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.
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.