This contented cutie, Sidewalk Face 1000, is my second print offering. Click here for purchase information.
I walk by them almost every day, nod and say hello. It’s nice to see friends. I’ve photographed them several times. However, after a rare morning rain, the evaporating water made their halo more pronounced and it was time to do another portrait! I knew right away this one was special, such joie de vivre*!
They are a personal favorite, radiating kind-heartedness and embodying what I value most in my art:
The classic medium of my genre!
I like noticing things and examining closely so I turned that into an art practice. That’s how I entertain myself on endless dog walks, traversing the same streets year after year, I look for what is unusual or has changed. It’s my modern urban way of scratching the ancient hunter-gatherer itch. I got excited by the rusted metal pipe remains of his nose. It’s the small things that make my day.
My personal goal is to do the least to get the most. I try to make them feel as if they emerged on their own from what was naturally there. Sometimes my contribution is artificial and obvious, it’s more important to make a good expression than be austere but it’s part of my ethos to not overwork the image. This one is very minimal and that makes me happy.
Wanting a little more detail than the curved sticks were providing, I added additional eye features with spit. That’s availablism**. Use what you have.
As you all know I post as many miserable faces as happy ones. I am always pushing to find greater emotional nuance in cement, sticks, stains and detritus. I am looking for something I recognize, a feeling I have felt. Sometimes a face is compositionally good but has no emotional authenticity. I don’t like that. I have to feel it.
*French for joy of living.
**Term coined by the ever awesome Kembra Pfahler of The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black.