Me and shit.
This is one of my greatest friends ever, seriously, we’ve known each other since that weird time in high school when you think you’re super unique and awesome and no one else is like you, and you make horrible choices. Yeah, this is one of the few people in my life that can still be like “remember that time you were a dumbass…” and I can do the same for him.
That being said…
Do you think he looks like Paul Giamatti, a young Paul Giamatti, but still.
Shut. Up. Meaghan.
All new content this time — we’re back en force!
Yours truly is responsible for the Zachary Bender Interview, the drunkenly written Greg Carter Article, and the tear-jerking editorial.
Read that shit, batos locos!
The Drunkenly Written-Unedited Article (Sneak Peak at Au Courant’s Next Issue)
After skimming through once, I might just submit it as is.
Fuck it, we’ll do it live!
Greg Carter (Or: “This Journalist’s Dilemma”):
It was a veritable ejaculation of color last First Friday at Blake St. Shops, and I was busy going about my journalistic duty; hitting up the artists we haven’t yet written about for their contact information (before my colleagues did) in anticipation for the flurry of articles that I would, “like… totally write” for the next issue. My work had been unusually light for the past few months, and my list of targets was wearing painfully thin. I needed to score—if not to demonstrate my unflagging enthusiasm to my fellow Au Courant staff, than at least to re-demonstrate it to myself. A fellow Blake St. artist (and general facilitator of the First Friday events) Jenn Hales, had previously expressed her excitement about Greg Carter’s installation in one of the newly vacant gallery spaces and, having looked through the list of folks we had covered in the past, I realized that he had fallen below our radar for some inexplicable reason. Beer and business cards in hand, I slipped out of our gallery and headed over.
Standing amid his exhibit of technocolor surrealism and faux-lowbrow illustration, Greg Carter met me with the kind of warm, enthusiastic hospitality only pulled off by cult leaders, evangelical Christians, and folks who are genuinely pleased-as-punch to meet new folks, by golly. Thankfully, Carter fell into the latter category of the three. This was going to be easy. Far from the pretentious, aloof, misunderstood art-god persona that many young poseurs spend their time crafting, Carter became excited when asked questions, gave satisfactory answers, and engaged everyone who came in to have a look at his work. I feel as though I need to reiterate: he – became – excited – about – his- work. How refreshing is that? I’m being rhetorical—it is as refreshing as a drink from a cool Appalachian stream on a humid Carolina day. Carter had forgotten to bring his business cards to the show — “What is your astrological sign?” he asked. “Scorpio,” I replied. Shuffling through a stack of small promo mailers, he wrote his contact information on the back of a print illustration of a creepy child in a cute scorpion costume.
Oh, I was going to write the hell out of his article.
Now, to say that I am a procrastinator is an understatement. I write this a mere two days before a deadline that I (kinda-sorta) set myself. Apart from the goat sacrifice and the speaking in tongues, my pre-writing ritual consists mainly of looking through the on-line portfolio of whomever I am featuring that month. Taking direction from the provided information on his inpromptu card, I checked out his website. I was, at once, shocked by the sheer volume of work and the lengthly client-list contained therein and also horrified that absolutely none of the work I saw at the show was represented. None. Of. It. Sure enough, this was his site, and his style—his own particular signature line—was consistent with what I had seen previously. Where were the Burtonesque sculptures with the movable parts? Where were the candy-colored illustrations of the characters that appeared in piece after piece on the gallery walls? More importantly, why did I not take any photos while I was at the show? What kind of journalist doesn’t photograph what they’re writing about?! I must have become lazy; too used to artists immediately uploading everything that they produce. Clearly, there was some ball here that I had dropped.
My dilemma now, is as follows: Do I try and describe the work present at the show, or do I single out two or three pieces from the website and talk about them instead? On one hand, the work at the show was my impetus to write this piece—after all, I only write about the work that excites and inspires me. However, my memory is terrible, and the best I could do is give an all-encompassing description of the installation as a whole. On the other hand, the work on the website is still superb, and it serves as Carter’s on-line portfolio; the front line in virtual advertising. Even as I type this sentence, I go back and forth between the two… and I’ve already wasted plenty of your time setting up this scenario.
I once saw an advertisement for taco shells which was both profound and a bit racially insensitive. In it, a small latina child reconciles an either-or dispute with a simple, yet disarmingly judicious statement. Roughly translated from the original Spanish, it was, “why not both?” To the young child actor, and to the quasi-racist advertising folks who wrote the line, I say, “gracias.” I will attempt to paint a picture of the show, and then talk a bit about what appears on Carter’s website. Problem sloved(ish).
Picture a claymation redux of ‘Eraserhead,” spectacularly flushed in neon colors, and replace all of the human actors with characters that are one part the children of Edward Gorey, and one part “Where the Wild Things Are.” Liberally sprinkle in Noh mask wearing waterfowl with heads that rotate 360 degrees, and you’ll arrive somewhere in the vicinity of what was exhibited at the First Friday show. I apologize if my frames of reference are lost on you, fearless reader; they are, unfortunately, necessary-as-fuck to describe the surreal acid trip that haunted Blake St. that night. And if the words, “surreal acid trip,” gave you images of psychedelic posters, well… you’re way off the mark. The only advice I can offer is to email the man himself and inquire about his next show. In fact, stop reading this article right now and do just that. It’s okay. I’ll wait.
Carter’s website, on the other hand, is far more straightforward. Having nearly three decades of fine art, freelance illustration, and design experience under his belt, his portfolios are chock full of images, each neatly explained in a couple of lines. Now, I’m not sure about the age-range of our typical reader; I’m not sure how many of you were leafing through science fiction or technology magazines in the mid ‘90’s. To those of us that did, we remember the illustration stylings of the decade: Impossibly bendy forms with thick tapered necks ending in gemoetrically angular profiles, often with a slight nod to Egyptian heiroglyphics. Kafkaesque surrealism, where nightmarish scenarios meet with matter-of-fact stoicism or indifference. Remember when the internet was new to the average consumer and we all eagerly awaited uploading our consciousness to the information superhighway in a matter of months? Carter depicts that late 20th Century cyberpunk aesthetic so well that you’ll shed nostalgic tears into your jolt cola while you illegally download “The Lawnmower Man.”
Did any of you get my references? Just… just go check out the website, already!
- Hoop & Stick