Posts tagged ‘photography’

Life in the Big City No. 2-07-06-019

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Walk way into the National Gallery of Canada on July 6th.  Inside: AC.  Outside: 39 C.  Did I ever tell you I will never say mission accomplished until I have something like this building, on 500 acres of the south shore, on the limestones of Manitoulin Island, with a view of the great Lake Huron?  Not as a gallery but as my personal crib!  (My old buddy Scott said:  how are you ever going to heat a place like this?  I said:  we’re only staying here for 6 months of the year! (Ha!))

I was at the gallery for the Gauguin Portraits exhibit:

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There she is!  Tehamana has many parents OR The Ancestor of Tehamana, 1893, oil on coarse fabric.  Tehamana is shown with flowers in her hair, holding a fan and wearing a contemporary missionary dress (those goddamn missionaries!) of the type introduced by European Christian missionaries.  Surrounding her are enigmatic spiritual referents: glyphs (taken from Easter Island tablets), a female figure (possibly Hina, the goddess of creation), and three hovering heads (spirits of the dead).  This portrait merges a colonial present with a mysterious, mythic past.  Those goddamn colonists!

Anyway.  I have been waiting my entire art life to see this painting in actual, up close.  We covered that base first thing yesterday.  “Self Portrait with Yellow Christ” was an also must see but in that section:  NO PICTURES allowed!  It was there!  And I spent a solid 20 with that one!

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Super heavy duty:  Melancholic (Faaturuma) 1891, oil on canvas.  One day I want to sail to Tahiti and visit those legendary Tahitian women.

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Young Christian Girl, 1894, oil on canvas.  Painted after Gauguin’s first sojourn in the South Seas, this work is an evocative synthesis of Breton and Tahitian imagery.  The economy of form and intense colour create a powerful sense of the spiritual.  The brilliant yellow cloth of the girl’s missionary dress fills the canvas, becoming a luminous embodiment of pure faith.  (words by NGC.)  Standard fare on any Art History curriculum!  I edited out the bit about those goddamn missionaries…

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twinravens on July 6th, markers on heavy paper, 2019, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  well at least for a day I can report that my original art DID hang on the walls of the great National Gallery of Canada!  (ha!)  They had an art station set up for anyone who wanted to fuss and I surely did!

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Ah yes:  the Great National Gallery of Canada.  It was along this way where I ran into the great Alex Janvier!  You’ll have to scroll back into this blog to read about that adventure!

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The Martyrdom of Father Brebeuf and Lalemant, c. 1843, oil on canvas, Joe Legare (1795-1855).  Saw this and wondered if a Mr. Kent M. was inspired by such things way back in his early days…  Slip some high heels on those Indians and BINGO!

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The Daffodil, 1910, oil on canvas, Laura Muntz Lyall.  First NGC purchase of an impressionist work by a woman!

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Boy with Bread, 1892-99, oil on canvas, Ozias Leduc.  Classic Canadian Art History fare.

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The Death of General Wolfe (detail), 1770, oil on canvas, Ben West.  Once again I saw this and started wondering about our old buddy Mr. Kent M.  Slip some Frederick’s of Hollywood 7 inch heels on that Indian and flipping BINGO!

IMG_8207Super heavy duty:  Renoir’s almighty from 1903.

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Mega:  Monet in 1903.

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Ultra!!!  Vin in 1886.

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Holy Smokes!!!  Matisse in 1926.  He too, stood the same distance away from that canvas! Wowza!

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This one rattled me.  That’s the super gorgeous Jennine as a 17 year old, shortly after she moved to Manhattan from Union City.  What struck me was the photo looked like it could have been photographed earlier in the week, yet here we are in 2019, and Jennine is long gone, dust and bones.  It reminded me of what the great old lady:  Jean Hodgson of Mindemoya, once told me, back before 1994:  Don’t be anyone but yourself.  And it also reminded me of what the great Jack Seabrook once said to me way back before 2002:  Don’t be putting things off to tomorrow.

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Yes, I will not say Mission Accomplished, until I have a building like this on that 500 acres, on the south shore, Manitoulin Island, as my personal crib.  That’s on the walk way out.

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Mother and Child, 60’s Scoop Survivor, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches, by anishinabe artist Mark Seabrook.  On display at the Atomic Rooster, Bank Street, Ottawa.  The Atomic Rooster is NOT a lounge at the National Gallery of Canada, ha!  Priced to sell:  $3200.

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I Miss You, acrylic on canvas, 18×24 inches, by anishinabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Also on display at the Atomic Rooster.  $500

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The Green and Blue, mowed trail back home, thousands of acres, by anishinabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Priceless.

