I just had a conversation with Phillip Graffham from Van Eaton Galleries and he told me someone had written an article about me. For about 5 minutes, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up – perhaps it could be an article on how my work sets animation back 100 years?
Creating a piece for the Van Eaton Galleries
Last month, I was invited to participate in a group art show at the Van Eaton Galleries called When Good Toons Go Bad: Villains of Animation. 100 artists were asked to create one piece each of an animation villain with no limits. I found that theme a challenge, as it opened the door for me to create anything, but at the same time it made it difficult to pick one character.
There’s an animated film that I loved as a child and thought it might be great subject matter. It’s an obscure film from 1962 called Gay Purr-ee that includes the voices of Judy Garland, Robert Goulet and the legendary voice actor Paul Frees. With the concept in mind, I set out to compose something a little off the beaten path that I hoped no one else in the show would do. With only stills from the movie and a few YouTube clips for reference, I put together a composition that I hoped captured the spirit of the film but also had a little bit of my personality too. The final result: Meowrice Makes His Move on Mewsette.
Flash Forward to the group art show
The night of the group art show, I had to attend a stage production of Into The Woods at Pepperdine University. Unfortunately, that meant I had to go to the show before it started to see the other works and miss the reception. This set the stage for the blog entry from Kristine Bustamante, the author and owner of the blog who works on Family Guy over at Fox. She created a couple of very cool paintings for the show featuring characters from Cats Don’t Dance. If you want to read the article she wrote about me, my piece and the opening reception, be sure to check out her blog entry.
The animated film Gay Purr-ee is a gem from UPA which, I understand, got Chuck Jones fired from Warner Bros. Ironically, Warner Bros. ended up distributing the film in it’s original release in 1962.