Taylor Mac: A 24-Hour History of Popular Music – Drawings by Michael Arthur

Pen and ink drawing of the Taylor Mac Band performing at Joe's Pub with a big bouquet of yellow balloons floating up from the percussion.

The Taylor Mac Band

The incomparable Taylor Mac offers up yet another ray of brilliance, A 24-Hour History of Popular Music. Literally–the concert will take place over a 24-hour period sometime in 2014. It is currently being workshopped in a series of abridged performances, decade by decade. Taylor Mac brought the music of the 1890’s to New York City’s Joe’s Pub last month.

In his own words: “A bedazzled creature builds a community by singing 24 concerts of the last 24 decades of popular music. Ultimately all 24 decades will be stitched together culminating in a 24-hour long extravaganza (in 2014), which will feature Taylor Mac, a 24-piece orchestra, dancing beauties, special guests, and you.  Bring bedding and toiletries.”

The very talented pen and ink artist, Michael Arthur, was there to capture this latest chapter of the extravaganza. The show featured popular music from the 1890s–including ragtime–as well as a massacre, the production of the automobile, and the discovery of Helium on earth.

24-hour artwork seems to be trending. Have you seen Christian Marclay’s The Clock? It is mind-altering. As, we imagine, this 24-hour concert will be, possibly on various levels. We wouldn’t want to miss this incredible feat, though we’ve got some time before we have to pack our overnight trunks.

Further details on the scope of the work can be found on Taylor Mac’s website, with a promise of individual pages on each decade to come. Until then, enjoy these luscious drawings.

Pen and ink drawing of Taylor Mac singing at his 24-Hour History of Popular Music performance at Joe's Pub. Beatur

Taylor Mac, Costume by Machine Dazzle.

Taylor Mac takes the stage at Joe’s Pub decked out in glamour created by Machine Dazzle.

All black pen and ink drawing of Matt Ray playing piano at Joe's Pub for Taylor Mac's 24-History of Popular Music.

Matt Ray on Piano


All drawings ©Michael Arthur and are used here with express permission by Burlesque Beat. Images are not to be used in any way without express permission from the artist.

Michael Arthur specializes in drawing the intimate moments of music, theatre and dance. Michael draws in pen and ink with no pencils and no rough drafts. Each drawing is a live reaction to the moment.

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