Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Max Richter at (Le) Poisson Rouge

Some iPad-drawn memories from a phenomenal, moving Max Richter sold-out show at (Le) Poisson Rouge tonight. The composer presented and played on stage "Recomposed": Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" with the ensemble LPR, conducted by Tito Muñoz and Daniel Hope on the first violin. That was so beautiful...

Conductor Tito Muñoz and First Violin Daniel Hope
Composer Max Richter
Composer Max Richter during the second part of the concert, with string instruments, keyboards and laptop.

Monday, December 3, 2012

TEDx "Rise Of The Machines" with Ray Kurzweil & Juan Enriquez

Today, we're backing up our data. Soon, we'll be backing up our brains.  
"Everything is a gateway to the cloud" ~Ray Kurzweil

Today, I had an incredible opportunity to attend TEDx SiliconAlley at Terminal 5 in New York City, themed "Rise Of The Machines." Curated by Chris Grayson, the day was filled with amazing speakers.

"Fireside chat" between Ray Kurzweil and Juan Enriquez

Personally, I came to hear and draw Ray Kurzweil. This man, who has 19 honorary doctorate degrees aside from the long list of inventions, entrepreneurships, books and other notabilities, has been fascinating me for years. His insight into the exponential growth of technological innovation enables him to accurately predict the future, time and time again. According to Ray, development of intelligence is the next logical step in evolution, which, in turn, breeds artificial intelligence and posthumanism.

Ray Kurzweil's talk today was followed by a "fireside" chat with Juan Enriquez, who, to quote Wikipedia, "is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on the economic and political impacts of life sciences." Juan also gave a talk earlier, a remarkable talk. He reminded us that historically, tattoos are permanent identifiers and storytellers. Today, by the virtue of sharing our personal data electronically, we have digital identifiers and stories. So Juan asked: what if Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc., are our electronic tattoos? "Does Google make you immortal?" And "What if Andy was wrong? What if it's longer than 15 minutes?" (referring to fame, of course, and the notorious Andy Warhol prediction: "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.")

"What if we are darn close to immortality?" ~Juan Enriquez
"Human intelligence is based on recognizing patterns" ~Ray Kurzweil

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Brooklyn Nets -vs- Los Angeles Clippers at Barclays Center

Tonight, I went to see [for the first time, ever] a basketball game at the new Barclays Stadium in Brooklyn. Just like with the Tour De France two years ago, I could not imagine enjoying the event as much as I did. Fully convinced now that games should be experienced live in person. And drawn, of course! Final score: Brooklyn Nets 86 : 76 Los Angeles Clippers. Go Brooklyn!

"Tickets? Tickets? Anybody's sellin' extra tickets?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is upon us. This agricultural holiday of giving thanks to "Mother Earth" for the offerings goes way back, and might as well be the oldest and most universal of human celebrations.

It's the time of being thankful for the gift of life force that unites, for the fellowship of men.

The Lakota, indigenous people of the Great Plains (the name Lakota means "feeling affection, friendly, united, allied"), held a philosophical view of life as being inside a sacred circle with four directions: Respect, Generosity, Fortitude and Wisdom. Beautiful way to see life.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

Hurricane Sandy affected millions of people. I was among the lucky ones: my home and family are all right. My beautiful Brooklyn neighborhood Ditmas Park has a lot of downed trees. While I was drawing, a couple, who are most likely neighbors, came by and put yellow "caution" tape around this big tree that fell and smashed a white Toyota on the corner of Dorchester Road. A small act of kindness that can save someone's life: another tree in that spot has lose massive branches in it's crown, ready to fall with the next gust of wind. My internet started working today, so everything is finally back to normal. I wish everyone in New York and other affected areas a quick recovery.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Quiet Before The Storm

"It's always quiet before the storm". No kidding...Approaching hurricane Sandy cut our Mystic trip short yesterday. We rushed back from the Museum of America and the Sea at Mystic Seaport, where we have an on-going gallery and augmented reality exhibit.

The day before, Saturday, was eerily quiet. Not a sound, not a movement. Like a stage-set. Gorgeous. Sunday morning, the winds picked up. We hit the road home around noon.

Now it's Monday. MTA shut down the public transportation system. Schools, office buildings and NYSE are closed.

Stay safe, all of you on the hurricane's path.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Drawing Music :: Applause Magazine Cover Story

One of my concert reportage drawings was commissioned for the cover story in the current November/December issue of Applause Magazine. It feels amazing to see this drawing in a print publication. Thanks to Maire, the design director, for finding me.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Poignancy Of Beauty

In today's life drawing session, while looking at our model, I kept thinking how really beautiful people have a certain poignancy about them. This quote sums it up:

“There's no beauty without poignancy and there's no poignancy without the feeling that it's going, men, names, books, houses--bound for dust--mortal--” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned


Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Favorite Brazilian

Fall life drawing continues. Here's the one and only Kika. Best model, ever.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fall Life Drawing Begins

In tonight's life drawing lecture, Margaret Hurst showed Paul Klee.
His quote "A drawing is simply a line going for a walk" is the best reminder to...let it go...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Drawing Music :: So Percussion & Matmos : A John Cage Celebration at Carnegie Hall

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. 
I'm frightened of the old ones." 
~ John Cage

Back in March, So Percussion and Matmos (with Dan Deacon, Cenk Ergün and Beth Meyers) celebrated John Cage's 100th birthday at Carnegie Hall. The show had many surprises. So's Josh Quillen shaved a beard, for example, half-way through the concert. Also, Eric Beach was cutting celery under a mic. My favorite instruments that night, aside form vegetables and already familiar cactus, were large conch shells filled with water. 91 minutes of wow. Here are some drawn memories.

