At a well attended college party around time of Halloween. I was checking out the low-lit scene; i hardly knew anyone.
I was walking past a guy in the middle and two scandalously dressed girls on either side. One girl put a glow stick in between her cleavage. The other girl replied by leaning right into that girl’s big boobs and proudly taking out the glow stick with her mouth.
As i approached I asked, “What game are you playing?”
They said “what!?” So i repeated louder.
The guy looked blankly at me, and both girls exchanged a look at each other with a hint of perplexity and turned to me.
Then the girl that dug the glow-stick from her friend’s boobs replied with a touch of vitality, “It’s not a game.”
A: OH MY GODDD! look what’s going on in Japan!!
B: What’s going on in Japan?
A: Dude where have you been for the past 12 hours!?
I was in grade school and was celebrating my birthday with my Russian-accent-family and the few new friends i invited over to our house. It was time to bring out the birthday cake. AS it was beign brought out everyone started singing the birthday song. The cake was set on the table by me with all the candles burning. As they were singing i decided to do something funny and original. It occured to me that the action of blowing out the candles seemed a lot like sneezing, so i decided to fake a sneez and blow out the candles as if i was sneezing. I got really excited cause everyone was going to find it hilarious and dramatic that i “sneezed” on the cake and blew out the candles that way. Everyone would laugh and i would feel really cool. As the birthday song finished i prepared. then i wound up and catapulted my upper body forward and downwards toward the cake as if it was a big sneeze, and made an “AAHHHHHHhh-CHOOOOOOO” as i blew air out of my mouth onto the cake, i realized its kind of hard to look like your sneezing and blow air out your mouth at the same time, and somehow the unexpected happened. I actually sneezed out snot as my face was headed at the cake. my hands were by my face and caught the snot before it hit the cake. The sequence turned out to be dramatically shitty, and not illusional. My new friends who i really wanted to be my friends were disgusted, and repulsed that i sneezed on the cake. They thought i was so uncool and would probably tell everyone at schol and i’d end up being the loser that i was. I was upset. I tried to fake sneeze, but i actually sneezed and everyone probably thought it was real, and i looked foolish. it was tragic and funny, but nobody except me knew it was accidental.
I forgot what i was wishing for, (probably more friends) but thats the story of the most unfortunate birthday cake candle blow-out, and the moment i became a joke.
"You have more freedom than you are using"
This week I was working on my own neon light artwork and came across this gem by artist Dan Attoe. At first glance the foolish image of the topless, blow-up-doll-like young woman and snowflakes is so shocking that one is forced to continue searching to figure out just what on earth this lunatic looking woman with a few strands of hair is doing. Where is she and why are there snowflakes coming out of her open mouth, reminiscent of a blow up doll’s mouth that is unnaturally constantly open, (why blow-up dolls are so funny). We then read the statement below her waist written in goofy adolescent style handwriting with the same feeling of Comic Sans: “You have more freedom than you’re using.” This puts the viewer in an awkward position, where he is at once expected to get a joke and laugh or understand the work as if after a punchline, yet he is confused as to the meaning of this text and how it relates to the image, and if it is even meant to be funny, a work of art, or a silly sign made by an amateur artist for shits and giggle. The woman seems to be freely running topless outside in the winter, yes those snowflakes are snowflakes, but could also double as sounds coming from her mouth as if singing. Or is she trying to eat them? Her arms are open to welcome what’s ahead, and more questions about what exactly she is saying or singing arise. She is within her world, as there is nothing else indicating a more specific setting or time. The piece seems to say “Hey you! You have freedom and you aren’t using it; USE IT!” An out of place remark that assumes, but in the end cannot be argued with for it is true for all.
A dialogue between three entities is uncovered when we realize the message does not apply solely to the viewer, but could be addressing the young lady, and the artist as well. The artist chose to use neon light, which is a very sexy, attention-grabbing medium of communication, but at the same time numerous limitations, such as ability to render specific detail, utilize shade, various texture, and so on… The most important limitation to this concept that the artist exploited is neon light’s inflexibility, (both literally and metaphorically), that is inadequate to portray a human being in motion dancing or running around in snowfall. We can’t see her hair wave in the wind, or her mouth change shape, and we can’t hear her. Neon’s inhuman quality and consumer related baggage make the whole work and statement impersonal. The artist is giving himself advice. Because we are only left to imagine the lower half of this sexy lady, it could be a lesson for her as well, like, “Hey! Did you ever think of liberating yourself from all your clothes and frolicking completely naked? The work has a dreamlike quality, hovering against the wall, yet physically immobile. The viewer can independently interpret the statement as it relates to his life. Also her nipples are different colors giving the artwork just that little “Yeee-Ha!” of self-unaware wildness. Bravo Dan Attoe!
copy of shirt by Dan Colen
You can get the real shirt here, this is just one i made cause it’s cheaper to make it. Flip it upside down in front of the mirror and see what it says. Artist Dan Colen made a painting like this, and then appropriated it into a t-shirt.