (photo, Jeff Millies)

Dave McKean and Thomas Negovan

Dave McKean and Thomas Negovan (photo, Jeff Millies)

Guitarist David Cano and Michelle L'Amour

Guitarist David Cano and Michelle L'Amour (photo, Jeff Millies)

Dave McKean introducing his film MirrorMask

Dave McKean introducing his film MirrorMask (photo by VAM)

Thomas Negovan, David Cano, Michelle L'Amour

Thomas Negovan, David Cano, Michelle L'Amour (photo, Jeff Millies)

Michelle L'Amour

Michelle L'Amour (photo, Jeff Millies)

Thomas Negovan, Dave McKean, and Stuart Tomc

Thomas Negovan, Dave McKean, and Stuart Tomc (photo, Gail Potocki)

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One Response to “July recap, days one, two, and three: Dave McKean/ Nitrate and Kinogeists”

  1. *sigh* this looked to be just a fabulous time. I’m crushed to have missed “Faust”. I’ve never seen it and would have loved to have seen it in such a fine setting.
    Dave is as fetching as ever. lol.

    Z.

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