Friday, October 28, 2005

Bouncing Art Stinks but Good say Martian Vampires

Image from here.

1) That Yellow Bastard referred me to this Sony Bravia ad, filmed without special computer effects, but by letting 250,000 superballs bounce down the streets of San Francisco. The broadband feed is smooth- has sound of the sparse acoustic type- and is beautiful. If you're rockin' a fast connection, I think you'll enjoy the simple pleasure.

2) As Bookslut points out, it's an irresistable headline: Lesbian Stalker Loses Vampire Love Battle. I can imagine the lurid movie poster now.

3) If you're of astronomical leanings, it's cool news that Mars and Venus will be glowing brightly on Halloween.

4) The Anchoress points out this story about my current hometown. It's a sad comment, but I'd have wondered, too, if I'd noticed the general atmosphere of Manhattan smelled too good.

5) As we approach the holiday season, here's the recent state-organized Jerusalem Day in Tehran. Don't confuse it with St. Paddy's or Casimir Pulaski's or Christopher Columbus' or Puerto Rican Day which are celebrations of the existence of people from other lands. No, no. JDay is the holiday where since 1979, Iraqis have demonstrated their abiding hatred for Jews and Israel and confirmed their committment to Semitic eradication. By the way, Death to America, too.

6) I am not just a linky traffic cop in the blogopshere, despite my adherence to crediting where I find things. Daily, I slave to select the choicest morsels from the buffet for you, frame them, give them context, incorporate them into my lame titles and find stupid pictures to attach. Don't say it's nothing. I wade through loads of the yawny-yawny so you don't have to. With that defensive preface, I note that Michelle Malkin pointed me to the photo series titled Propaganda at Riding Sun who found it from apostropher, but about this I have original commentary, so back off!

As I've said, I'm not much for "message art." Usually the message is unsubtle and overwhelms the aesthetics which end up taking a rung so much lower in the artist's attentions as to require a spelunking helmet to detect them. Nope, Chuck, that's just another mold deposit, not visual intention. However, I do find these photographs by Eolo Perfido well executed, no pun intended. (His own site has the nicest versions. Flop open an extra window and let's go through them together.)

UPDATE: I fixed the broken Eolo link, dagnabbit. You could've reached the photos through the other blogs' links above, but I didn't intend you should work so hard. And tx, apostropher, for the add'l kind words.

Onto the art. I like the palette, the dramatic lighting, the crispness and the care with which they're done. I find the bandaged heads reminiscent of "See No Evil" (or perhaps the Mummy Returns), and the protruding teeth of a flayed skull. I find myself also a little generally reminded of the shivering heads from the move Jacob's Ladder. Coming from Europe, this is hardly groundbreaking conceptualism, and if I don't find it all genius, it's still good looking. But, and you knew there'd be one coming, I do have issues with the set dressing.

Popcorn Man. His flag is tied to a branch, much more trouble and more expensive than the ubiquitous plastic flap-on-dowel at every megamart and drug store. Perfido should understand it's like the pre-wrapped Japanese instagifts available everywhere in Tokyo to satisfy the social customs. Since it's mandatory for U.S. citizens (and pretenders) to bear flags at all times in public locations and in private ones where more than three non-family members are gathered, we don't spend a lot of money or time on them. Like commuter umbrellas. The popcorn in a bowl instead of chips out of a bag? No paneling on the bunker walls or a foam fan finger? And this guy's underwear don't look right either. Look closely. The strappy tee part is no ribbed wifebeater and what about the shorts with buttons? This is obviously a furrin notion of proper undergarmentry. Might I suggest this inspiration to greater accuracy?

Scrawny Woman and Child. As everyone knows, America's jingo poor are fat, and the quilted wrap robe might be iconic for the 50's but hardly current. Think knee-length sleeper-T , preferably with crackled cartoon character decal and worn-to-elastic-fatigue sweatpants. Greasy ponytail and/or bad bleach job for sure.

Whore Girl. That's a solid depiction. Nailed that one, Eolo. High five, whooo.

Dreadlock Man in Cart. Dare I mention the bone structure and skin of this guy look a little youthful and Euro model-stubbly to go with the hair unless he's a skater dude? The cart-riding crowd in NYC usually look older, even in their twenties, and less, uh, robust.

KKK Guy after nose job and eye lift. The stained flag isn't likely though. See how they elevate the symbolic. In these photos, you'll see all the flags and basements are sparkling clean. Americans know the Klan are great at three things: the mentality of supremacy, wall arrangements, and laundry.

Electric Chair. I guess it's possible a brawny old guard would attack a convict's cranium like a zombie looking for a Lunchable, but once the little guy's strapped in, isn't it easier just to flip the switch?

Cyberpriest. I suppose I'm just grateful Eolo didn't go for the more predictable kneeling boy here. Still, doesn't this priest resemble the young Fr. Karras from The Exorcist? Hey, did you know actor Jason Miller's son Jason Patric is Jackie Gleason's grandson? Sorry, distracted by imdb.

Camo Battery Guy. Not much to say except the age makes the guy look like the war ended a while ago but not for him, blah blah... Where are the hardbodies from our current conflict? Where are the conductive dog tags?

Corporate Mummy. I realize there may be difficulties getting an actual flag to tie-size, but this guy's neck knot is way bigger than any normal Yankee shill who isn't a double-Windsor devotee of the Brit stylings of Thomas Pink.

I guess what I'm saying is that Eolo Perfido's beefs may be legit, but I can't shake the feeling that this Frenchman living in Rome doesn't really get us. Failing in the specific, he may be a little simplistic in the broad. And isn't it's a little- okay I'll say it- small-minded and maladjusted to spend so much time shaking your fingers at the distant and unalterable when you don't have any skin in the game? I don't know of any American artist devoting his time to relentlessly bashing another country unless he's an expat. Even then, the art of criticism often shows tremendous affection for the lost land. See many Cuban-American artists as examples. Does Perfido's exacting work show any particular understanding of or compassion toward its subjects, or does it fail to move the spirit because it treats its substance as inhuman, safe to demonize once reduced to easy, if hackneyed, abstractions?


matt weiner said...

JDay is the holiday where since 1979, Iraqis have demonstrated their abiding hatred for Jews and Israel and confirmed their committment to Semitic eradication.

In Tehran?

(Which is my attempting-to-be-funny way of saying, I think there's a typo.)

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