Well, here we are. The Top 6 in the Best of PhanArt 2013. The art has simply continued to get better and better each year, just like the band. The mutual inspiration is pretty awesome to experience. A big thanks to Kelly, Chris, James, Chris and Taylor for their help in running PhanArt with me this past year, as well as their help at the art shows, without them I simply couldn’t keep up with the site. As far as art shows, you can expect at least one this year; more details to come once we get tour dates!
The Best of PhanArt list was compiled based on feedback received through the site, on tour, and through Facebook and Twitter. Fans were asked in the past month what was some of the best Phish related (non-official) art of 2013 and they responded. I took all suggestions into account and looked at the list and came up with the top 13, as well as the honorable mentions. Today we complete the Best of PhanArt 2013 and wrap things up with the top 6 pieces of original fan-made art from 2013. Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 from yesterday.
Remember, the Phanart made in 2013 was amazing and the following is just some of the best. If you think something was overlooked, share what was missed below in the comments section below.
#6 Duke of Lizards by AJ Masthay
It’s tough to pick just one of AJ’s posters from 2013, but fans were pretty unanimous in selecting his SPAC triptych for the Best of PhanArt. Focusing on the Victorian aspect of the springs and baths in Saratoga, AJ brought the Lizards for a stroll through the mansions and halls of the historic town. AJ’s work has been a staple for Phish fans to gaze upon for years now, with many asking when he will do an official print. It’s a fair question, but AJ has been doing some incredible posters for Umphrey’s McGee, Widespread Panic, Yonder Mountain String Band and multiple festivals around the country. As AJ’s intricate linoleum block printing method grows in popularity, I think we aren’t too far off from an official Phish print.
#5 Commerce City by Ryan Kerrigan
Ryan’s daily mandala’s are a treat, but this sun-mandala setting behind the Rocky Mountains and shining down on the crowd at Dick’s is a visual spectacle. Very much creating a three-dimensional image, the sunlight over the imposing mountains mimics Kuroda’s lights on the crowd at Dick’s, with fist-pump guy making a return appearance (he was in the bathroom during The Gorge). Full of detail and color, Kerrigan makes the Best of PhanArt once again, with fans calling this one out for the list months in advance.
#4 Fall Tour Puckheads from Branden Otto and Chatterbox
Designed with Chatterbox, Branden came up with possibly the most unique piece of art this year. Take the owl – clutching Fishman’s vacuum, with each feather on the wings representing one of Phish’s years from 1983-2013. Then, factor in the venues from Fall Tour – every one was, or currently is, home to an AHL or NHL team, making a hockey puck a perfect representation of the venues, as well as the band playing them. At $20, these pucks sold out quickly. Fast forward to MSG and official pucks were selling for $30 a piece, and not nearly as creative as Otto and Chatterbox’s. Pucking great work guys!
#3 “Fly Famous Mockingbird” / “Joy” by Isadora Bullock
What a year Isadora has had! These two prints were overwhelmingly the most popular that fans recommended for the Best of, so much that it was tough to pick one over the other, so both make the list. Isadora’s fine detail in her linoleum block printing, bursting colors and mesmerizing design are showing an artist not on the rise, but hitting a strong peak in her craft. Atlantic City’s poster has the Famous Mockingbird flying towards the Jersey shore, with the venue the center of the resonating waves of sound, while Hampton returns us to a church-like setting, because that’s exactly the feeling one would gain from visiting The Mothership; the stained-glass practically pops off the paper. With an art show in Asheville that runs through February (if you live anywhere close, make the trip and check out her growing gallery of great posters), things couldn’t be looking brighter for Isadora.
#2 Page Side Rage Side Underwear
You have to recognize a great idea when you see one. Page Side on the front (with a dead fish) and Rage side on the back – do these need to explanation? Hot sellers that blew up the site – PhanArt had more hits in the first two days these were on sale than any other item in such a span of time – these boy shorts went fast, as every guy on Phish tour picked them up for his girl, because why not? And Orange and Blue colors? Wise color choices indeed.
And the #1 piece of PhanArt, the Best of 2013 is…….
Yeah bitch! As if this was a surprise. Clearly the hottest piece of art this year was going to have some pop culture tie-in, as everyone and their brother was fawning over the final season of Breaking Bad. Combine “It’s Ice” and that ‘other’ Ice, throw in some Fishman donuts and the result was a nonstop barrage of “How soon can you print more shirts?”, as one printing sold out after another. The folks at Dogmatagram Designs had a hit and once the sticker became a sought after quick seller, shirts soon followed, and inevitably, a pin. Phish fans love a good pop culture connection to the band and this was one of the best in recent memory. As long as Breaking Bad is a legendary TV show, the Heisenberg/It’s Ice design will live on. Say you want this!