UNARMED BLACK MALE – The Artwork of Larry West

Unarmed Black Male - Art Show Flyer

(Philadelphia, PA) — Malelani Cafe Mt. Airy, the hottest and most energetic cafe in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, will be presenting Unarmed Black Male, a solo exhibition featuring the Stuckism/Pop-Art work of Larry West. The exhibition will run May 3 – June 6, with an opening reception on Sunday, May 3 from 2pm to 4:30pm. The opening and exhibition are free and open to the public.

With the recent wave of news about unarmed black males, Larry West, a local illustrator and designer, had this to say about the show:
“As a fellow unarmed black male, I wanted to show the world that we don’t have to just be statistics. We can be amazing artists, designers, and productive members of society. Granted, the current news doesn’t show that, so I figured it was about time to show the other side. Do Black Lives Matter only when the person is dead, or are we going to support them when they’re alive?”

Larry West’s style has focused on skewing contemporary society, and Unarmed Black Male is the latest example of this. The show features over 20 pieces that range from his take on recent protests, religious movements, to pop-culture. His clients have included Megadeth, the Ron Paul Presidential Election Campaign, Wednesday 13, Dancing Ferret Converts, and the Admiral Theater. Always controversial and never safe, Larry’s sought-after and award-winning work has been featured in Rolling Stone and the book The Art Of Metal.

Malelani Cafe in Mt. Airy is located at 6734 Germantown Ave in Philadelphia, PA and can be reached at 267-766-2396. Larry West is a Philadelphia artist who was born and raised in the Mt. Airy section and has never left.

The Art Show that Never Happened

Back in October, I was excited about getting another art show at that coffee shop that hosted my last one. I was nervous and because of a hectic year and I pushed it back from September to October. That wound up being a mistake because they wound up going out of business right before my show was supposed to go out. To make matters worse, I found out the day they were closing. The silver lining was that I hadn’t invested in getting any prints or frames yet.

I wound up creating a lot of new art, and while that isn’t this post, I did create some awesome flyers. I had two different names for my show and I had started work on the flyers before I got the news. The flyers featured new pieces of art.

This is Your Life Flyer

This was the original name of the show. I had the idea to call it this after the Dio tribute album I was listening to, as well as the name of the last song Ronnie James Dio recorded before he passed. The lyrics to “This is Your Life” basically are about doing what you love because it is YOUR life.

Unarmed Black Male

This WAS going to be the actual name of the show. I decided to all it this, largely because I’m just sick of term being used as a catch-all for black males. Its gotten to the point, which you may have seen in my feed earlier, that instead of just being me and being judged for what I can do, that I’m just a victim. I decided to just give it the name “Unarmed Black Male” in part to just fuck with everyone who saw the flyer and because I wanted to take it back.

MUSIC, SEX, & RELIGION – THE ARTWORK OF LARRY WEST

Music, Sex, & Religion - The Artwork of Larry West

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THE ART SHOW TOO FRINGEY FOR A FESTIVAL!

Philadelphia artist Larry West is pleased to announce his latest show, “Music, Sex, & Religion” at the intimate InFusion Cafe in the Mt. Airy neighborhood featuring Heavy Metal-inspired Pop-Art. Larry West is a locally-known artist and illustrator who has worked with horror rock band Wednesday 13 and did design work for the Ron Paul for President campaign. InFusion Cafe has chosen to show his work for the month of September 2013.

Larry West’s show consists of his gig poster designers, concert photos, and other pieces related to music, sexuality, and religion. The show focuses of showing how all three are interconnected in ways that enrich the human experience, and inspires some of the greatest achievements possible. The show runs from September 3rd to September 30th, with an opening reception on September 13th, 2013, from 5pm to 7pm.

Living in Philadelphia his entire art, Larry West has enjoyed doing First Friday events in Old City and creating work for various bands and political figures. “I’ve always enjoyed metal music, and for this show I wanted to focus on what it means to me as both an artist and fan.

InFusion Cafe has hosted various art show over the years, but nothing like the pop-art and politically-charged artwork created by Larry West. Located at 7133 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, InFusion Cafe is a coffee shop and cafe that allows for artists to put on display some of the best contemporary art around while guests enjoy Fair Trade and local coffee’s. The shop is open from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm on Saturday, and 8am to 4pm on Sunday’s.

For more information on Larry West and his work, as well as how to contact him, visit his website at larrywestproductions.com

You can see the Facebook Event Page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/122365171267266/

MONSTERS (In My Head): The Disturbing Illustrations of Larry West

The Monsters are no longer confined to under your bed!

