Artwork You Don't
Want Your Kids Doing For 'Show And Tell'
by Roger Freed
Being an 'artiste'
is not an easy thing. At a book store I saw
salmon print art that someone made by inking the
side of a fish and pressing it to paper. I
thought to myself "Hey, I can do better than
that!" I went out and got the necessary
paper and utensils to set up shop myself. Of
course, things always seem easier than they
actually are. Starting out using a moose was
perhaps the smartest idea. For one thing, nobody
sold paper big enough for it. Using a moose that
was already dead would probably have been wiser
Probably. Live ones, I soon found out, don't like
being tipped over. They wiggle around a lot which
tends to mess up the artistry of what one is
trying to achieve. I'm sure the originator of the
salmon prints used dead fish to get that fineness
of execution they had and not the blurred
sensation that I got from dealing with a writhing,
increasingly hostile live subject.
Using a live
moose as an instrument of artistic creation also
brought in extra, unforeseen costs. To have
broken ribs and bones set is expensive in our
modern society, not to mention exquisitely
painful. Difficulties were also presented for the
paramedics who arrived and were not used to first
having to remove a tipped-over moose from the
person they are needing to treat. This is not to
mention the cost of a tow truck and lift
operators who were unfamiliar with the dynamics
of lifting up a 1,200 pound squirming mass of
future roast meat.
brilliant attempt at this form of artistic
creation went somewhat better. Using a much
smaller animal made a big difference. There might
have been a better choice available than a
wolverine though. Again, it might have been wiser
to use one that was already dead. Wolverines are
much smaller, but not necessarily easier to
handle. I now see why people never have these
things as pets. You'd never get a collar on one.
In fact, you'd probably never use that hand again
that you used to try to put the collar on with.
did turn out very interesting. The combination of
the texture of the wolverines fur and my blood
splatters made for a unique contrast. (A note to
my landlady in case she is reading this- I did
clean it all up) The prints became an arresting
conversation piece. At first it was just a
conversation piece to the police arresting me and
to the neighbors who had heard the screaming and
called them. It then became a great matter of
discussion for the local mental health
authorities. Even the local chapter of the
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to
Animals had something to say about it, most of
which I transfered over to my lawyers.
As for future
projects, I have found road kill a much safer
medium with which to work. It offers a vast array
of different but most importantly dead material
with which to work. Unfortunately the subject is
often radically disproportionate to it's natural
state, but I just label it 'natural abstraction'.
Again, moose, even when dead, are still difficult
to deal with.
exhibition- 'Bears With Tread Marks' will open