Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dragons, Bikers & Design...

About 20 years ago, my Biker friend Robert, requested my help and expertise for creating a Dragon around the small pond he recently installed. We didn’t draw up any plans – we just fueled our creative juices by consuming beer and Tequila; and allowing the South Florida sun to cook our brains just a bit more than usual. Our plan was that Robert would drive me to the local building supply outlet in his El Camino and I would select 50 lb bags of concrete mix (the total ended up being approximately 2,200 lbs of concrete mix), wire, tubing, buckets and just about anything else I could think of. I had been designing Nightclub Interiors at the time – and had plenty of ideas.
Robert knew we were in trouble when I had about 8’ of ground foundation laid down and he said: “Oh, yea. That will look good.” And I replied: “That is just the main section of the Body. Still need neck, head and tail.” If you measure the Dragon by following the curves from tip of the tongue to the tail, it measures about 20’ long. Robert helped quite a bit with the design of the head – and helped mix and dig, drag, push and pull… Considering my plans of having the Dragon spit fire didn’t materialize, I think the project turned out quite well.
After the Dragon was completed and the final touches were added to the pond and surrounding landscape, Robert added an Orchard garden and then won the North Miami Beach Beautification Award for 1990.
Robert & Dragon (& Beer)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Avatar was Fantastic - but, what about Roger Dean?

Today, I celebrated Groundhog Day (02/02/10) by finally seeing Avatar in IMAX 3D. It was simply amazing. Visually stunning! One of the first things I noticed was the obvious inspiration from Rock Art Artist, Roger Dean. This inspiration was prevalent in the whole film. In fact, it was SO prevalent, I thought Avatar might be a homage to Roger Dean. Those of you over the age of 35 – or, those of you who are knowledgeable in 1970’s 1980’s Album Art (Yes, Asia, etc.) must have picked up on this obvious feature. During the credits, I looked for some acknowledgement to Roger Dean, and didn’t see any. Thus, I did a Google search: “Avatar Roger Dean” and found that many people are talking about Dean’s obvious inspiration – and lack of any credit at all. Try this search: Avatar Roger Dean and see the results. Especially, look at this link: Did Prog Rock's Greatest Artist Inspire Avatar? - and note the Images.
It kills me that one of the greatest Fantasy Artists of recent times was so obviously used and abused – without any credit or payment. Surely, Avatar and James Cameron could do right by this fantastic artist and give credit due. Roger Dean’s Floating Islands, Dragons and Landscapes deserve better!