DAEDAL DOODLE, C

by Victor Stabin

[Editor's Note: We will be publishing all 26 letters of Victor Stabin's Daedal Doodle series, one each Wednesday for 26 weeks. Be sure to click on the picture for the FULL VIEW! Victor Stabin's alphabet book is available here.]

For almost three years, wherever he went, Victor Stabin brought a dictionary along. Combing through over 8,000 pages of a variety of dictionaries, he came up with the alliterations that inhabit this work. Inspired by reading “ABC” books to his three-year-old daughter Skyler, his love of words, and his incessant inability to to stop doodling, he unflinchingly created the improbable alliterative combinations and illustrations that inhabit this work. In his heart he knew he was creating a work that, while using unusually obtuse words, would have broad appeal and challenge the “ABC” status quo. The goal—to create platforms that bridge literate curiosity across multiple generations using mostly common (and sometimes extraordinarily uncommon) imagery in new and inventive ways. Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, presented for your literate and retinal delight…

Born in New York City on March 5, 1954, Victor Stabin formally began his artistic journey studying at the Art Students League every summer from age 13 to 17. He graduated from the High School of Art and Design in 1972. He attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles from 1973 to 1975 before returning to the East Coast to continue his education at New York City’s School of Visual Arts from 1975 to 1976. A few years after finishing his education, he taught conceptual thinking for illustrators at the School of Visual Arts for five years as he continued his work as a professional illustrator.

His credits as an illustrator include creating nine stamps for the United States Postal Service’s Commemorative Postage Stamp program, a mural for RCA/BMG’s corporate headquarters in New York, and illustrations for The New York Times, Newsweek, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Time Magazine. Other works include an album cover for the rock band Kiss, and designs and illustrations for dozens of mass market books for publishers Random House, Penguin Books, and others. Twenty years of his favorite illustrations can be viewed in his illustration attic.

When he was 44, he was diagnosed with cancer and told he had a 50/50 chance of survival. Illustrations are predicated on phone calls; he had wells of his own ideas, and newly aware of the value of time, he no longer had the will to wait for the phone. Thus, he started to create a series of paintings that emanated from the personal.

The more recent works he’s created take on an otherworldly look of a fantasy land along the lines of works created by other surrealist artists. He considers himself an eco-surrealist artist. His paintings transport the viewer to unexpected environments through uncanny scenes that merge the realities of everyday life into the not-so-everyday life using other species as protagonists. This work can be viewed on his website at http://www.victorstabin.com/paintings/, and also the various essays he has written for that body of work are accessible through victorstabin.com.

He is the son of Jack Stabin, inventor of scientific instrumentation who received his technical training while working on the Manhattan Project and Florence Stabin, the piano teacher who knows the history of the world through the music of great European composers.

His influences are the 20th Century Surrealists, the 19th Century Japanese watercolor print artists, Advertising Art of the 20th Century, and the spirit of the Italian Renaissance. He is defined by his work; as you follow the path created by his paintings you’ll see other species stand in as protagonists, originally narrating the stories of his life and now lighting the path of his life. His goal is to create artwork that provokes empathy while creating visually tantalizing environments that take you to new places, with the intent of promoting awareness of and funding for the creatures that share our planet, with hope to create an enduring legacy for those living beings. Hence, Eco-Surrealist.

One of his favorite quotes (and he has many) is from Michaelangelo Buonarroti: “I hope that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.”

Victor has been creating storylines for the characters that he’s created (from the alliterations in the book) and calling them the NPR stories. He doesn’t consider himself a writer; however, he’s funny and says, “Sometimes funny saves the day.” You are welcome to read the stories at http://www.victorstabinprints.com/info/blog/.

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