November 04, 2008


(do yourself a favor and click to enlarge.)

First, I'll give you a moment to silently marvel.


You've just experienced a one-of-a-kind work of art which was made up of carefully arranged oil paint on a single canvas. This visual feast was generously imparted to me by dearest Anthony, presumably because I recently revealed that it was the inspiration behind my series of cult film-inspired family portraits.
Painted by the mysterious "Kevin Henry," the piece left the clutches of its original linage by way of an estate sale, then it passed through a yard sale where my wife noticed it and Anthony acquired it.

Here's how this painting works: first, the horn rimmed glasses and large knotted tie invite you in, perhaps even coaxing a chuckle before your eyes meet the uncomfortable gaze of the red headed fellow– a man who's only suitable descriptor is "dapper." Once your eyes meet, his half-smirk turns cold and his face begins to radiate disappointment and a sense of uneasiness. Suddenly you notice that he's waxy, flat, and lacking the definition demonstrated in the other subjects, and his presence takes on a ghostly quality.

My theory? Dapper man is the artist. He was unable to offer as much attention to himself just as his father (theoretically on the right) neglected him all of his life. His dad is obviously a stern man; scrutiny pours from his sneer, and confidence from his pin stripe mustache (or maybe that's just a shadow). Who could live up to his standards with his rigid chin and conquered hair?

Ok, maybe you disagree. Maybe the inconsistency is simply because the image was cobbled together from two or three different photo references. Boooring.
Well if you've got it all so figured out then I've got a whole list of questions for you.... How, specifically, are they all related? Who is Kevin Henry? Why are the outer two wearing black while the middle two seem color coordinated? What is that lapel pin? Is the older lady's eye actually disfigured?

Thanks Anthony, for the many mysteries.


Jody B said...

Sweeet!! This will be my new wallpaper on my work computer! I'm telling people they are my relatives.

Anthony said...

i think that the older couple, obviously his parents, are taken from a single photograph, because the quality those two are fairly similar. however, i think the mother received more detail due to some sort of oedipus complex.

then, his sister on the far left, receives less detail because he and her were separated my too many years and miles, and never kept in touch. so all he had to paint her by was an old photograph.

wagner israel cilio iii said...

this is a very good blog. i have heard many things about you at work. you seem interesting and i would like to see your book. goodbye.

gilligan said...

I see a sort of Fargo dynamic going on here with the younger man in the William H. Macey role who walks on eggshells all the time but is ready to crack at any given moment. His expression, ever so close to full blown insanity, was something far too troubling to render in serious detail.

Kirk D. said...

jody- haha, awesome.

anthony- I like it, and that you agree with my theory that he's the artist. I suppose sister makes more sense than lover.

wagner- hey, thanks! seems our social circles overlap so I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult to see the book.

gilligan- ha! That's very good; less detail as a way of concealing the monster within. Quite possible!

Brian D. Horrorwitz said...

I never realized Michael Caine had such an attractive family.

occi said...

They are obviously not related, the younger man is the long suffering husband with a mother in law from hell!