From April 2016

purple/ashes

Purple was never a favorite color of mine, but it’s funny how that can change abruptly.

bowie ashes

The news hit me hard: Bowie’s passing was devastating, but my response was more predictable, given what an avid fan I’d been at times (image below, from a Bowie party not long after). Coming as it did during Mardi Gras season, the K and I found ample excuse to celebrate his passing with extravagant abandon.

bowiewoff

Prince’s passing, however, hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m still recovering. This really surprised me, since I’d always considered myself a casual fan at best. I suppose I took for granted how tremendous his presence and influence on my youth was.

prince forum

The deluge of video and audio material that was unleashed on the internet in the aftermath of his departure also deeply impressed upon me the enormity of this loss.

There have been numerous events in SF to honor him, all of which have been amazing, cathartic ways to dance out the grief. (Image below, en route to a Prince tribute dance party the day after his passing.)

purple tear

At this point, weeks/months in, I’m less able to articulate the feeling clearly, but I’m definitely already developing a new project that is about grief and music,  partly inspired by the strange experience of losing 2 these two iconic influences early this year.

Here’s to both of them, having finally been called back to the mother ship, to their own galaxy, because clearly, our planet is no longer inhabitable. I thank them, deeply, for their time among us on our messy little planet.

galactic purple

Avant Garden Nomes

Woffles & Herb were invited to emcee the Silent Auction portion of SoEx’s annual art auction fundraiser again. The last time we did so in 2014, the party’s theme was “Smoke and Mirrors,” so we came as, well, smoke and mirrors.

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(pic: courtney fink)

This year, the theme was “Avant Garden.” We interpreted this as a sort of Klaus-Nomi-meets-Gardening-Paraphernalia ensemble.

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(pic: david  lawrence)

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(pic: mike arcega)

Herb found a fantastic watering can on Amazon that he cut out the base of and fashioned into a headpiece over a padded balaclava. I engineered the Nomi costumes out of cardboard, vinyl and black duct tape, then added my usual default assortment of fake flowers and foliage.

Here’s a little of our muse, the wonderful Klaus Nomi, as a refresher (or a primer) for you all:

Interestingly, Nomi’s signature costume from those early 80s years was directly inspired by David Bowie’s iconic tuxedo worn on SNL in 1979 (when Nomi and Joey Arias sang back up for Bowie). David’s costume design, in turn, was itself directly influenced by the Dadaist costumes of Sonia Delaunay, worn by Tristan Tzara and Hugo Ball.

bowie snl tux
dada tux delaunay

The irony is that when we’d first started researching costume ideas for Avant Garden, we’d wanted to go with something Dada or Bauhaus inspired, but couldn’t figure out how to streamline (and budget) those ideas for a one-night event. Leave it to Bowie and Nomi to lead us there eventually, anyway.

Mouthguard of Destiny

It’s a semi-secret that I’ve finally become something of a Bay Area sports fan in recent years. (Well, Giants and Warriors, anyway.) It’s led me to some accidentally fun art projects, like the Bumgarner and Curry editioned prints that SFMOMA Artists Gallery has been stocking for the last couple of years. People love sports art. Who knew?

Anyway, I’ve gotten totally sucked into this season of Warriors basketball in particular, having finally gotten to even attend a home game (courtside!!!!) and to understand, on a gut level, what whips people into such a frenzy about this stuff. When the guy below is a few feet away from you, it does sort of change your perspective.

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Being that close to Steph’s mouthguard in particular was also quite compelling. I could practically smell it.

Since then, and since I basically think like both an artist and a comedian, I’ve been working on a series of illustrations of Curry’s singular obsession with 3 pointers chewing on his mouthguard, and letting it dangle off the side of his face. It’s really more a talismanic object than an actual oral protection device. Hence, on the occasion of the Warriors’ historic 73rd victory last night, I give you STEPH CURRY AND THE MOUTHGUARD OF DESTINY.

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