Today is the final installment of our Murals on Glass series. All three murals are installed in downtown Urbana. You should go look at them, they are amazing! Today we talk with Larry Steinbauer, whose work Abe in the Grass, can be seen on the northeast end of the parking deck on Main Street. Here’s what Larry says about his work:
What media is Abe in the Grass, and why did you choose to work with this?
Abe in the Grass began in the vivid prairie background as a simple paint and ink drawing. There are many iterations of this grassy plain in his gallery, Wind Water and Light; this colorful and varied motif is rendered on lamps, coasters, and small jewelry boxes. But before this prairie image transitioned from the original works to reproductions, Larry first scanned the painting into his computer. The image was manipulated and enhanced in Corel DRAW, a vector-graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator. The visage of Abraham Lincoln was eventually added, Larry says, after many alterations and fine-tuning.
What was your inspiration behind the piece?
As anyone who has browsed the t-shirt section of Wind Water and Light would know, Larry has used Abraham Lincoln’s countenance in a number of ways. He produces interesting juxtapositions of Abe and other notable figures, such as Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol, and even Dennis Rodman. Larry hopes to create a book containing all the faces of Lincoln that he creates. Abraham Lincoln is such a prominent character in Illinois history, says Larry, that it seemed obvious for him to use Lincoln in his work.
How do you hope the viewers will respond to seeing the piece on such a large scale?
Larry certainly hopes that viewers recognize Lincoln’s face! It is directly related to the history of Illinois and to the history of Urbana. Larry hopes that the community enjoys Abe in the Grass on the parking deck, especially at that size.