Friday, August 17, 2007

Cheerleader With Banana

There has been considerable bitching and moaning amongst those who read these pages regularly about the recent lack of posting.

Fair enough. I've been having computer problems like nobody's business. These, I hope, will soon be solved. But it's bigger than that. For me, at least, painting is a lot like surfing. If there are no waves, it's hard to ride. Therefore the good news: the tide is rising and the swells are starting to plump up. Rideable waves will soon rise from the ocean floor and hurtle themselves toward the shore.

I, atop my board (Vintage Hobie longboard--I'm too old for all the acrobatic stuff), will attempt to shoot their curls; grab a rail; lay the flat of my palm against the gleaming green flank of the thing as it tries to engulf me.

All of which is to say that the "Cheerleader With Banana" project is taking on real life.
Proof you ask? What--my word isn't enough?

Okay--how about these two snappy items:

Vintage cheerleader sweaters, obtained for a surprisingly reasonable sum on eBay. By next week, there may be images. A couple of weeks from now, there may be paintings (note the use of the plural there) But first I have to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels.

Being functionally unemployed, it's safe to say that I have to watch my expenditures responsibly. Which is different, by the way, from actually behaving in a financially responsible way. I'm just talking about the watching.

Anyway, it should be noted that the bottle of Black Jack will probably be the most expensive prop for the whole set of shoots.
Why the bourbon?
Why the bourbon, you ask? Because although the series continues to be called Cheerleader With Banana, there is a fair possibility that most, if not all, of the shots will NOT include a banana. Or any other fruit.

But bourbon? Yes, the bourbon will be inescapable. Ubiquitous.

My vision runs roughly thusly: Cheerleader is depicted as she lies on the floor, presumably intoxicated, arms and legs akimbo, cradling her bottle of Jack Daniels. The title of the painting will be printed around the edge of the image in my usual irridescent gold, reading:
Cheerleader With Banana I (I don't care! I'd rather sink than call Brad for help!)
This we call "Giving Lichtenstein The Cheese!"

The assumption is this: Just the way Roy Lichtenstein (who painted the above--one of his most famous images) co-opted iconic images from the comic books and transformed them into something else (Pop Art, most specifically), I will be co-opting the image of the innocent ... or not so innocent ... cheerleader, adding a bottle of hootch, and transforming them into something else. (Something to pay the rent with, most specifically).

Loss of innocence is the theme, I suppose. Certainly one of them. I wonder if they still make Rebel Yell (the bourbon of choice for me and my associates when we were in high school)

Talking about this project to somebody else last week, I called their attention to my series of Catholic female saints. The purpose of those paintings was to explore the fine line between sexual and spiritual ecstasy. And likewise, I had thought that the purpose of Cheerleaders With Bananas would be to explore the line between innocence and sexuality.

But the liquor changes everthing. Makes it bigger.

You do the math. The mind reels!


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