Ever notice the lanky hatted dude in the cut at the local show drawing calmly in his sketchbook as a mosh pit churns and swirls around him? Probably not. Brian Butler somehow manages to draw in public without drawing attention to himself. At the end of the night, he has an illustrated account of the show more nuanced than most written reviews, brimming with more life than your average photo slideshow.
Look closely at the above illustration from Beached Miami’s two-year anniversary party. It’s all there. The faces, the clothes, the bands, the DJ, the hanging lamps, a distracted texter, a flirtatious side-glance, a snippet of conversation, even a few beads of nervous sweat. Here’s another page out of Butler’s sketchbook, this one depicting The Slackers show at Churchill’s back in September 2012:
Luckier still, we’re getting a long-overdue opportunity to appreciate Butler’s concert drawings in a proper exhibition. On Friday Double Vision: Concert Art by Brian Butler and Jaime Salazar opens at Swampspace, which Butler describes as the “scrappy bohemian underdog on the fringe of the vastly luxurious Design District.” The exhibition will feature a dizzying array of Butler’s live drawings alongside the photography of Jaime Salazar, who, like Butler, considers the concert his workplace. Fittingly, it’ll be a loud affair, with Testokra and Nixa performing. For full details, check out the Facebook event page.
Butler, featured by Brisk Bodega in the video above, says the exhibition is “a celebration of the scene. It’s about them not us.” That may be true, but Double Vision will also shine a much-deserved spotlight on an unsung creative force in Miami music.
Butler also says he will not be live-drawing the opening, but who knows if the obsessive illustrator will be able to resist the urge. If you can’t find him once the music starts, just look for the guy calmly filling up his sketchbook in the corner.