So Percussion playing the cactus.

M.C. Schmidt reading.

The conch shells with water
Cutting vegetables

Monday, September 17, 2012

Electro-Swing Party Poster 2

Most recent event poster for my friend Deejay Spinach who produces electro-swing dance parties in NYC called "Swingin' Penguin". Come by on October 26th! And check out last year's series for the same event here >

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Overheard". An Experimental iPad Animation.

Here is my second iPad animation, drawn on location and during commute in New York City. Soundtrack by composer and sound designer Alex Dreyshner.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Stills From New iPad Animation

Drawn on my iPad
Here are 4 stills from my new iPad animation that's in the works. I am collaborating with a composer on this one & very excited to share the final result when it's done. Soon. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Disney Performers

There are musicians and performers all over Disney. They bring so much life and character to the parks! They pop in and out of nowhere, and I drop everything to chase them around. Here are a few drawings.

The Magic Kingdom Philharmonic

The Magic Kingdom Barbershop Quartet on Main Street USA

The Animal Kingdom African Drummers in Harambe Village

The MGM Hollywood Studios Actor

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rain Or Shine

Temple of Heaven, China

There is something about rain drops on paper that just make the drawing sing. A storm came and went while I did this panoramic in Chinese pavilion of Epcot in Walt Disney World. By the time I was done, people stomped already dry pavement in glistening sun.

Chinese Pavilion in EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Learning Drawing

I am back from the drawing (bootcamp) class with Dalvero Academy in Orlando's Walt Disney World. It's the best and my favorite place to study!

Here's a real learning drawing: I was grinding my teeth while doing it, figuring out the space and the constantly moving conveyer belt of people along the winding layers of stairs, standing on top of this  Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse in Magic Kingdom, under the beating sun rays in nearly 100F degree heat. The best way to learn something is to step out of your comfort zone. This treehouse is like an incarnation of Escher's drawing, which is a nightmare and great fun to draw, all at once. I *could* do without the heat, but hey - might have been worse: one of those torrential downpours that faithfully came and went every afternoon during our trip. Actually, the next drawing I'll be posting happened during a storm.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sensations: A Video Illustration

Sensations: A Video Illustration from Julia Sverchuk on Vimeo.

Video illustration of sensory perception, based on Charles Sanders Pierce's Theory of Signs (Semiotics). His theory holds that all thought can be broken down into 3 component parts: firstness (qualities), secondness (facts) and thirdness (mediation).

Music by Unforscene. Track "The Journey" from album "Fingers and Thumbs"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Virtual Flowers Blooming at the Bronx Botanical Garden NY

June is known as the Rose month at the Bronx Botanical Garden in NYC. But what's in season in July? Virtual flowers! I planted a few there, in augmented reality. They are animated drawings, visible through a free augmented reality browser Layar for smart phones. My layer is called "Julia Sverchuk". Since all my augmented drawings are attached to specific GPS locations, you can follow me on Twitter @juliasverchuk to know where to look for my art. You can also request a location!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Midsummer Madness Or New York Classical Hits Battery Park

“If music be the food of love, play on, 
Give me excess of it"

"Twelfth Night" starting point is Castle Clinton in Battery Park, 7pm.

New York Classical Panoramic Theater's 13th season rages on! It began with Moliere at the World Financial Center this Spring and continues with "Twelfth Night or What You Will" by William Shakespeare, currently in Battery Park through July 22. 

The advantage of following the same artistic director and his troupe over the years includes, besides warm welcoming hugs, recognizing some of the actors from previous plays. And I find their transformations from role to role just mind-boggling. The actors and the director Stephen Burdman (pictured below) are such power-houses! Their energy is infectious. 

Artistic Director of New York Classical, Stephen Burdman
This time I went twice, and both times audiences changed the dynamic, which means the viewers are very much part of the performance. The actors might even throw in an improvised little something which makes the crowd that follows actors from scene to scene that much more involved. I hope you get to see it! The crowds are getting huge lately, in the hundreds!

Audiences gathering in anticipation.

Without any further due and spoilers, here are my drawn snapshots from the two performances last week in Battery Park. If you do want story details and another artist's take on this play, visit my friend Jed Dore's blog post. He's an amazing artist and writer. 

"My name is Sebastian"
Brilliantly directed culmination of the most hysterical part of the play. 

"Some are born great, 
some achieve greatness, 
and some have greatness thrust upon ’em."

"Better a witty fool than a foolish wit."

"There is no darkness but ignorance."