David Welker for Phish's 30th Anniversary Tour
David Welker created a psychedelic version of Reading, Pennsylvania, for a stop on Phish's 30th anniversary tour.
"Reading's landmark Pagoda is on the right, and there's a reference to the Reading Railroad of past and how it's a river town situated among the hills," explained the artist. "I included different characters, possibly from Phishlore: Rutherford as a young lad crossing the bridge with his skateboard under one arm (instead of jumping in and drowning as he's destined to); townspeople with a lasso around an octopus who wants to return to the river; an alligator dancing with a banjo player in the street; and some strange, bulbous creatures fishing with their extendable tongues." On the horizon, a shark atop a pyramid alludes to the current fiscal crisis ... or the Phish song "Wilson," Welker hinted.
He conceived the design over the course of a month and executed the poster in two weeks. "After the pen, ink, and separations were drawn, I spent a few days on color concepts," he said. "At the last minute, I handed it over to my wife and our intern for their input. It has a feminine touch with the magenta, lavender, and neon greens – it's more fun than the colors I'd been using, which were somber and had an old-storybook feeling." The 22-by-14-inch, six-color screen print with a full bleed of metallic silver is inked on Madero Beach paper.
Welker also made a 4.25-by-6-inch, three-color screen print for Phish's newly released box set recorded live on December 7, 1995 in Niagara Falls. "It's a sweet little image," Welker remarked. "I spent a lot of time in Niagara Falls and it has sentimental value for me because my parents lived up there for a while. I studied the falls and one of my previous mentors used to do huge paintings of the crest and currents, so I tried to capture that with pen and paper."