Nov 12, 2004

The artist as a brightly-painted target

I spent Hallo'een wandering around several small residential areas dressed quite snappily as a zombie, recently hung and escaped. What did I receive? Derisive snorts, off-colour comments intended to bolster tiny egos, and children all too willing to tug on the very real hemp noose I wore as decoration, children who came all too close to having a zombie come alive into very real nightmare mode to strangle them for their insolence.

I have been guilty of dressing in a giant fish suit and lurking around the X__ X______ Aquarium of the Americas, hidng in the shrubbery alongside the parking lot until the last of the staff leaves, so I can walk back and forth in front of the locked doors, flapping my fins and squishily shaking door handles.

I have often worn The Mad Hatter outfit; beautiful grey top hat, purple suit coat with red pinstripes, grey herringbone pattern slacks, a slate blue weskit and bright yellow shirt, and more often than not received blank stares, or people who went one step further and furtively cut their eyes away, afraid to meet the madman's bemused gaze.

I have slathered oil pigments onto canvas stretched tight over boards, picturing the obscene, the tortured, the pieces and bits of my dreams that I have been able to rake out of my sleeping mind, only to have people ask if I could paint something that would match their couches...

I have driven boldly across secured airport tarmacs with warm pizza, have leapt headlong into piles of packing styrofoam, have shouted inanities at the top of my lungs in inappropriate places and times, have performed one-man flash mob behaviour in Malls, have let my imagination live as surreal as it possibly could, daring to push further and further into the depths of my mind, and still the coin I am paid in is silence, averted eyes, embarrased coughs, and only very occasionally, all too rarely,

a smile.
quiet applause.
from someone afraid to cross the slashdotted line of accepted behaviour.

I need an audience.

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