Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Menn in Black sketch

Recently I heard Nick Redfern, author behind many speculative books. His most recent is about the Men in Black phenomenon. He explores folkloric paths long before what we associate now, thanks to the MIB franchise of entertaining films. This inspired me to start a new painting.

The Observers of Fringe seem to be more on target with what the Men in Black have traditionally been through the decades, before the entertaining movie franchise.

What type of phantoms are they? Benevolent, malevolent, or something in between? The same questions could be asked about another man in black, Bigfoot. I will probably put him in the picture, toward the background.

I wanted some remove from the movie trademark, so I thought it might work to title it Menn i sort, the Norwegian variant. What happens when these shadowy figures poke around in a deciduous Norwegian wood? Can this happen here, where the wavelengths are a bit more prosaic and flat-footed? I got a flat-footed posture from a photo of the enigmatic Gilbert and George duo. (English, rather than Norwegian.)

Men in Black dress the way they do, allegedly, because they need to be generic, able to visit regardless of a period of time. Though their fedoras are unusual, their suits still blend in, a default clothing style that appears to be timeless, though formal.

A side note about the fedoras: I read with mirth that hipsters are supposed to be wearing them now. Perhaps they will become fashionable again, gaining a critical mass. Oddly, current fashion authorities are unaware, or fail to note, that such hats were quite popular among the hipsters in NY only 20 years ago. At that time there were still many original fedoras to be found in used bins. It seems now that they are manufactured in the current century, and of a different cut, with a more compact, Elvis Costellian brim.

Black Bart, Highwayman and doggerel poet of old California, sported a more compact brim, in the form of a bowler. If modern hipsters want compact brims, should they try bowlers?

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