So it’s election season, 2012. Which means we’ve got two guys out there chasing the crown. Well, they’re chasing the nearest thing we have to a crown on this side of the ocean. Okay, one’s doing most of the chasing, while the other is mainly trying to keep the thing on his head. Don’t bobby pins work for that?
As it turns out, there are numerous techniques one can use to secure headgear in place. This I have learned from following ‘Rupaul’s Drag Race’ – a show on Logo in which drag queens compete to become anointed the world’s “Next Drag Superstar”. The one that comes immediately to mind is hot glue. The same tool might also be used to simply melt your opponent if he happens to made of plastic, or another plastic-like material.
…But I digress.
I was listening to Elton John the other day… (remember the peaches?), and was inspired by another of his songs: “Chasing the Crown” off the album, “21 at 33”. It’s a rollicking roller, but my picture was a little less celebratory, so I’ve recruited the lyrical support of Mr. Tom Petty to balance out the mood.
Petty’s more brooding number states, “It’s good to be king, if just for a while.” Between the two songs, the dual nature of the monarchic pursuit is presented: you want to be on top, even though some part of you knows the great burden that accompanies it.
I’ve never fantasized about that pinnacle of worldly power. Honestly. I’ve enjoyed the responsibility and authority that came with being an assistant manager at a retail store. At the time, I dreamt of becoming a store manager, mainly so that I could try out my ideas for running the store. That said, I can’t even imagine wanting to be in charge of more than a dozen people at a time, much less a nation!
So maybe that perspective is somewhat reflected in the man’s face in the picture above. If so, it wasn’t an especially intentional thing that I set out to represent. I basically started with the idea of making a picture to go with the words “chasing the crown”. The facial expression emerged somewhat naturally from the spontaneous scrawling. The image developed through a succession of additions and subtractions; working back and forth between the black-and-white sketch and the colors, which were layered on, one at a time.
The blue ‘reflected light’ is an eye-catching feature of the piece that was added in early in the process. It’s pretty assertive, color-wise, but every attempt I made to subdue or remove it, resulted in a comparatively flat and uninteresting picture. So it stayed.
So while others chase the crown, I’ll keep busy chasing ever-more-control over artistic skills. And hot-glue techniques.