April 03, 2013


Gallery 1988 is currently featuring their third comedy-based art show, "Is This Thing On #2 Too." This year's event features a Saturday Night Live theme (which was kept secret until opening night.)

My piece retells a moment from my childhood living room. That's me behind the couch where my dad relaxes amid the deepest hours of the weekend. Naturally, SNL's content compounded with its you-better-be-in-bed time slot made it unequivocally forbidden, which necessitated tactics like the one seen above.

This moment marked my introduction to the world of late night sketch comedy, and Mr. Bill was my unfortunate, clay usher. Just the sight of the cartoon-ish character was enough to demand my attention, but the brutal nature of his segments intrigued me. Though I was well versed in comic violence, Mr. Bill's existence seemed hellish compared to say, Tom and Jerry's because he was utterly defenseless in the face of his tormentor, Sluggo. But most disturbing was the giant godlike hands which offered no protection, rather they sided with his enemy to further torture him.

My art is typically a pop-cultural tribute, and meant to get a smile (this piece included), but covering something with personal meaning this time felt surprisingly good. It's especially dear to me because my son modeled as young me, so in an odd way I get to see him with his grandpa, whom he never got to meet.

All of the show's artwork is available for viewing and purchasing here (although, my piece has already sold, woo hoo!)


Jody B. said...

I Love it!! I guess I was lucky(?) My Mom used to let me stay up and watch SNL. A lot of it went over my head, but Mr. Bill was always a favorite segment. I also love the interior decorating. Dark wood paneling...shag carpet...etc. Very familiar!

Kirk D. said...

Thanks Jody! You were indeed fortunate. I think I was probably 11 or 12 before I was able to "legally" watch it. By junior high it was a highlight of my week.

Ah, yes, the golden-brown 70s. Ours remained throughout the 80s even after my grandma had moved on to pastels.

leftylimbo said...

Man, what a perfect piece. You captured the '70s in all its glory, from the golden-brown hues to that shag carpet and the "soft but itchy couch" …and nobody can forget those big ol' heavier-than-hell wooden console TVs (we kept ours all the way through the '80s).

It also captures a tale that I'm sure so many of us '70s kids can relate to (especially myself). It was always at 11PM when all the best programming came on…and if I was lucky my parents would let me stay up and watch it. For me the late-night treats were The Benny Hill Show and Rod Serling's Night Gallery, whose creepy orchestrated intro sequence was usually enough to send me scurrying off like a scaredy-cat.

Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!

Kirk D. said...

Thanks Lefty!

My living room was so 70s it looks like an overzealous art director for a film was trying to "make it look 70s!"

Yes a couple episodes of Night Gallery was all I needed to stay away from it at all costs (though I grew to appreciate/not fear it.)
My fond night TV memories are of Star Trek reruns and Doctor Who on PBS.

Brad Facts said...

That captures it perfectly. Right down the to grain and color of the carpet. All these emotions come rushing back! Awesome work.

Kirk D. said...

Thanks Brad!