Tug ‘O War

by jbyron

First, let me say to my faithful handful of readers… my apologies. It’s been a crazy long time since i’ve posted anything. I have 3 excuses for this. Two are crap. The other is pretty good. The first crap one is that i sort of got burned out after that museum show i did. I know, it’s art, not ditch-digging. Not an outlet i should tire of. But i’m not complaining… it happens. The second crap excuse is my 9 to 5 gig has been stupid busy lately. I rarely feel like making art when i get off work… I’d rather nap – which doesn’t happen – and there’s the segue to the third and final excuse. – the less crappy one – between the last post and this one… i done gone and had me a nipper. That was hayseed for, “I welcomed the birth of my second son.” His name is Trouper. He’s awesome. They tend to be awesome before they learn to talk back. Not that i don’t appreciate sarcasm or the skill it takes to be a genuine smartass… like Fletch for example. My first born, he’s a smartass. Not so much like Fletch, more like David Spade. Im getting ridiculously off track; probably the 4 hours sleep i’m on. I do need to mention that the new kid has the unmistakably rugged good-looks of his Dad. My other one, “firstborn” as he’ll now be called, looks just like the wife. God has restored the balance to the universe. Let’s move on.

So a few months ago I posted this about a guy, Mr. Duncan, who had one of my designs permanently etched into his skin. Very flattering that. Alas, tattoo tributes are not exactly profitable. However, Mr. Duncan had other plans – namely to commission a piece based on the Tug’OWar Design. Up to this point, it had only seen light of day in my book and in the background of a digital illustration i did some years back. So I gladly accepted.

Been working on metal every now and then over the last few years. Steel actually, that i adhere to wood with strong-ass gorilla glue before outfitting with hanging wire. Hard to shoot these pieces due to their reflective properties. This piece for instance – those yellow dots nearly disappear at some angles while they float off the surface at others. Speaking of those dots, an afterthought i admit… well i don’t know… my process isn’t all that well thought out… most of my methods would probably fall into the afterthought category… anyhoo, i dig the dots – ’twas  a bit risky considering the stencil did not survive and therefore i couldn’t have redone it had the dots failed to impress. That was a crazy run-on sentence.

Here’s another shot.

So luckily – i mean, naturally – Mr. Duncan liked the piece. But before he gets it, I have it on display at the Schepis Museum in Columbia, LA. I have another admission, i’m a little worried about that Schepis show. Columbia is not the biggest town nor is it exactly known for it’s appreciation of aerosol art. Hopefully there will be a mad turnout. I don’t know. If you’re reading this, show up. The opening/reception is on Thursday, the 24th of this month. I’m giving a little talk at 5:30. If you’re reading this and you’re related to me, you’re pretty much obligated to show up. That’s just physics or something.

Anyway, Thanks to Mr. Duncan for allowing me to put it in the show before it graces his own wall. Here’s another shot.

Some of you may wonder if there’s an anti-war message to this piece. The answer is an atypical “yes.” I know, i’m usually all cryptic or unsure. Thing is, i’m not personally opposed to war; I understand the idea of power and the battle against oppression, all that – still… we live in an age where geography seems to dictate morality for the shot-callers. And from my limited viewpoint, seems that death and destruction always follow war – i can’t see how anyone could be pro-death. I dont know, my firstborn might be – he loves to watch car crashes on youtube. I’m always yelling at the boy “inappropriate!” Ah, kids.

The piece is 12 X 24 if you’re wondering. I’ll be facebooking the Schepis show like crazy next week. Hopefully some of the Art Crawl regulars will come out. Until then…