Sweaty Cartoons – A Cautionary Tale


Tonight’s image is another example of a Chaos Portrait, a series of images born from two drunk idiots passing pen and paper around saloon tables, insisting that neighboring tables of inebriated foolhardy revelers pick up the pen and scrawl-out some lines on paper. I think some of the best art comes from a complete lack of agenda. Spontaneous fits of expression can be remarkably profound, and my associate Mr. Trent Ducati and I put this to the test. We accosted drunk revelers with blank pages and sharpened pencils and asked them to draw. We then took those drawings home and re-interpreted them into this body of work. A lot of interesting shit started to happen.

Chaos portraits. The most dishonest expression of honest emotion any human is likely to see.

Tonight’s image? It was made in my living-room with Mr. Ducati. He had sixty seconds to capture my countenance in charcoal and newsprint paper. We then spent about ten minutes circling the floor, hardening lines and spitting on our thumbs to try and erase lines. We hammered at the canvas, together, until a single, unified visage was lifted from the flakes of chipped charcoal and the agony of lost time. I scanned the image into my computer and added color, chiseling away some lines and accentuating others. The ‘Chaos Portrait’ project became more of an editor’s project.

We took the initial drawing and treated it like a clay sculpture, adding and subtracting information until the final image made sense. I couldn’t even really tell you how this image first started, but it became an emblem, a mascot, of the desperate drunk fools that we encountered every night down at Danny’s Lounge, The Depot, and Shooters – all Tucson watering holes replete with revelers both pathetic, confident, old, young, achieved, and despairing.

We named this mascot ‘Gary.’ Gary is a lonely creature looking for love – or pussy. It’s hard to tell. But he’s based on an image of me, so I guess I’m compelled to be a little protective. He’s a sad, lonely wolf. He doesn’t know how to talk to people. He isn’t a dullard, but doesn’t know how to fly the flag of his brilliance. He is wasted, paranoid, and sad.

Raise a glass. To Gary!

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