Monday, June 15, 2009

Rock the Croc Stick

The Croc Stick

ARTspace is having its First Annual Summer ARTcrawl this Thursday. Back in January when they had their First Annual Winter ARTcrawl, I made a baton for the parade leader to carry while leading the group down King Street to the William Street Cafe and on to the Thames Art Gallery. That baton had the head of a goat, and came to be known as "The Goat Stick".

For the summer ARTcrawl, I made this baton: The Croc Stick. It has a decidedly more New Orleans/voodoo flavour to it, as we are having a New Orleans-style funeral procession (with real casket and fake skeleton inside!) down King Street to the Cafe and on to the Thames Art Gallery. We will blast the appropriate New Orleans-style jazz from a boom box, and dance our way along the street. Yes, while carrying a casket. We're going to bury Old Man Winter.

About three weeks ago, I was approached by a lady who wanted to buy the Goat Stick. The curator of the Art Gallery, Carl, didn't want to part with it. We'll see what happens when I show him the Croc Stick! Now we have two sticks- the lady can pick one, as she'll be in attendance for ARTcrawl, and Carl (for ARTspace) can have the other.

Maybe I've hit upon a new sideline.....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hey Cowboy...

Hey Cowboy...Need A Ride?

It is done! You'll have to click on this image and zoom in. I'm submitting this tomorrow for the latest Community Arts Initiative at the Thames Art Gallery, called Call & Response.

I chose a black and white image of a cowboy as the 'call'. In the image, he is looking off to the right, with a saddle hoisted onto his shoulder. It is a simple image. I didn't choose the image I liked (that one was a photograph of dolls with human heads)- I chose the image that gave me the strongest feeling. I don't like cowboys. I don't like the way the cowboy was drawn. It is too flat and too bland.

This is my 'response': I gave the black and white cowboy a three-dimensional horse. A colourful horse. And lots of other things. Bullets, a cracked robin's egg, a gun, a bird skull, and a syringe. While I was doing this piece, I remembered that 'horse' is also a slang term for heroin. By saying, "Hey Cowboy... Need a Ride?", I am actually saying two things. The man needs a horse because he's a cowboy. And if that man is an addict, he needs a hit. The horse represents the wild ride that heroin brings.

"Hey Cowboy...Need a Ride?" is also a pick-up line of sorts, perhaps one that a lucky guy might hear from a cowboy boot-wearin' tart in a country and western bar.

She's a cute horse, isn't she? Check out the 'baby' in her stomach. And her nice boots!