In 1991, I heard a song called Even Flow on MTV (remember when they played music?). I didn’t know what the fuck that sound was exactly – throaty and deep howling with lyrics that were contaminated with anger and resentment. It came from a dark place, a troubled place, but it was deeper than anything I’ve heard up to that point in my life – all 11 years of it. It was the voice of God…ok, not God, but Eddie Vedder. Sorry my dear Lord, but it’s not such a bad thing being compared to Eddie!
Also in 1991, I saw some artwork done by a classmate of mine in elementary school. It was of a comic book hero, Spiderman, done by an artist hero – Chris Snee. At a very young age people discover their mad skills. Chris discovered his art, Eddie discovered his voice, and I discovered Beavis and Butthead – I am not ashamed and I am Cornholio.
At 12 years old, Chris had painted the walls of his basement top to bottom. It was littered with characters that popped to life and would have made Walt Disney and Stan Lee giddy. I remember he was always drawing characters with a giant head and a smaller body – which ultimately led him to his gig at Citizens Bank Park, home of the “fightin’ Phils”, as their caricature artist. Chris has always used his supernatural talents and still does from his Pennsylvania studio–home of SneeDesign.com.
I wanted these two artist to collaborate in some way. Since Eddie is a millionaire rockstar and Chris is a starving artist, I think a painting will suffice!
Eddies’s canvas is the words in his songs as he paints you a picture of his thoughts. One of Pearl Jam’s all time greatest song’s “Yellow Ledbetter” seems to be a story about a family who is torn by war and has lost a loved one. The unsealed letter that sat on the front porch, they want to wish it all away, and they don’t know whether it was a box or a bag (that he came home in). To me, they just don’t want to believe the horrifying reality. I can picture that entire song in my head and it is like a painting. For the real lyrics to this Yellow Ledbetter watch this and at 1:32 POTATO WAVE!
Chris paints the words bouncing around his dome on to canvas and you can feel his thoughts that he portrays. You can interpret them in your own way as art comes not only from the artist’s imagination, but yours as well. A great musician is like a great artist. And a painting by one great artist of another is priceless. In a world filled with artists, a caricaturist is something you don’t see everyday – that’s Peacocking!
Chris is offering a limited print run of his Vedder Caricature to any interested Pearl Jam fans. Email him (SneeDesign@comcast.net) for pricing and more information.
Check out some more work by Philadelphia Caricature Artist Chris Snee