This project was more of a labor of love and respect than anything. I wasn’t paid to do this, but I just took it on myself to help out (mostly out of guilt lol). When Ilan Paplanous, a local Southern California artist, volunteered to have some of his work shown at one of the Last Outpost’s music festivals, everyone there was thrilled. He had shown his work to us (just because he was a buddy of ours of course) and the one piece of work that just really blew us away was the one called “God’s Mugshot”. I’m personally not a religious person, but it felt powerful to me, and we all instantly fell in love with it and his other works.
As it happened, the night of the festival, someone got it into their head that they had to steal this beautiful work of art. I’m sure there’s some irony in stealing a painting called “God’s Mugshot” but I can’t quite put my finger on it. We were all devastated, even tried to put a $500.00 reward for information leading to the recovery. No bites… I remembered that I’d taken a picture of it with my smart phone (which back then was only about 4 megapixels so not that hi-res), and thought that I might be able to reproduce it.
So, with that in mind, I imported what I had into Photoshop, resampled it to a higher resolution, tweaked the contrast and brightness, then did some work on the edges so that it wasn’t the slightly cropped version that I had. Once I was happy with it, I had it printed out on a 36″x36″ canvas (the original was 12″x12″). I felt like making it bigger was a bit of a thumb in the eye to the thief that stole it, and Ilan really loved it when I surprised him with it. So all was well that ended well, and I got the experience of reproducing something from little more than a camera phone picture, as well as helping out a really nice guy who didn’t deserve to have his work stolen from him.