Pour an artist a cocktail to “stir the creative juices,” then hand over a Sharpie and a napkin. What doodle will result? We find out in this just-for-fun Friday series.
The Cocktail: Unusual Margarita, thyme- and jalapeño-infused Avión Silver Tequila, cucumber and lime shrub and Cointreau, at Cielo in the Four Seasons Hotel, St. Louis
The Artist: Stan Chisholm, who in first grade was already too adept at draftsmanship to participate in the class Sonic the Hedgehog drawing contest. “The teacher made me judge the other kids’ work,” Chisholm remembers.
“I’ve always been making art,” he explains, “but I also have always been jumping around and trying out different things. I feel like being good at or being known for only one thing is a sure way to get caught, like I’d be setting myself up. That could be setting myself up for good things, like success, but ...”
Chisholm avoids self-entrapment by swirling his many talents around, and not only within the realm of the visual arts, where he moves fluidly from illustration to painting to printing to sculpture to graphic design. He’s also well-known about town for musical offerings through his DJ persona, 18andCounting. And he writes.
Chisholm’s writing informs one of his most popular art series, the OneLiners, which he letters himself, without spacing, in the form of foam sculpture or black words on white paper plates. Announcements such as I Spoke To The Sprinkler—He’s Waiting For The Chance To Hesitate And Prove He’s Not Such A Predictable Man broadcast the artist’s own versatile approach to self-expression.
Paper plates are one of Chisholm’s favorite drawing surfaces. “They’re cheap and plentiful and work really well with a Sharpie. I started using stacks of them a while back as a sort of sketchbook. I like their round shape, and watching how someone handed one of my Mascots will orient the image with a circle which has no right-side up or up-side down.”
What made you choose an Unusual Margarita?
C: Well, none of the signature cocktails on the menu had whiskey involved, which is what I usually drink, so I just went with the waitress’ recommendation. I like to trust a place. I’m glad I did; this thing has some kick. It’s crazy. I forgot it had jalapeño in it, but whoa, it’s right there.
What sort of restaurants do you like here in St. Louis?
C: Sandrina’s serves food that is so good, all the time. It’s a 3 o’clock bar, and the kitchen is open late. I can’t get enough of their steak sandwich. The meat just hangs over the bread on all sides. Some pepper jack cheese is all that needs. If I’m not distracted by one of the specials, that’s what I get when I feel like I deserve something big at 2 o’clock in the morning.
Another go-to place is The Royale. It’s damn near in my back yard; I went twice yesterday. The beer’s good, the people are nice, and the walls rotate some quirky St. Louis-relevant art. Just saw a rad print of the Mississippi River system there, stylized to look like a public transit map: fat straight lines and dots. The Royale’s burgers are solid. I get mine with goat cheese, artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers. It comes with lettuce, tomato and onion, too, so when all the toppings drip off onto the plate, it becomes a salad at the end.
What kind of food do you eat at home?
C: I don’t usually cook unless my girlfriend is staying over at the apartment. Then I like to grill salmon and mash up some sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
Cielo at The Four Seasons Hotel, St. Louis, 999 North 2nd Street, 314.881.5700, cielostlouis.com
Check back next Friday for more Booze Doodles by St. Louis artists!