Selling Dreams on the Seine
Jean Giraud was better known to the art world as Moebius, a pseudonym he adopted in 1963. He was an incredible talented artist, and a dear friend of Phil's. His work has inspired many other artists and has been seen in movies such as The Fifth Element, Alien, Tron, and The Abyss. Phil was inspired to paint this piece upon learning that Moebius had passed away in March of 2012.
The Emerald City
Seattle has long been a city of artists, from Jacob Lawrence to Dale Chihuly. Phil first visited the Emerald City with his friend, Alfredo Alcala in 1980. Inspired by the fresh air, beautiful architecture, and lush landscape, Phil created this colorful homage to a great American city.
Phil's father was born in Shanghai in 1923. He came to America in 1948 to study engineering and when Mao took over China a year later, he couldn't return. He had to wait 31 years before he could return and see his family. Here we can see a young man playing a Chinese violin, while in the distance the stunning skyline of Shanghai hints at a bustling metropolis.
Legend has it that the Lady of the Lake (Viviane or Ninianne, depending on the legend) tricked Merlin into teaching her magic, before she entombed him in a tree. She also is rumored to have bestowed the legendary sword, Excalibur, to King Arthur. Here we see the Lady of the Lake emerging from the River Brue, while the spectre of King Arthur looks on. If Merlin were alive today (perhaps he is?) he would surely have this on the inside of his tree-tomb. Since Phil first visited in 1984, Glastonbury and the magic of King Arthur have always been an inspiration for his art.
An icon to anyone familiar with the beat poets, artists, and writers, the Chelsea Hotel has had far more than the 15 minutes of fame promised by Andy Warhol. Lennon, Huncke, Ginsberg, Bukowski, Twain and Sartre were just a few of the countless iconic names that have lived or stayed at this landmark. Phil met Herbert Huncke in 1982, and would visit him in his room, 828, when passing through New York. A glimpse of the magic that was created there can be seen in this colorful, psychedelic piece.
What was once a hub of racketeering and organized crime in the early 1900s has changed drastically into a city known for liberal values and love of counterculture. Phil's wife, Linda, has family nearby, which has enabled Phil to spend more time to get to know this beautiful city. One of the most environmentally friendly cities, Portland is known for good food, sustainable living and climate conscious citizens. Here we can see Phil's use of fall colors in his depiction of Portland. A piece such as this would make a great gift, and looks very vibrant matted and framed.
Ashbury has long been a favorite street of artists and counter culture folk heroes, and it has served as an inspiration for Phil since he was and made his first visit. The Palace of Fine Arts, built for the Panama-Pacific exhibition in 1915, is one of the most notable structures in San Francisco. Since it's reconstruction in 1964, the Palace has been a frequent site of weddings and other events, and will always attract anyone who has a love of architecture. We see it here in the foreground, as the wind brings in the legendary fog in the distance.
San Diego, despite what Ron Burgundy might say, was named after Saint Didacus of Alcala in 1602. Not long after, in 1970, Shel Dorf and friends formed the now famous San Diego Comic Convention, known informally as Comic Con. Phil has been going since then, and has always had a love for this coastal city, known for picturesque views, great weather, and it's laid-back atmosphere. When Comic Con began, there were about 300 people in attendance. Now you can expect to see over 140,000 people throughout the long weekend.
Having visited every state, Phil has a unique ability to capture the striking imagery one sees when at the ground level. Nothing is quite like the panoramic views one receives when cruising through on a motorcycle, and here we get a taste of the artist's interpretation of a desert road, replete with colorful mesas and a beautiful sky. A subtle nod to the wanderlust within us all, without which our species might still be farming the fertile crescent.
Across from the Dakota at Strawberry Fields in Central Park, we see a kite in the shape of a fish, while other lyrical imagery abounds below. Phil has long been a fan of the Beatles, and here we can see a very colorful homage to one of the greatest bands that has ever come together. Right now. Over me. See if you can spot all of the visual references to some of their classic songs. May as well fire up the old turntable and break out the vinyl while you relax and enjoy this one-of-a-kind piece.
Phil's first gallery was in Long Beach, on Belmont Shore. Phil's publication, and the first counter-culture free newspaper, Uncle Jam, was born here, along with all three of his sons. In the distance you can see the RMS Queen Mary, which has been moored in Long Beach since 1967. Belmont Shore is known for its eclectic architecture, quirky shops, and great dining options. This is a great piece for anyone who wants to be able to enjoy the view of a 2nd street house at a fraction of the cost.