Thursday, March 25, 2010

psychedelic things i liked when i was a kid, vol. 1

while at the annual minnetrista art show (amelia had 3 got an award of merit) in my favorite decrepit-manufacturing-town-turned-struggling-state-college-based-municipality (reasons enough for a multi-hour road trip here and here), i got embroiled into a conversation for trading artwork (amelia's that is..not my chicken-scratches) for artwork of former professors, both of whom work in printmaking.

this isn't one of the pieces, but similar in flavor. the repeating, but off-centered border is equally repetitive and off-centered...the visual equivalent of kraut or drone, in a way. i really dig on the simple motifs of the fish, swimming simply in different shapes, as well as the spherical patterns inside the peacock's feathers. kinda feel like you could get lost in their 'groove'.

anyways! drinking some cafe bustelo one day at work, along with posting my history with vinyl at musicalfamilytree, got me wondering, "did i just end up appreciating this strand of music/art on my own? or was i predisposed to this even as a child?" a couple of examples have made me think that i was born with an off-center brain:

bullfrogs & butterflies was an old gaither family effort for kids. until this past Christmas, i hadn't listened to the record in at least 20 years. i thought i wouldn't recognize any of the music, but like the cover image, it had seeped into my brain, imparting a sense of familiarity. the art, though, is what really stuck---some strange amalagamation of hillbillies and fey psychedelia, all prancing around on Witness-lush green backdrops. i mean, who wouldn't want to journey to a land so saturated in color?

Barbapapa was the title character and series name of a french children's book series / animated show. we only had one that i remember, as pictured above. Barbapapa's can take any shape they choose, and live in a sort of Eden, complete with (mostly) nude children. in the book, barbapapa saves animals and people from industrial waste & pollution...via a series of brightly colored pictures of the barbapapa's taking all kinds of forms, and the sludgy-waste rendering the rest of the world dyed in grays, reds, and purples. considering my parents were pretty (standard, in indiana) conservative----strange that we would have this book and read it often. but, they were pretty much one-issue/hot-button voters, and other than that, fairly apolitical. they let me read about anything i wanted (i remember wandering the adult section in 2nd or 3rd grade and getting told where "books for your age" were by a condescending library employee), and i did! so i should thank them for that.

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