Rockhands of the Year: Mark Atomos Pilon’s MALOIK (with bonus Pete Fowler!)

Maloik by Mark Atomos PilonEvery once and a while a bit of awesome not immediately related to a guy or a girl holding a guitar happens in the life of the BackstageRider.

This rockhand is one of those times.

I present to you MALOIK, by Vancouver artist and designer Mark Atomos Pilon. Mark’s an award-winning artist whose works have been exhibited in countless cities and alongside the art of some of the coolest folk in the industry (Kozik! Biskup! Bateman!).

Me, I have a fondness for clean lines, solid colours, warped imaginations and graphic design-type artists. I’m also a collector of limited edition “urban vinyl toys“, a by-product of some of these artists’ imaginations. I tend to surround myself and my walls with modern and EXCEPTIONALLY FUNKY artwork.

Among my fave artists are the very rock and roll Tara McPherson (does some STELLAR gig posters) and Monsterism Island guru Pete Fowler, whose works are plastered all over my place. He’s done a bazillion Super Furry Animals album covers and worked with Hot Chip and Clinic and has his own band, Seahawks. Closer to home, I also adore the work of Aussie-born, BC-based Robert Edmonds, who makes some incredible rock posters and has designed some of Vancouver’s coolest bars and restaurants. (For more on Edmonds, check out the profile I wrote for Rabble.ca) And I can never say no to NYC-based Andrew Bell, because he truly understands the creatures in my head.

I also love the work of Mark Atomos Pilon. Those of you in The ‘Couve (that’s Vancouver to you) area will recognize his stuff from the Georgia Straight. He drives a Vespa and loves him some rock music. So Mark and I started talking on Twitter last year and have kept in touch. I kept bugging him to do me a rockhands pic for my BACKSTAGE RIDER ROCKHANDS GALLERY PROJECT (wanna be a part? Just send me a photo!). I mean, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, right? And when we ran into each other and met in person a couple of weeks ago at Die Antwoord, he promised me a rockhand would be forthcoming.

I was incredibly flattered. I can be persuasive, sure. But for an artist to take the time to create something for you or be inspired by a thought or a request…well, that’s pretty fucking awesome.

So here’s MALOIK. And I love her so much I want to marry her and forsake all others.

Please check out Mark’s website and works. And if you’re in Vancouver, he’ll be exhibiting some of his amazing stuff on November 5 in Gastown at a new t-shirt shop called Tees.ca. He can also be found on Twitter. Stop by and tell him the Backstagerider sent you. And then buy some of his prints. They sort of rock. In a big way.


UPDATE OCTOBER 23:
Pete Fowler and I have been chatting on Twitter for a while now. We’d tried to get together in London this summer to meet for a beer -because I adore his work and our flat is overrun with his Monsterism Island toys and prints. So of course, I’d been tugging at his coattails asking him to do a Rockhands sketch at some point. He was on the way to Wales on a train today and sent this “hastily drawn” sketch, just for me. Oneofakind. So I’m doubly over the moon with rocktacularness. Artists are groovy. All of ‘em. \m/

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