Here are two versions of a relief, of fossil sculpture, using some of my collection of Laramie objects. Is that a finger bone or a rabbit femur?
The medium is plaster with polychrome. The molds are latex rubber supported by expanding foam insulation. This allows for surprisingly deep undercuts, the bane of any relief-maker.
Most of the objects are cast from toys from the 1950s/60s--a rich era of pop expression. Included are some totemic charms, at that time made in Hong Kong. The cochlea is probably Jurassic, making the next oldest object, the arrowhead, a youthful soapsud of trivia in comparison. The maze, which appears fragmentary, is the youngest artifact, based on Pac Man, the meditative game of the 80s.
This is a scan of a recent work of painted plaster, castings of figures, fossilized artifacts from childhood in Laramie, Wyoming. I am pleased to read that Laramidia is now the official name of a vast island continent of North America during the Cretaceous period, when the continent that we know now was split by a sea. It is named after Laramie Wyoming. Though the objects fossilized in this work are recent (even the arrow head, relatively), this region of Wyoming is a fossil-land, offering up objects of such ancientness, my mind is boggled when I try to picture them in relation to time on a human scale (dinosaur bones, for example.)
A morgtage for a large painting called Walt's Wonders, to be a large painting. This incorporates 10 different wonders of the world, potentially a messy and chaotic composition. The Great Wall of China helps to give a zig zag, or perspectival path for the viewer to follow.
I am attempting to coin this word, morgtage, which is phonetically pronounced, unlike mortgage; morgtage =morgue + montage, a montage of reference material, filed in what old time illustrators called a morgue, or swipe file. Illustrators, cartoonists and artists have always kept swipe files; appropriating or stealing images has been the stock and trade of the artist, just as much as a secret cavity has been the primordial organ for the smuggler. Perhaps google and photoshop have facilitated visual appropriation, but Picasso and Braque were collaging a century ago. Soon afterward the Soviets made airbrushing a verb, at least to kremlinologists and westerners, discussing political photo manipulation.
Yesterday I finished this painting, Time Loop, whose inspiration and digital sketch was posted last month in this blog.
The time loop is an idea that is bandied about occasionally, but perhaps I should clarify my idea of it. Rather than being a literal loop, (such as a bit of spliced-in film, which repeats itself unchangingly), the time loops I'm thinking of are perhaps more like orbits of planets. Though conditions are largely the same now, when the cycle is entering a phase of concurrence, the universe is nonetheless altered slightly. Events have deja vu, but they are not precise reenactments of history. History doesn't repeat itself to the letter. Rather than Clockwork Orange, now it's Clockwork Lime.
The era is again dystopian, with violence, disposession and revolution flaring up in ways that lead pundits grasping at straws. Yet in this iteration the protagonists are not Burgess' charismatic hoodlums, but rather hooded rioters, seeking anonymity.
Arab Spring... UK Riots...Occupy Wall Street... What will the next chapter be?
This souvenir map is your official guide to a famous but neglected landscape. Blue Ribbon Comities have bulldozed some areas, but there were simply too many pavilions to wipe away entirely. Quite a number still stand today, rusted and neglected though they now are.
The beauty of maps is that they make sense; their web of streets all link together. All roads lead to Rome, or in the case of the Mansonia Map, all roads link to Manson. Charles Manson is the dark symbol incarnate of the most fulminating decade, the 1960s.
Conspiratologists are able to find countless unsettling connections to Manson. One reason for this is that many of his associates sought to distance themselves from him after the events of 1969. This lead to increased mystery and conspiracy, much in the same way that the flawed and whitewashed Warren Commission has not quelled, but increased speculation regarding the JFK assassination.
Indeed, Manson now shares a tangential association with the rogues gallery of institutions that crop up when one examines both the JFK and RFK assassinations: The CIA's MKULTRA mind control program, LSD research, Bay of Pigs wet-workers, The Mob, etc.
How far can we examine this dark footprint? Is it only a historical artifact, or does it show a legacy that extends to our current times?
The chief literary sources of inspiration for Mansonia Map are Adam Gorightly's Shadow over Santa Susana and Russ Baker's Family of Secrets (about the Bush Dynasty.) A visual source of inspiration is the map of the 1964/65 Worlds Fair.
The cover this cartoon falls under should probably be The Old New Yorker. Though the event that inspired it (Cops arresting 700 on the B'klyn Bridge) is recent, some of the characters are old: the bridge itself, and the wordplay among them. I'll post it on my new blog too, Roman's Comics.