For the newest addition to my art hunt project, I thought it might be good to do a series. My dear friend and inspiration for this project, PonderMonster is doing a rainbow one, and how cool is THAT?
If you have read any of my recent posts, you know one of my biggest artistic/life inspirations has been Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. Now I am a rabidly loyal Neil supporter and will love, or at least read, everything he does as a matter of principle, but this particular work stands out as massively, pinpointedly life-changing.
I wonder if Neil gets tired of people ranting about Sandman.
I hope not.
The series is a perfect storm of myth-blending, world-creating, vibrant characters and just a really compelling story. I discovered it through the first boy who ever really broke my heart. I wouldn’t even say he was my first boyfriend, because we only “dated” for a month or two, over the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school, but he was for sure my first heartbreak. He was an older man (a sophomore!); tall, dark and handsome, with flowing locks and long purple fingernails. Did I mention I was a bit of a gothy teenager?
And this is AFTER I grew out the black hair. Pity.
We had a short and fairly awkward teenage love affair, followed by several years of flirtatious friendship, heartache, general teen angst, and, strangely, actual love and loyalty. I still consider him a dear friend. He swept me off my combat boots and broke my black, tender little heart, but we did have some grand fun.
I know. Total dreamboat. What was a girl to do?
He introduced me to Twin Peaks, Ben and Jerry’s Cool Brittania (eaten by the pint, always keeping the top smooth and flat), Sisters of Mercy, and, of course, Sandman. I would spend hours reading them voraciously in his cave-like basement room, hiding from the sunlight (hissssss!) while he made mixtapes– it was a short but golden era.I was a mope-tastic gothy teen, awash in synthy bass-beats and my own gloomy importance, lost in the twilight netherworld of my adolescence, and this, THIS was my goddamn bible.
All of this is to say that Sandman has deep personal resonance for me, that goes far beyond the actual work itself and plugs into a very specific time and place in my evolutionary continuum, and as such continues to form the base for a lot of inspiration and creative drive.
Clearly I must do a Sandman series of little art pieces. It is only right. You like how it took me this long to get to the point? You’ve been very patient; here’s some pictures.
Sketchy-pencil times. I decided to stick with the theme of the speech bubbles, so it seemed right to have my Endless with their sigils. Dream would like his hat back, please.
I think there’s a hint of Le Petit Prince about him.
It seemed only appropriate to leave these around comic book stores, plus I was hoping that would up the chances of them being found by people who would get it/know the character/appreciate it. I guess I can’t expect EVERYONE to know the reference of a comic series from the early 90’s.
I dropped the first one in Berkeley at Fantastic Comics, hiding in the window ledge.
This one was the fastest turnaround yet– Suzageddon nabbed it in about 5 minutes. Awesome.
The next two I took on an outing to the city. I went on a Wednesday, which seemed appropriate as it’s new comic day. It’s also when I had time. Art vigilantes lead strangely-scheduled lives.
I ventured to one of my favorite SF shops, Isotope Comic Book Lounge, and enlisted the help of this dapper gentleman:
If you haven’t met James Sime yet, you should. He agreed to help me in my schemes and I left the painting inside the front window with James as Gatekeeper.
It was found later that evening by Gamoid–well done, sir.
The last one has apparently disappeared into the ethers, as little left paintings are apparently wont to do. This round was 2 for 3 though, so that’s a step in the right direction. I may have made a bad decision in my hiding spot, but I couldn’t resist.
City Lights Books is just so wonderful and I get swept up into a creative-romantic flurry every time I go in. I also was experimenting with leaving them inside, thinking that might make it easier for them to be found by the right people (book-loving beatniks vs. meth-head street-wanderers). It occurred to me later though that perhaps this was not wise, as people might think it was merchandise, or even if they didn’t, who’s going to want to slip something into their bag in a store? On the other hand, it’s a store that sells radical zines and Steal This Book, so come on now. Perhaps I should have asked permission of the shopkeepers, but that hardly seems very art-vigilante, plus I get nervous making a damn phone call, so can you imagine the anxiety of that conversation?
“Hi, can I leave a painting here”
“We don’t buy art”
“No I just want to leave it to give away”
“We’re not a gallery, dude.”
“No no I don’t want to SELL, it, I just want to hide it for someone to find.”
“What? Go away.”
Yeahhhh… that seemed too risky to my poor anxious soul, so I just left the thing. It seemed so cozy, hanging out by Patti Smith and Allie Brosh. Plus, I left it right by Neil’s Make Good Art. How’s that for an easter egg, people?
Apparently not very good, since I never heard from it again, but I like to think it found a good home. Or maybe Jack Kerouac’s ghost took it.
That’s it for this installment of art-hiding theater. Good night, and good luck.