Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In Which I find an Old Painting in the Basement, and it makes me Worry about my Younger Self.

So in case you're wondering why new posts have been very sporadic, it's because I've been preoccupied with helping my family clean out the basement. Fortunately, I have some cool things to write about. Like this really, really old thing I made (you will have to click for the big, as usual):

4.20.10 - WTF Old Painting?

Oh... Oh God...
Now, occasionally, I will find an older painting or drawing that will make me realize just how much figurative space there is between the person who drew it and the person currently looking at it. The scary part comes in when I realize both those people are me.

This is very definitely one of those times.
Now I think I remember the context, at least. I was asked to paint a backdrop for some fantasy-themed sculptures made by myself and other students (I haven't found any of these, sadly). The result was this thing right here, which looks like fourteen-year-old me (best guess at my age at the time) decided to throw every crazy idea I ever had at an unsuspecting sheet of cardboard. Let's look at some of these things in detail.

I really like this dragon/mountain guy. He's so cute. It's funny how this is essentially the same face I use on cute goofy characters today. The anatomy's usually less confounding, though. Look at those nostrils!

Many parts of the painting look like I threw neon, glow-in-the-dark fabric paint at it. Remember, it was the early '90s. I have no idea if it still glows.

Love the hell out of the river. It has heard of this thing called "Physics" and wants nothing to do with it. It also proves that "Kidd Video" still had a big impact on me, years after it had been canceled. (Someday, I will tell you how much fun it was to be a girl in high school championing and cheerleading for animated films and series nobody else in my peer group had ever heard of. Oh, wait, that wasn't fun at all.)
But then... there's that thing in the upper-right corner.

Seriously, what in the holy f*** even IS that?!? I get that there's a giant face, and a bunch of different iconic buildings stuck together, but... I have no idea what the hell is going on here and I'm
SCARED.


So... SCARED...
Thankfully, I can rest assured that all the other old, old art I've made is accounted for. Anything else is probably lost forever, never to be uncovered again... right?
(Cue the foreshadowing music again, but make it more ominous this time.)
I found some less-scary, more-awesome things in the basement too. Some of them are unspeakably awesome. Worth Ebaying in fact. Before I auction them off, they'll be the focus of the next post.


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Now, speaking of kids painting, I just watched "My Kid Could Paint That" recently and... wow. Just... wow.
This is the fascinating -and, in many ways, haunting- story of Marla Olmstead, a painter who has unwittingly dropped a bomb in the middle of the abstract art culture. She has been compared to Monet and Pollock.
She arrives at a gallery showing chewing a cookie with her mouth open and donning her best macaroni necklace. She playfully puts handprints, Mickey Mouse heads, and dribbles of puff-paint in her work. Art critics have read heavily symbolic meaning in her paintings, and believe her work deserves to be hanging in the big, famous art museums in New York City. She relaxes by playing with her collection of My Little Ponies and jumping on the bed. She is likely to answer any question with "I dunno" and hasn't got a grasp on the fact that people are shelling out thousands of dollars for her pieces. She is also barely three feet tall and *isn't old enough* to fully understand the fact that people are paying a lot of money for her paintings, or why she gets to go to a special party at an art gallery every so often, or why her father turns all white when she says her brother made one of the paintings, even though this is normal for her, because she doesn't yet understand that her father and her brother are not somehow extensions of herself, or even that they existed before she entered this world.
Because, you see, Marla is four years old.
This movie is a must-see for anyone who gives a crap about art. But there's a part of me that wished I had a pint with me so I could take a drink whenever I wanted to scream at the adults onscreen, "SHE'S FOUR!!!!!" I'm not going to say what happens (lets' just say that the film-maker set out to make one documentary and circumstances caused him to make a very different one), but I wound up feeling so bad for this kid caught in the middle of this spectacular debacle. She's blissfully unaware that, in the space of one year, she's gone from a prodigy with a dedicated fandom, to a disgusting fraud, to... well, there's a moment where the director basically says with images, "Look, draw your own conclusions. I want to stay out of this."


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Photo of the day!
I can't believe I didn't mention this before, but remember the bulbs I planted in late October? The ones I covered with the Christmas greens? Well:
4.7.10 - It's not Peace Field but it'll do 1
This is actually from a few weeks ago. I'll get a more current picture up in the next post.

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And I deem it okay to get excited about this:

1 comment:

Zachary said...

The Missus and I just watched that movie, too. We came to the conclusion that the dad was doing most of the work, perhaps even ALL of the work, but wasn't telling the wife, who genuinely thought that Marla was creating every painting.

We also agreed that the dad and his buddy, their agent, were both kind of slimey. I wonder what's happened to that family since the movie came out...