Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The artist as Monkey

I'll take a break from ranting about Gaddafi for a moment to look at some old drawings that I found in the back of my excessively heavy flat file, again, years later, I thank Mike Bell for helping me drag that f'n thing up the stairs to my studio.

As some of you know, I have referred to myself as the Art Monkey, I feel that the Artist is a monkey who must respond to the needs of his/her environment. It is a bit like being a private dancer, but hey, when you are a dancer for money, I do what you want me to do.

I was working this insane gig back in 1995, painting in a restaurant, I had painted a mural there, now they wanted me to paint canvases while the glitterati ate red meat.

It was heinous but it came with a free meal.

I felt like those little monkeys with the cymbals you wind up for amusement.

You get the idea, then a few years later, I was in India and my mind was blown by Hanuman, the monkey god who goes around performing tasks, he flies on a cloud when needed and does one's bidding. I'm not saying I have Rama's portrait emblazoned on my heart or anything but it spoke to me.

So I think somewhere around 2002-3 I did these series of drawings of Monkeys. Monkey as artist, monkey as guy looking at a laptop sippin' coffee, etc.

And some as a kind of Hanuman friend to the animals, the cow image is something that i remember from the beach, these cows that would just walk around so I wanted to put an element of that memory into these drawings.

Its always interesting to look at work of yours from another time period, sheds light on what you were doing, interests and concerns.