Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One Mans Trash...





ink, acrylic and watercolors on watercolor paper

Of course I remember Jim Henson and his two most popular endeavors The Muppets and Sesame Street. Doubtless I spent countless hours watching both so I was a bit surprised that I don't really remember ever loving either. I enjoyed them for sure but neither affected me like other child hood movies, tv shows and books I can still site as influences today. To be honest Jim Henson and a good portion of his characters always gave me the creeps. Not sure why. In fact I recently watched a series of adapted fairy tales and Greek and Roman myths that were produced by Jim Henson Studios in the early 90's and those creeped me out too. There were two exceptions, Kermit The Frog and Oscar The Grouch but If those two green mofo's had a fight to the death, I would be rooting for Oscar. That guy had an influence on me. His furrowed brow, his I could care less attitude, his love for shit other people threw away (I could totally relate), his pet worm and last but not least his humble trash can abode. I loved that can and when Oscar ducked down in there I imagined an infinitely large alternate universe was inside. It was like the Tardis in there and as a kid that sent my head reeling. How could you have a space that was bigger on the inside than it was on the outside. Clearly the fundamental laws of physics had no jurisdiction on Oscars can. For me that can was the most magical thing on Sesame Street. The fact that they never even made an attempt to show what Oscars life was like inside the can just made it that much more compelling. It was brilliant. Several decades later I bought trash cans just like that for my house. I bought one for my studio. I even painted a set black and used them as planters in my back yard. I used to draw them all the time. My first piece along the train line in Chicago was flanked by two trash can characters. All traced back to that can on Sesame Street. I've never thought of trash the same since.


4 comments:

Brooks Golden said...

awesome, i first spotted this on flickr, cuz frankly im there daily...
i really wondered if this was for the blog...

this is such a great throwback for me, making me think about bomb the suburbs and its impact on me...

...in particular, this is, as always, beautifully rendered and the little dark space creates alot of anticipation...the 3 lines let you know theres a grumbling happening just below the surface...excellent!

happy turkey day to you and the fam...

Lucky♦Johan said...

There is definitely something magical about that can. There is an entire universe or dimension inside of that thing.

Nicky Dieter said...

While a grouch, the man lived in reality and worked within his means. Beautiful job bud!

Jeremy said...

great write up lewellen. I always had the same visions of oscar's huge lair inside the can. After doing a little googling I found this. Not what I was expecting at all but it fits. Sort of looks like my room as a kid.

Anyway, thanks for the detail shot, it was interesting to see how you cut everything with the white acrylic, makes everything so crisp. Keep up the good work dude.