Mural Painting With The Pander Brothers


Yeah, I just need to work out
the right side of the painting, or the drawing, actually, just to get the
perspective dialed in. – I’m Jacob Pander.
– I’m Arnold Pander. And we are visual artists, graphic novelists,
and filmmakers. We go by the
Pander Brothers. Did that make sense? [ ♪♪♪ ] We’ve been commissioned
to do a painting that will be hanging in
the entryway of the Rialto as you come in. We kind of found ourselves
every day going downtown, parking the car, and just wandering down
into the Rialto basement. You know, right now, we have
all these contemporary figures, and then we have the one guy
that’s from back in the day. And originally,
I was thinking if we have the guy
in the wheelchair, he could almost be
an echo of him. That’s him nowadays. That then triggered this idea
of what if on this side, these characters
are all vintage. Yeah, I think
that’s cool. We’re not going into the future;
we’re going into the past. And also this guy — He just looks like a guy
that’s wearing — Like a businessman
or something. These guys have more —
like a fedora or whatever. I love the look
of these characters. That gives it a cool additional
narrative to the thing. and kind of helps us
breaching those two times, the old and the new. [ ♪♪♪ ] ARNOLD: That last face
looked too, like, I don’t know, stodgy. We’ve been collaborating
together for years and it really developed out of
creating graphic novels. Arnold really excelled
early on at figure drawing. And somehow, I was
drawn to perspective. ARNOLD: I think of all the
murals we’ve done, this one kind of feels like
you’re kind of entering one of our graphic novel
stories. [ ♪♪♪ ] Why don’t you just kind
of intro where we are and then I’ll
kind of say — I’ll do a little spiel,
yeah. Or I’ll come in halfway
or whatever. Or I mean we can just jump.
Yeah, whatever. – Okay.
– All right. – Wow.
– I can see that in the intro. Okay. Something at this scale would traditionally be done
on a wall. It’s kind of a mural size,
but they wanted the ability to be able to move it. So we decided to do it
on a canvas. And then we’ll be transporting
it upstairs and actually wheatpasting it
to the wall and then creating
a frame around it so it’ll give it the whole feel of a hanging painting
up in the entryway. ARNOLD: I think the charm
kind of gets in the way when you’re playing pool, maybe,
but it looks cool. JACOB: The initial idea was
really, you know, centered around a pool match that is like right at that
critical moment, so there’s kind of a theatrical
feel to it, but also played with this new
generation playing pool and this kind of classic
pool hall hustler. We wanted that feel of, like,
yeah, time passes, but in a lot of ways,
things remain the same. I’m just going to go ahead
and make him a bona fide punk rocker. Right now, the painting is
in a very preliminary phase. We’re sketching, discovering
new sort of aspects about the composition
as we do it, which kind of makes it exciting. It keeps it interesting
for us. The ’60s and ’70s
are hidden in the middle and then we jump back in time. Fleetwood Mac’s back there. The next phase will be
sort of doing an overall wash to really create the mood
and the tone of the piece. So it’ll be kind
of a layering process. [ ♪♪♪ ] We would start laying these huge
color washes on the thing and this extremely detailed
perspective drawing would suddenly just disappear,
and we’d have to redraw it on top of it, so it was
a weird collaboration of one person just, like,
wiping out – the other one’s drawing.
– Destroying the other. And then, like, oh god, where’s
the vanishing point again? I’ve got to redo it. ARNOLD: It’s chaos,
but it’s gonna be fine. It’s just part of it. That’s what this is. [ ♪♪♪ ] We never stand this close. Unless we’re
forced to. Oh, should I
not be talking? Well, we are sort of
at a point in the painting where we’re I guess
around the halfway mark. We’re feeling
good about it. I mean, it’s one of the biggest
paintings that we’ve done, so part of it has
been wrestling it. Getting these figures
just generally filled in. She’s got a little
more detail, because she’s kind
of the main character. INTERVIEWER:
Tattoo or no tattoo? I’m kind of thinking
tattoo, yeah. I’m sort of —
I don’t know. I’m sort of torn. We’ll probably do it,
even though right now, we’re enjoying just
the purity of this bare arm that’s kind of timeless. We’ll see. [ ♪♪♪ ] Whether it’s a big painting or whether it’s a 100-page
or 200-page graphic novel, you can’t even see the light
at the end of the tunnel a lot of times. And having someone to work
with, most of the time, it makes it easier. You’re in my light, man. ARNOLD: I’ll just get out
of the way of the painting. How does that look, Arn? Does it look like it’s thick
enough, thin, as you stand back? ARNOLD:
It looks fine. But it’s got
a little ways to go, but we’re getting there. [ drill buzzing ] – Oh.
– I got it. JACOB: So a lot of time
went into really researching and thinking about the best
way to get this very unwieldly, huge piece of canvas on a wall in a way that would be
semi-permanent but also was something
that could be removed at a later date. That’s the one thing about doing
a mural, is oftentimes, you do these really beautiful
and intricate pieces of art, but they end up
either getting painted over or getting condemned
with the building itself. I just want to be real careful
around this, so let’s go all the way around. Take the scenic route. I mean, I guess we can kind of
unscroll it and then drape it over,
something like that. And then Arnold — yeah,
we’ll just hold it tight. Just keep moving fast. ARNOLD:
What I’m envisioning is that we work
from the top down so we can smooth this thing out
as quickly as possible, because right now,
it’s getting damaged literally as it sits there. JACOB:
I’m a little nervous. That’s why I want to bring
it down before I get off the ladder,
just a smidge. ARNOLD: Didn’t want to have any
major drama happen during their business hours
if things went sideways, so we were really methodical. So just take our time to get
that first three feet swath out. The blue in there. Hopefully just do a quick
jump cut so it looks like we know
what the hell we’re doing. Should we kind of brush it on
first and then trowel it? That’s kind of what I was
thinking. [ ♪♪♪ ] Once it was down, I mean,
if it was off by an inch or kind of not straight,
we would have been screwed. It’s always something. [ ♪♪♪ ] ARNOLD: It brought a story
into the space, and there’s all these stories
going on with the customers, so it’s cool to have something that is reinforcing that
feeling, like this is a place for people
to come and to be a community. JACOB: I feel like it kind of
brought back a bit of the patina of the original place,
the kind of noir flavor of the Rialto that’s been there
almost 100 years. ARNOLD: It’s kind of an honor
to have a piece that is in a historical building
like the Rialto, but also to become part
of the history and the continuing history
in Portland for years to come.

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