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The Art of the Fans of Phish

42 Degress Art

Attention NYC-area fans! Phish fans needed for photo shoot

Cory Schwartz, a Phish fan and photographer is looking for Phish fans in the greater NYC area to take part in a documentary project that he is undertaking through the first half of 2012. What he is seeking to do is to photograph fans in their natural environment, whether it be work or home, capturing what aspects of the band carry on outside of the show. Below, Cory shares his project with fans.

I am currently a student at the International Center of Photography in New York City where I am completing a one-year photojournalism and documentary program. For this program we conclude the year with a long term final project. My final project is about fans and the culture of what makes someone a fan, how they promote and share their love and enthusiasm for something, and of course the special items and memorabilia they collect along the way. There are many things that people are strong fans of, whether it be music, sports, science fiction, Disney, as well as a wide variety of other things that are out there. When I speak of the music fan, this one holds dear to my heart and is why I am calling on you. Music has been a passion for most of my life and has taken me on many journeys throughout. Once such journey is one a lot of us can relate to. It is the Phish journey. It is something that took hold of me back in 97′ and since then and about 75 shows later it is something that is still strong in my life and has had a profound impact on me. This is what I want to tap into, I want to photograph the “Phan”.

The project idea is about the Phan and how they choose to embrace this love for the band. We all have the posters on the wall and the t-shirts from tour after tour, but maybe you are someone who has a whole lot of stuff. Maybe its the room full of posters or the car plastered with bumper stickers. This is not something that is strictly limited to ones house though, this is something that can spill out into everyday life, in the environment that one creates for themselves, maybe this passion spills into the work place and the desk is adorned with trinkets. I want to photograph the Phan in his environment and show how this is a way of living, not something that stops at the last note played at the convert venue.

If you think this is something that you would be interested in investing some time in and allowing me to photograph you I ask that you please email me at coryhschwartz at for additional information and we can discuss the project more in depth. My vision is to bring this passion to life in photographs. Thanks for your time and I do look forward to working with some of you.

This project is supported by PhanArt and fans in the greater NYC area are encouraged to get in touch with Cory, helping him to create a visual record of who we are when we aren’t at a Phish show.

You can visit Cory’s website and see some of his pictures of Phish on Flickr.

Update from Cory 1/30 6:50 pm

“I just wanted to say a quick thanks to Pete for his support on this project.   In the short time the message has been out there, the response has already been great, so thank you to all that have begun to reply!  I have received a large amount of emails and I’m beginning to go through them now, please know that I will do my best to get back to everyone and please keep sending them if you wish to be a part of this project.”

Eric Weber’s Surrender to the Phlow pin

Eric Weber was last featured on PhanArt with his NYE 2010 poster “Phreedom“. His latest creation is a pin with a flying fish and a banner above that reads “Surrender to the Phlow”. These pins are 2.25″ wide, made of diecast metal with an antique silver finish and have rubber backings.  The cost for the pin is $15 with free shipping.

This pin is SOLD OUT!

Life is Hood, Sloth pins and more from PhanBadge

Life Is Hood Badges—Because you can feel good about HOOD! These badges are iron on and stitch on, in a limited edition of 200

Phloating 2012 badges were made with a nod to the Rock Gods to get the boys to break out some Pink Floyd this summer. The badges are iron on and stitch on and are available in a limited edition of 200, with 3 packs available for $12 and single badges available for $5 at

Phanbadge is also Proud to present 3 new KUSH pins.

The Sloth…the original Pinster. Made with hard enamel and 1.5 inches in height, double posted and numbered on the back in a limited edition of 100. Warning: Phanbadge is not responsible for Sloth possibly slicing your nipple as the Sloth is so Nasty!

The Dark side of the MOONphish Pin is 1.5 inches in width and double posted and numbered on the back in a limited edition of 100. The pin is made of soft enamel and Sparkle. The moon is made of shiny and recessed metal.

The Coventry Gold Medallion PIN.

Coming through the gates at Coventry, many saw this on the way in and out. The pin measures 1.5 inches in diameter, is made of soft enamel with double postings and is in a limited edition of only 100.

All pins are $15.00 each or a 3 pack for $35 shipped.

Buy the 3 pack and we will throw in one of our past pins free while supplies last.

All pins and badges can be ordered at

Phanartist Erin Cadigan needs your votes!

A message from Erin Cadigan:

Hi! I’m hoping all my Phish phamily can help me out. Art Battles NYC is hosting an online voting on artists until Jan 22.The top 4 artists will compete live on stage to win a chance to travel to Europe as part of the US art battle team! By compete it means we will each paint a 5’x4 canvas in just an hour and a half! I’m currently in the number 7 position and only need 500 votes to catch up! Take 30 seconds of your time and vote!

Vote for Erin here

Update 1/23/12 4:37 pm: Looks like Erin placed Fourth and is competing this weekend for a trip to Europe! Thanks to all who voted and supported her!

Smart Art in the Phish Community

The past three years of Phish have been nothing short of amazing. We got our band back, healthy, happy and playing well. Things continued to get better with each show, each tour, and each year. Few complaints were heard from fans with the shows and the scene alike, leading to a vibrant community akin to what once was in the 1.0 and 2.0 eras of Phish.

