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Sunday, September 9, 2012

After a six month hiatus, I'm back at work on A is for Aye Aye.

For those of you who are new to the project... A is for Aye Aye: An Abecedarian Adventure is a celebration of the New York Public Library's amazing Picture Collectiona repository for over one million images collected for over 90 years. The images are arranged alphabetically in Categories ranging from A & P Food Stores  to Zoological Gardens, pasted on large pieces of cardstock and labeled by hand. You can check out these images (60 each week!) in beautiful little green portfolios and take them home to scan or just stare at. 

In this short film, a young girl wanders into the collection and encounters the image of an Aye-Aye, a lemur from Madagascar which you can see an image of below.  The Aye-Aye leads the girl  through a series of alphabetical worlds created from images in the collection, and then finds herself outside in the real world being followed down Fifth Avenue by the Aye-Aye and a few of her other new-found friends from the Picture Collection.

The Aye-Aye looks like this:
The Aye-Aye, From ANIMALS: A-L

You can read more about my process by going back to the blog's beginning, but I just wanted to create a visual summary of the work I've done so far.

My very first sketch for a world drawn from the letter D, which I hope to elaborate on is here :
D is for Desert and Dirigible
The letter E has proved (not surprisingly) to be Elusive, but the letter F looks like this:
F is for Forest and Fortune-telling
The Letter G:
G is for Gauchos, Giants, and Gibraltar
The Letter H:
H is for Hypnotism, Hair, and Hawaii
The Letter I:
I is for Ivory, Incense & Ice
The Letter J:
J is for Justice, Junks, and Juggling
The Letter K:
K is for Knights Knitting in Krygystan
The Letter L:
L is for Lapps, Lunchboxes, Labyrinths and Lighthouses
The Letter M:
M is for Magic Carpets, Masks, Mermaids, and the Maya on May Day
The Letter N:
N is for Newsstands, Nurses and Nigeria in Niagara Falls
The Letter Z:
Z is for (Great) Zimbabwe and the Zodiac at the Zoological Gardens
So, eleven worlds from eleven letters have been sketched so far, and I plan to move on to complete the project in plenty of time for the collection's 100th birthday in 2015.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

G is for Gauchos in the Garden of Forking Paths

Starting with a few images from my Picture Collection research for the letter G, including:
The Queen at the Rock of Gibraltar

An Athanasius Kircher Giant

I put them together adding some grass, creating a miniature Matto Grosso in the foreground replacing Queen Elizabeth...
That grass reminded me of Gauchos, and of Borges' "Garden of Forking Paths".  You can get a brief sense of his text from my own sampled cut-up version (another miniature):

    I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars.

    A labyrinth of symbols... An invisible labyrinth of time.

    Ts'ui Pen must have said once: I am withdrawing to write a book. And another time: I am withdrawing to construct a labyrinth. Every one imagined two works; to no one did it occur that the book and the maze were one and the same thing.

    In the work of Ts'ui PĂȘn, all possible outcomes occur; each one is the point of departure for other forkings. Sometimes, the paths of this labyrinth converge: for example, you arrive at this house, but in one of the possible pasts you are my enemy, in another, my friend.

    I leave to the various futures (not to all) my garden of forking paths.

And so,  in my Garden,  a fractured chorus line of 1940s gauchos joined the last renaissance man's seventeenth century giant to frolic on the grass in the shadow of Gibraltar...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Satisfy Me, Baby

After a long period of radio silence while I was working on other projects, I'm back here blogging.

As the old song says, I'd like
A little less conversation, a little more action please
All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me
A little more bite and a little less bark
A little less fight and a little more spark
Close your mouth and open up your heart and baby satisfy me
Satisfy me baby

So, in the interest of more action and satisfactioning for me, I've made a couple new sketches.

One for the letter I (follow link and scroll down to see the materials I pulled the collage elements from):

And another for the letter K, "Knights tend their knitting in Krygystan":