What’s up with the art???

A big part of Byzantine Time Machine’s show and “look” is the art work of Richard Talaber. He was the uncle of George Lawler our drummer and “time machine” engineer.  Talaber lived from 1933 to 2002.  He graduated from the School of Art Institute, Chicago in 1959.


Above, is the earliest piece we have by Rich Talaber.  It’s a sketch of his Hungarian immigrant father done in 1957 and it earned him admission to the School of the Art Institute.  Next to it one of the photoshopped versions we use in our slideshow.

1958 002348

Black & White water color, subway view, 1958

As a student at the Art Institute, one of his assignments was to paint a sports scene in the style of a famous artist. His rendition of hockey players in the style of El Greco won a feature in Sports Illustrated magazine in 1957. On a side note, isn’t it interesting how much sports illustrated has changed!

el greco   sprot

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In 1959, he won the Logan Medal of the Arts. His winning painting, Ferrous Confine, was featured in Time magazine, Sept. 1959.

promo 019 time mag insideferus conf


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The same year he was commissioned by R. Korach of Chicago, for the above painting called Viatecum. We use a photoshopped version of this painting for our header and logo.


 In the early 1960s he moved to Rome then later Paris and experimented more with abstract art.  Here’s a work of his featured in an Italian sales catalog from 1960.


Cornman 197710x12aCornman 197710x12b

Richard Talaber returned home in the 1970s and went through a dark period of alcohol abuse that lasted through the 1980s. But, it didn’t seem to affect his talent or prodigious output, and as styles changed, so did he. Above is one of his many paintings using tape for texture underneath oil paint.  Next to it is our photoshopped version.

1974 jesusd              Pieta2 1974 83x70a pieta1 1974 83x 78o


Among his most ambitious works is this Pieta, a three part work featuring Jesus being taken down from the cross.  All three paintings are six by nine feet and were completed in 1974. The man with green skin is a self portrait of Talaber himself.



1974 047a162


Here’s a sketch of a pianist named Snookums Russell from New Orleans in 1974 and the resulting oil painting finished in 1977.  It’s titled, Pianist and is four by five feet. It’s also incredibly beautiful, in my opinion.


Talaber preferred pencils to cameras when it came to traveling or sightseeing. Above is a guitarist from a band called “Barcelona Red” that performed at the annual Hyde Park Art Festival in 1975.



This is an enormous painting, completed in 1980 called Life Raft.  Look how amazing it looks after a few twists and turns in Photoshop.



Here’s a page from one of his sketch books from the 1980s. It’s part watercolor, part marker. It looks amazing after a little photoshopping.

1980 0061980 006h


Here’s one of my favorite painting from 1980, called Hurdling Figure, it’s approximately 48″ x 48″

Hurdeling figure 1980 48x48c


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Some beautiful watercolors from the 1980s & ’90s.


In the late 1990s, he liked to sketch photographs from the Chicago news papers. Here’s a few examples with the original on the left, the photo shopped version on the right.

1999 019b         1999 019j

1999 016g           1999 016a

1999 014a       1999 014f

1999 015a         1999 015h


When Richard Talaber died in 2002, his family inherited all of his unsold works and sketch books as well as boxes of homework from his Art Institute days.  In 2012, George and Eve (me), his nephew and wife, photographed and scanned the entire collection adding up to over 2,000 works of art.

So, being the resourceful people that we are, we’ve incorporated the art into our performances and promotional posters.  They’re just too beautiful to sit in storage and thankfully with the help of computers, they don’t have to.









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