Music aside, in the past year or so, fans have been making an increasing amount of art inspired by Phish, something that has been a positive sign of our growing community. Since Hampton, the phan made lot art has been increasing steadily to provide some truly unique and interesting pieces of art as well as designs that appeal to a niche interest. You may have seen a great deal of this art on where the art is showcased, for free, to benefit The Mockingbird Foundation. There is even more art out there and fans walk around the lots selling their design in order to make it to the next show or trade for a ticket. Phish’s audience is expanding. The band is trying to gain a new audience in playing festivals like Austin City Limits, Outside Lands Festival and even Bonnaroo, when they could easily play their own festival for 30,000 fans and be the only band on the bill. As Phish grows, so does the scope of the band and the community becomes diluted with newer fans. This is welcome because the Phish community is nothing short of inclusive and welcoming to outsiders.  With this growth comes the perception that the art we make is done without boundaries and new fans, both typical and atypical, can view this as carte blanche to make their own creations without limitations.

An example of infringing art – funny, but still infringing

There are however certain limitations that we have on the art we make, whether we recognize this or not. I wrote in the past on why fans should not use the logo and what constitutes infringement  based on my experience assembling PhanArt: The Art of the Fans of Phish and getting a lesson in the legality of intellectual property all the while. I write today to discuss the reemergence of a fair amount of work that is at the same time potentially infringing and off-putting for fans, because it does not represent what we are capable of creating with our unlimited creativity, provided we follow some simple rules. Namely:

-  Do not use the Phish logo or any offshoot of it (i.e. filling in the logo with a word)

–  Do not use the word ‘Phish’, ‘Gamehendge’, ‘Gamehenge’ (the latter is the common misspelling but still not OK) or names of any side projects.

–   Do not use the band member’s likenesses or names. By likeness, this includes photos, drawings, photoshops and uses of the familiar likeness of the band members.

-  Do not sell photos of Phish. Phish does not allow any commercial use of band or band member names, images or likenesses without permission. That includes sale and/or commercial use of photographs.

Logos, names, and likenesses are a band’s intellectual property and thus, are things that they need to protect in order to make a living. The band is entitled to protect these things and like virtually every other band out there, they have and they will go to lengths to protect them, including using legal means to do so. The injunction the band uses to seize merch that infringes upon their intellectual property is one means and Phish fans should be thankful it is not more rampant. We do our best to keep on the legitimate side of things, in terms of lot art, but at times fans will make something that goes over the edge of what is allowable under the law. The interpretation of what a likeness is depends on who is potentially seizing the merchandise. Avoiding this and the other rules will help you to avoid confrontation.

An example from 1994 of infringing art – manipulating the logo is not allowed

Simply put – be creative! Some of the best Phish lot art follows these three rules. Some of the worst lot art ignores the rules and takes the path of least resistance. A lot of the Phish phan art made recently is 100% original and does not reference the band directly – it makes you think about the design in order to get the connection, an inside joke of sorts.  There is a stark difference between piracy, where in the band’s intellectual property is ripped off and exploited for personal gain, and making an artistic homage to the band and their music. The latter art is stronger and more creative as a result of the restrictions. In a way, these restrictions benefit the Phish Art community’s creativity and increases the potential for even greater art.

Think of that episode of Top Chef when they can only use items found in a convenience store in their meal. They are restricted from all the good stuff, the easy stuff to make a meal. Instead, being limited draws out the true creative nature of the artist. In fact, these could not even be considered ‘limits’ but rather ‘boundaries’ which keeps the creativity moving forward instead of derailing and falling into a side-ditch where the intellectual property is used and exploited.

This is creative, but it’s still infringing

Phish Lot art and phan art are one thing, but infringing art is another.  Making a poster or shirt or pin so unrecognizable that it’s unclear that it is even related to Phish is a goal many artists have in the back of their minds when making lot art, rather than taking the easy way out and using the logo or the band’s name in a piece of art, a shirt, a sticker or a pin. Anything that can be looked upon as infringing on the band and their image can lead to the band putting the kibosh on lot art. This isn’t a far fetched idea, it is quite the opposite; it is the reality we face if the infringing art that circulates on Ebay and in groups on Facebook isn’t quelled to the point where the ‘rules’ are followed and Phish fans abide by parameters that we have been unofficially granted. Infringing art sold online is part of the problem. A handful of bad apples that ignore the rules are risking the scene for all of us. Phish does have people buying the infringing art on lot which makes their case that more stringent rules on lot are needed.

The band and their management tolerates non infringing lot art, but when you use the logo, when you use the likenesses of the band members or the words ‘Phish’ or ‘Gamehendge’, it is not tolerated and this can wind up hurting the entire lot scene for everyone. It is in everyone’s best interest to speak up when you see art that includes the aforementioned infringing items. We do not want to bring unwanted attention to a thriving lot scene because a handful of fans felt it was ok to use Trey’s face on a shirt or Phish’s name on a poster, because if a few fans do it, more will take notice and follow suit and before long, the problem is out of hand.

