Over the past 3 years that I’ve been making faces in my neighborhood, I’ve learned a lot of very specific stuff. I learn it the same way wild animals learn stuff, I just walk around a lot and notice everything. So here’s a thing I’ve learned, the grossest things are in the the alley. Furthermore, the alley just south of Melrose is considerably grosser than the one just north of Beverly. Aren’t you glad you know that?
Most likely if you were to utilize this piece of intel, you would use it avoid them. What are they good for anyway? For me, needing to find and harvest all my art supplies, they are treasure troves. So much crap deposited densely in all directions. They are also wide and not well traveled. It’s nice to have some space.
Somebody recently hauled their refrigerator here and left it. It can’t have been easy to move, was its former residence the room behind that barred up window?
It’s nasty for sure buy not spectacularly so. Both the dogs and I had to check it out.
There is a not inconsiderable amount of gunk at the bottom. What’s it from? We can speculate but luckily we can’t know. I know you were wondering, is it still sticky and pliable or calcified into a permanent crust. It’s sticky. Time to grab a makeshift drawing implement (rusted nail, paper clip, bobby pin, thin but dense stick). Let’s do this!
Looks like we also need some white stuff and some eyeball definers. No prob. Here are two thin seed pods and a funky leaf. Good to go captain.
As much as possible I like to work with what is already happening such as that adorable left cheek and inquisitive mouth. It’s easy to know where to start. There is always something more something than something else.
I have learned that I can make art anywhere and I don’t have to know a thing about it before I start. It’s always a surprise. In a world that often makes me worry and fret, I like a nice surprise. Especially ones that upend my preconceived notions. Gunk is not just the result of past mistakes, it also has a future.
See Mr. Gunk Face in motion below. The dogs really dig the alley.