Friday, July 07, 2017

Art Gallery: Mario and Luigi Are Jerks

Mario and Luigi Are Jerks (2000)
Watercolors and correction fluid on canvas, 18" x 24"

Here are my 2003 notes on this painting from

"Here is the very first watercolor painting I made on a canvas. Normally, if you use watercolors, you paint on paper. Creating this was as much a revelation for me as anything else. Because of the nature of canvas, and the way it holds and absorbs water, the very dynamics of applying paints are different. So I was very much learning the rules as I went along. The final layer on top was...yep, you guessed it, liquid paper. Those little bottles really are great to have around.

"If you want to try using correctional fluid, I recommend Kinko's Multipurpose Correction Fluid. It's the best brand and the most versatile; it also works great with water. The different brands will work differently. Liquid Paper brand doesn't work well with water, but it has its own style (see the Improvisation page). As for the Wite-Out brand, I hardly ever use it; the quality is roughly the same as Liquid Paper, which means it stinks. In short, whenever I refer to "liquid paper," I'm thinking of correctional fluid in general and the Kinko's brand in particular.

"As to the origin of the title, I'll refer to my notes on the b-side:

"In Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TIme (Shigeru Miyamoto's "Blonde on Blonde" and the finest videogame ever made), there is a point where young Link meets what is, essentially, the Mario Brothers. It's a Roger Rabbit portrayal of the Mario Bros. as the people in real life. Here, behind the camera, Mario is a lazy, shiftless bum and Luigi endlessly toils in his brother's large shadow. Later, when "Ocarina" shifts seven years forward, the tables have turned, and it is Luigi who owns the family horse ranch (the "Super Mario" franchise), and Mario has resorted to crashing in hotels. Luigi, however, has become a self-absorbed prima donna and a complete asshole. It is one of those self-effacing jabs at his creations that makes Zelda 64 Miyamoto's absolute crowning achievement.

"On the flip side, I had this idea of writing these long essays or short stories, and breaking them up among several paintings. That way, you'd have to see all the paintings in order to read everything. With this one, I think I was going to write something jokey and silly, but I never finished it. The idea just didn't really pan out, and my B-Sides were becoming more complex and visual. A text-only painting is still an interesting idea, though."

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