Welker Teams Up with Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff to Fight Testicular Cancer

Band Practice (key line) by David Welker

It’s no secret I am a complete capital “F” fangirl when it comes to David Welker, but if it were humanly possible to be any more excited, it happens when he does good things for good people. Enter Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff, creator of FugScreens and co-founder of Galerie F in Chicago. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing them both this morning for Welkerpedia.org.

David and Zissou met in March of 2013 when mutual friend and chef, Brian Merel, worked with Galerie F to launch and cater Blunt Graffix’s “Loaded Guns” gallery show. David Welker’s contribution to the show was the now coveted The Horseman and the Prophet art print. Soon followed the exclusive Galerie F / FugScreens releases of Welker’s Bull vs Bear (July 2014), S is for Serra (Oct. 2014), and the Logan Theatre film print for Fantastic Mr. Fox (Dec. 2014). But it wasn’t until the March 2015 release of a second Logan Theatre film print for The Life Aquatic that the two collaborated artistically. “We communicated a lot and both had creative influence over the final design. David presented me with the incredible key line, and I went in behind him with the separation of layers. It’s a 12-color screen print,” Zissou said. This led to the subsequent collaborative Baseball Hall of Fame series in July of 2015.

Zissou & David @ Galerie F for "Lucid Dreamscapes" show - March 2016 Photo Credit: Jason Kaczorowski

The pair reunited again in March of 2016 when Galerie F launched the “Lucid Dreamscapes” show premiering the artwork of David Welker and Brin Levinson. It was one day, that same month, while bathing, that Zissou discovered a lump in one of his testicles. “There I was, in the bathtub, with my whole life and five-year-old son right outside the bathroom door. I was 33, terrified, and without health insurance, but I knew I couldn’t ignore it. Of course I had to find out.” Having grown up in London with the benefit of free public healthcare, Zissou has never had American health insurance “apart from college when it was required. I’d always been healthy and never saw the need for the added expense,” he said. Zissou carried the weight of this secret alone until his mother visited in late July, which just so happened to be when his second ultrasound was scheduled to occur. “I knew I had to tell my parents then,” he said. Several tests later, it was determined that the lump needed to be removed and biopsied. “I debated waiting until open enrollment for Obamacare in November, but I did not want to risk potential growth if it is cancer.” Erring on the side of caution has left Zissou with $22,000 in unpaid medical bills and additional costs accruing all the while. “If I need another MRI, it will be another $5,000,” he said.


Playtime (key line) by Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff

Desperate to find a way to offset the growing costs, Zissou reached out to David with hopes of another successful collaboration. “I don’t want a handout, but I know that everyone enjoys art, so I thought if I could put together a fundraiser of sorts, it could raise money and awareness while bringing happiness to the people who help me,” said Zissou. David, who lost his own father to cancer in 2004, was more than happy to help. Together, they agreed to collaborate and release Band Practice to raise money for both Zissou and the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation. “Of course I wanted to help. Zissou is a friend in need; it was really that simple for me. I had already been working on Band Practice; in fact, it was almost a late entry for my show at Galerie F earlier this year, so it was sitting in the wings. Now Zissou can help to contribute even more to the final product,” David said.

Fans of FugScreens love the unique bubble effect that has become a trademark texture of Zissou’s screen printing. Will we get bubbles on Band Practice? “Well, I’ve given Zissou some separated color layers, but he will add more layers, and yes, his signature bubble texture when appropriate. I may even draw an extra layer. I need to get my pencils out again. We both agree that the print needs to be as badass as possible. Then we will toss the process back and forth, looking at test proofs until we get it just right. Finally, Zissou will have the ambitious task of printing the edition,” David explained.

There will be two separate prints available for purchase to help Zissou and raise money for the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation - the collaborative 20x16” Band Practice print and a separate 16x20" print designed by Zissou called Playtime.  

Both prints will be full color when released.  Band Practice will be a limited run of 300 at $100/print, and Playtime will be an open edition at $45/print.  Release date is September 28th at 2 PM CST.  More details to follow soon!  

2 comments on “Welker Teams Up with Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff to Fight Testicular Cancer
  1. I’m sure these prints will be SICK!

  2. Profile photo of Adam Adam says:

    Great prints for a great cause!

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