Bobby Zeik: The Man Behind the Poster
Over the next two weeks, potentially more than one million visitors to Bethlehem will have the opportunity to get their hands on a plastic mug featuring the artwork of local mixed medium artist Bobby Zeik, a Banana Factory resident artist and the man behind the 2017 Musikfest poster.
Zeik’s journey toward creating this year’s poster began in December, when he was approached by ArtsQuest for the coveted opportunity during a time when he was receiving increased recognition for his work – and his penchant for hiding his art at various locations throughout town for fans to discover.
“In December, I was hiding a piece of artwork every single day leading up to Christmas, and it was a Christopher Walken head wearing a Santa hat,” Zeik recalled. “A week and a half into that, I got some press from it and, a week later, ArtsQuest approached me. It was fun. It was a nice surprise.”
Once selected, Zeik was given full creative license over the project, allowing the Bethlehem-based artist to develop a design that is truly his own.
“There wasn’t much direction. They really said, ‘Do your thing,’” Zeik said. “When I showed them the draft that I had made, it’s very similar to the finished product. They loved it. There was nothing to change.”
Zeik’s poster design, featuring musicians draped in electric blue and supported by its signature yellow-orange backdrop, is striking in its colorfulness and vibrance. This choice was intentionally made by the artist to reflect what he feels is the festival’s true essence.
“I wanted it to be high-energy and focus on the music,” Zeik said. “All of the images of musicians featured in the piece are high-energy, intense images.”
The design has been well-received, with Zeik acknowledging a bit of initial nervousness when the poster was unveiled to the public.
“In the first few weeks, I was checking Facebook and Instagram. Especially for something like this, seen by so many people, it leaves a lot of room for trolls and negative comments, but it was mostly all positive,” Zeik said. “A lot of people were saying that it’s the best poster they’ve had. You never know what the feedback is going to be from the general public, but it was overwhelmingly positive.”
Those hoping for a look at the original poster are in luck. The original version is currently on display at the Bethlehem House Gallery, located at 459 Main St., as part of a music-themed show featuring several of Zeik’s other works. The poster will be on display throughout Musikfest, and for approximately eight more weeks in total.
And, for those craving even more of Zeik’s artwork, there’s good news: the artist will be hiding free art every day of Musikfest. Anyone interested in scoring a piece from Zeik during the festival is encouraged to follow him on Instagram (@bobbyzeik) for hints and more information.