Monday, July 10, 2017

Art Gallery: Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster (2000)
crayons on paper, 8.5" x 11"

Cookie Monster comes from a Sesame Street coloring book I found at a bookstore, and follows a similar series of abstract crayon sketches with Curious George. This idea was born from a desire to bring together Abstract Expressionism with Pop Art. Pollack meets Warhol, that sort of thing.

There was an artist named Glen Ligon who created a compelling art series with children's coloring books. He created a series of templates featuring famous civil rights leaders, and brought together a group of children to have them color and create. The results were very fascinating, ranging from naturalistic to pure emotional expressionism. Naturally, most of this was due to the age of each child, as we are all taught to draw "within the lines." Five-year-olds rarely do this; they just scribble from the heart, and their masterpieces are usually more fun to watch. I think I wanted to capture this spirit with my coloring book series. That was certainly my goal with this piece.

If memory serves, I created this one Friday or Saturday evening while waiting tables at the Dinkytown Pizza Hut (which has long since been closed down and replaced with student housing). It was a slow night, and we were often prone to goofing off, usually playing videogames on the televisions.

I really like Cookie Monster. I like the colors and abstract scribbles. I made sure to put a spotlight (the yellow sun) behind the subject, and not clutter up the frame too much. It's important to leave some open space to let the artwork breathe.

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