This example of art using the band’s name = you are violating their copyrights

Remember, the Phish lot and art scene thrives as a privilege, not a right. NO other band allows fans to have this kind of lot scene in any form, not with the Shakedown area, the shirts, posters and pins

We as a community need fans to speak up and prevent this from becoming a grander issue. There will always be traditional bootleggers with logo infringing shirts for 10 bucks post show, but that should be the extent of the infringement, not the seed of more.

Get creative! Cool, smart art like this is way better than using the band’s name or logo

As a group, we can say that we do not condone the use of infringing items incorporated into the art fans make.  This includes, but is not limited to: Posters, Shirts, Pins, Stickers, Drink Coozies, Lighters, Hats, Merit Badges and patches and other items as they are created and become popular on lot.

It’s a simple solution really. Stop making art that infringes and start making smart art. If you see someone sell art that is potentially infringing or are in the design process and mention the idea, tell them they might get it taken away which impacts us all. Report problems and share consequences and most importantly – spread the solution. And of course, don’t buy the infringing piece of lot art; in doing so, you don’t support those who don’t support the scene as we have been allowed to do so.

Song lyrics, song names, all that is allowable, based upon the legal standard applied to the nature of the art. “And we love to take a bath” as a sticker is OK; “Bathtub Gin” as a sticker is OK, “Phish brand Bathtub Gin” is not. It uses the word Phish and by using Bathtub Gin alone, fans know what you mean. Fans are smart – make us think about it. If you make it too easy, it’s not as cool.

This is non-infringing and an example of being creative with Phish related art

Got questions or thoughts on this? An experience seeing the infringing art? Got ideas on how to stem the flow of this art? Leave a comment below.

We are interested in preserving what we have, rather than losing it after 20 years of building up the phish lot community. If the piracy continues, the whole Phish lot scene and all of the truly wonderful art that goes with it will be threatened.

T. Shaw New Years Run and Summer Tour 2011 Posters

T. Shaw’s posters from Summer 2011 and the recent Holiday Run. All of Shaw’s posters are digital prints and measure 11″ x 17″. The Summer Tour series is a run of 150 in each of three colors while each of the four New Year’s posters are in an edition of 60 each.

The Summer Tour posters are $10 each or all 3 for $25 with matching numbers; the New Year’s series is $25 for all four posters with matching numbers. Every order receives free shipping. Shaw has agreed to donate 10% of each purchase to the Mockingbird Foundation.


Summer Tour 2011 – Sunrise

Summer Tour 2011 – Sunset

Summer Tour 2011 – Night

Summer Tour 2011 3-pack

New Year’s 2011-2012 4 pack

Modern Prophet NYE poster

Modern Prophet came into being at the end of 2011 – the brainchild of two tour kids living in the Albany, NY area. The continuing goal of Modern Prophet is to open the third eye and to expand the mind through visual stimulation.

This poster depicts the coming of the Mayan Prophecy — delivered by the Flying Octopi — straight to the streets of New York City. They come not to destroy us but to deliver unto us the knowledge of the ancients to ensure our success on this planet instead of allowing us to completely destroy ourselves. The posters were screen printed on a 6 color press and were printed with 100% eco-friendly inks. The poster measures 13″ x 19″ in a run of 125. The cost for the print is $20.75 with shipping included.

Expect many more designs from these guys and keep your third eye open.

Rob Kimmel Summer 2011 Prints

Rob Kimmel’s summer prints from Camden, Holmdel and Summer Tour are originals hand drawn with colored pencil and markers measuring 11″ x 17″ and printed on card stock. Each costs $10 with $5 shipping. The Camden is a run of 50, the Holmdel a run of 75 and the Summer Tour a run of 125.

Camden Summer Tour 2011 Print

Holmdel Summer Tour 2011 Print

Summer Tour 2011 Print

Big Black Furry Creature From MSG pins by CrazyRedBeard

Jon Blake’s pin from NYE 2011 features the Big Black Furry Creature from Mars looking for his ride home from MSG. The cost for each pin is $15 plus $3 shipping. Only 300 were made and backstamped with the CRB logo and website, with pin number and 2012.

payable to via Paypal!


Donations from Artists, late 2011

Special thanks goes to the following artists who were featured on PhanArt over October and November!

They have been incredibly generous and through their efforts and donations, they will support the efforts of Mockingbird Foundation to promote music education throughout the country.

Phish in PDX shirt sales$11

Jennifer Kahn token sales- $150

Ryan’s Akimbo Stickers - 6 stickers

Dane Patunoff – $5

i.Gene pins – 2 Fishman/Coleman pins

Salad Jones shirts – $30

Pin Me Down Designs – 3 pins, funky bitch, MSG NYE and Couch Tour

David Shutan – $25

Stupindous Creations - 2 Gordo and 2 Esther pins

Jiggs – $30 from sales on his site

Total$246.00 and 15 pieces of PhanArt

Please support these artists who have so graciously donated their art and money to help support The Mockingbird Foundation and music education.

If you are interested in buying any of these donated items, email phanart (at) gmail and we can work out a donation to Mockingbird in exchange.

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