Philadelphia Artist/Native Larry West returns to the Philadelphia Art Scene with his next art show, “Monsters (In My Head)”. After 6 years of toil, agony, and fear, Philadelphia Artist Larry West unveils the monsters that reside in his head! An exhibit in the macabre and disturbed pieces of art that he constantly refers to as “The art of a madman”, the show will show 10 of the most raw, imaginative, and heartfelt pieces of the illustrators life.

The artwork deals with a lot of lost that the artist has gone through. “I call them the monsters in my head because, well, that’s what they are. But in a lot of ways, they’re the ones we all see. Pain, misery, loss, anger, anxiety… they all take different forms. Some are scarier than others, but all of them are always clawing away at us at one time or another.”

This marks Larry West’s second art show, as well as his second at Digital Ferret. Larry’s art will be shown in conjunction with live performances by Worms of the Earth, Vicious Alliance, and DJ Stalagmike.

The opening reception will be held September 24th at 7PM – 10pm, and the show will run until October 20th. Prints of all the pieces will be available for purchase.

Larry West’s artwork can be viewed at his website:
http://www.larrywestproductions.com

About Larry West: Larry West is best known for his 2007 run for Mayor of Philadelphia. He has since then taken a larger turn towards his artwork, and still comments constantly about politics in Philadelphia, and the world.

My Art Show Went Really Well!

Wow, what a night!





After 4 months of planning and a ton of work, I finally had my art show! I had everything laid out at home, it took a while to print, mount, and hang everything, and the flyers made were wrong, and there was little to no press about it, or the two bands playing.

In the end, the opening night of the show went great! Most of my friends were able to make it, even people I hadn’t seen much in the last 6 months, and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive from the crowd! The bands Red This Even and Ninetwelve played, they did a great job! Red This Ever really dug my stuff, which was pretty cool.

I sold 5 prints myself, I have one more in the wait, and demand is pretty high. My boss even bought 2 of my pieces, which simply floored me! It was incredible, very flattering, and I’m enjoying my little moment right now.

If you live in the area or will be in Philly during the weekend or from now until mid-June, the show will still be up, so please feel free to come down and take a peek.


THE YOUTH IS REVOLTING! – The Art of Larry West at Digital Ferret Records

PRESS RELEASE –

THE YOUTH IS REVOLTING! – The Art of Larry West at Digital Ferret

Nearly 200 people turned out to the first art show of Philadelphia-native Larry West, turning it into a massive success for all involved!

Fed by a steady stream of blog posts, flyers, and sheer word-of-mouth, Digital Ferret Records 4th Friday event featuring the artwork of Larry West and the bands Red This Ever and Ninetwelve went off without a hitch! Larry, best known for his 2007 mayoral run, came into his own as an artist with pieces that showed not only his political side, but also a focus on artwork that drew influence from artist Pushead and Roy Lichtenstein, a style he likes to call “Sub-Americana”.

Larry came in dressed in all black with goggles on his head. When asked why, he stated, “Its because the art scene in this city seems to be littered with people who try too hard to be ‘hip’. Too many pastels, too much of the same… this is me, in essence, rejecting it with something better. This is my personal revolt.”

West went on to sell a record number of pieces that night for both himself and Digital Ferret. West received strong criticism during the lead-up to the show from Obama supporters for including his piece depicting Obama with the word “Obey” behind him in a piece he calls “False Messiah”.

“I’m very happy with this turnout!”, West remarked. “I’m just thrilled so many people enjoyed my work!”

On top of a strong opening night, the show will run from today until June 24th, 2009 at Digital Ferret Records at 732 S 4th Street.

Larry West’s artwork can be viewed at his website: http://www.larrywestproductions.com

About Larry West: Larry West is best known for his 2007 run for Mayor. He has since then taken a larger turn towards his artwork, and still comments constantly about politics in Philadelphia, and the world.

How a Boring, Benign Thing Made Me Happy

I’ve been depressed. Really depressed. To a degree, it doesn’t make sense: My first art show EVER is Friday, I have almost everything ready to go, and I should be thrilled. At the same time, I’ve been depressed about the show for every reason someone would be: “Will anyone come for my art?” “Will people like what they see?” “Is it just going to be people I know, and thus a failure at my goal of achieving a new audience?”

Then there’s a lot of other things… but I’ll save them for later.

