In the pages of Rolling Stone magazine, a magazine that I have faithfully read and kept every issue since the fall of 1993, I came across this image of the man I soon came into being associated with as my altered sate of being. Kurt Donald Cobain performing on stage wrenching from his very soul every note and word that he feels it to be necessary to chant out. The stage lights cast down on his unwashed hair that cover most of his face as the outline of his small shoulders are seen draped in one his legendary sweaters. This was my first attempt at pastel.
Of the many icons of my youth and the stages in life, it is Kurt Cobain that I have the most trouble looking at. His music can be played non-stop through out my life and yet his face has caused me to pause from time to time. He was a handsome man with a charming smile. The only time I was able to see him perform was on Saturday Night Live in 1993 with Charles Barkley, RuPaul and Sebastian Bach of Skid Row.
RuPaul was a friend of Kurt as well as Skid Row was one of the bands that Kurt liked as a youth. After performing “Heart Shaped Box” and “Rape Me,” the show ended, as it had for its entire run, with the whole cast and guests waving goodbye. At this point, as an artist, I had noticed Kurt’s square shaped hands. It was not until I had read “Come As You Are” that I realized Kurt so slight of frame do to his stomach ailment. His hands looked large in contrast to his small arms. His waving and grinning at the end of the show was all the more unique in his eating a pastry and being dwarfed in height compared to Barkley and long time friend and band mate, Krist Novoselic.
Close to my graduation from high-school and for my eighteenth birthday I walked to the local mall after school with a friend and fellow Nirvana fan and purchased “Cobain” fresh off the printing press. The book had a collection of the various Nirvana articles that Rolling Stone had done through the short career of Nirvana. To this day, it still urps me that the only Rolling Stone magazine I do not have is no. 674, January 1994. As a favor I let a friend borrow it only to never have seen that guy again.
Not having much money in my teenage years, I did not have a lot of posters and this compelled me to make my own. This pastel depiction of Kurt was an attempt at a Nirvana poster.