I got home late last night. I was just going to Digital Ferret, drop off my work, print something, and go home. The entire thing wound up taking nearly 4 hours, when it should have only taken 2. Why? Because I kept screwing up. Oh, and Kinkos suck ass. A lot. Fuck Kinkos. Especially the one at Marriot Hotel. By the time I got home, it was 10 at night, I hadn’t eaten, and I just wanted to go to bed. I didn’t dream of anything, I woke up early, and decided to just get ready for work and the show. Then I realized I forgot to do the name tags and print out something else. So I got to my computer, made up the tags, and again, a quick thing took longer than I think it should.

I made the labels, printed them out, took them outside, and spray mounted them on foam board. No guides printed, just me using my brain. I cut up everything while listening to some Anthrax. Then, I started to smile. The tags are about 1″ high and vary in length in accordance with the names. They look… nice. Really nice. There was something nice and comforting about seeing something so perfect and uniform against my art. And something nice about the sort of draftsmanship there was in it, too.

It made me a little happier and sure about the show.

My Art Show: 90% There

Wow.. its been a really productive weekend!

On Friday I went to my old college and printed out just about all my artwork for my show. I couldn’t print out 4 of them since they are incredibly large, but the majority of is now ready to go. I mounted everything last night and today spent the day getting the show ready. I have a wall at my house large enough to mock up the dimensions of the wall of the show, and I spent the afternoon setting everything up.

So far… its really frustrating and annoying.

I’m really am just angry at myself: I had a backdrop planned for my show, but I only today did the cost analysis for it, and it was way too expensive. On the plus-side, there really wasn’t a good plan in place to get it to work, and the design on it wasn’t really important.

But on top of that, its the placement of the work. I took a fairly smart step: I made a mock-up wall in Photoshop with everything to size so I could just plop up everything without a problem. The problem that arose was, well, mock-ups aren’t real life. The size of the pieces did differ than what I had planned, and not everything on the computer seemed to make sense. I have black-and-white versions of the prints I ordered that are almost to size (off a few inches, shouldn’t be a problem) to help with placement. I guess the colors are throwing me off.

I’m looking at the wall on-and-off and getting frustrated with it all. I… I really wish I had more room, you know? I only get a wall… but its a HUGE wall. Its more than enough room, that’s for sure! I’m just annoyed that I’m having a problem composing it right now. Certain pieces don’t seem to work the way I thought they would and others seem like they need to be dropped, much to my dismay.

Part of my problem is that I like to have A LOT of work up. Its part vanity, and to me, part value. I like giving people a chance to see a lot of stuff they may like, but at the same time… well, it can get cluttered. The comps look fine, but the wall itself is something else. Nothing really seems to get its moment, and that’s a problem since my art does kinda demand a bit more inspection to really kinda get it.

Its irritating. I’ve got at least one more piece to print out that I forgot, and right now I’m playing around with the idea of re-printing a piece larger…. at a cost. I’m toying with the idea of dropping a piece or two for the benefit of the show.

This is frustrating…. and I don’t have a lot of time left.

Art Show Is Coming Together!

So, here’s the story:

As of Thursday, I didn’t have anything ready for the show and no supplies. As of today, 90% of my artwork is ready to go, needs to be mounted, and that’s about it. I’m settling on the layout now on my computer so its set when I put up the show.

I had to actually order a few of my own pieces since, in the end, 99% of my work IS digitally-based. The prints I’ve ordered are from Zazzle, and will be for sale mounted at the show, mounted and all. I won’t say what the pieces are… but I will say one of them is that incredibly controversial Obama piece I did.

The pieces should get here soon… I don’t have any statues ready, either, which sucks. We’ll see.

Just Got the Flyers for My Show!

I’ve had a really, really, weird week up to, and including today. I’ve had a feeling of impending doom mixed with malaise mixed with other things. Really, I’ve just been kinda depressed. I have a little over a week left before my show and, so far… I have nothing. Nada. Everything is planned out, but nothings printed, I still didn’t even order my business cards, and I don’t feel like I measure up as an artist as I should. I think a lot of artists go through that last bit.

So today I got a call from Digital Ferret saying the flyers for my show came in! BLEW ME AWAY! I couldn’t believe it! Something like that… well, I’ve been planning this show since February, and after a while, the show becomes more of an “abstract thought” than a tangible thing. Getting the flyers for your show in your hands… well, it makes everything a lot more real!

Only 10 days to go, and I’m getting really psyched now!