Even though the farm back home is indeed a work of art, it is a work of genius, a paradise on earth, in a place with zero light and noise pollution, and something imagined and realized, there is another place too, in the imagination…

Here is the video from yesterday’s walk through.  Be warned:  it is a full ten plus minutes.

 

a place of peace!

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the road to home:  we’re back on the island, in our hideout paradise!  it is a glorious time to be out here, in with the green and blue!  what love!

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young love birds:  ah yes, there is a lady in the house!  thank goodness for her!  when you’re in paradise with some good company everything is wild roses.

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Happiness is Big Bucks!  5×7 inches, acrylic on canvas board, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  found the frame at the goodwill, doctored it up and boom!  i like that one.

we’re back in the slab first thing tomorrow:  back in the art battle!  but this one is over at the Museum of something or other, across the river in Hull or whatever they call it these days.  anyway:  i believe it is an all indigenous art battle!  we’ll let you know how that one goes.  but first we are going to max our day here on the land:  blue skies and green grass, a river and a black bikini!

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there is plenty of time for more of this!  (we can make that drive to the city through the night: no use in spending a day in the car as far as i’m concerned!  lets do that one at night!)

 

Life in the Big City

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Drawing Class:  Your self portrait in the woodland style with Anishnabe Instructor Mark Seabrook, Friday, June 7th.  I worked with 2 groups of teens at a school in Ottawa on Friday and this wild and crazy character was hanging out in the room we were working in!  Imagine having that guy staring at you first thing in the morning!  The classes went alright and gosh there are some talented young artists coming up!

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Man with Blues in 28 C weather, near the Train Yards, Vanier Parkway, Ottawa, Friday afternoon, just before rush hour traffic.

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Blazing into the city, Gardiner Expressway, Saturday morning around 7 a.m.  On my way to the Roncesvalles Open Air Market, it went alright.  Started out that morning at 2 a.m. from Ottawa, what beauty scenes at 4 a.m. in the country between the 2 cities.  By the time we shut it down it was midnight in Markham: that makes for a long business day!

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On Roncesvalles, Toronto, Saturday afternoon, open air market.  Hey there are some very nice folks who operate that market, some of the friendliest market folks I’ve come across.  They take good care of you always!

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Raven scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 9×12 inches, one of the pieces available on Saturday.

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Raven scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, art work by Mark Seabrook.

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Twinravens, acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.

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Fire Lake, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.

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Pages 100/101, Found Poetry Book 3.  I always stop on June 6th and remember the men and women who went to work on that day, back in 1944.

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Outside the crib in Markham, Ontario: we’re staying here for now.  I love how these folks keep the place looking Class A.  We’re a long way from the range when we’re walking up the sidewalk into this place.

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Maybe we can put our toes into this later on today!  Supposed to be a beauty 30 C here and gosh its been a long time since we’ve seen weather like this!

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The river back home: we’re a long way from our Friday 5 p.m. Summer time ritual where we stop everything, go down to the river, and thank the almighty we’re on the range, out and away from the city, the traffic, the noise and pollution.  Things are going to be different this summer but we’ll see what we can do with it.  One thing is for sure:  there are a lot of paintings to be made and a lot of fun art classes in the dream works!

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A summer morning on the range, back home, on Manitoulin Island.  We’ll get back there one of these days.  Hopefully we can bring a few friends as I have a brand new Art Making Exercise that involves dance, BIG BRUSH, and gravity!  I know it works for me but I want to see it in others!  More to come!

 

Fun Scenes!

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sunrise on the range, Saturday, May 18:  wowza!  and this was just a piece of what was going on out there.  when i rolled in around 4 a.m., it was full moon and clear skies!  decided i would wait up, watch the moon set and the sunrise: time well spent!

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good ole Bleue Eyes, chilling on the range, Saturday afternoon, May long weekend.  and gosh it was chilly alright!  i had a birch blaze going full on all through Saturday and Sunday too!  nice to cook a pot of soup on the wood stove top!

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Ten Mile Point, Manitoulin Island, Monday afternoon, May 20th.  on the road back to the slab, singing the blue blue blues…

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blazing east bound on highway 17, heading into the night, listening to “Ace of Spades” and wondering where is it all going…

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Pages 32/33, Book 3, Found Poetry.  i’m making some fun and very weird poems from Robertson D’s big words!  i’ll share one with you soon.  i’m also drawing pow wow dancers in this one seeing how Bob’s rambling on about Sioux Lookout, “natives”, “indians”, and the snooty Toronto idea in the Ontario North West.  i wonder if Bob met a real indian…  i mean really, where’d he do his research for this one?

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Book 3, Found Poetry, using The Cunning Man.  we’ll have some fun with this one and we won’t be in a fuss around it.

Saturday morning in Ottawa

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she won’t be happy until she scares the living CRAP outa me…  (i’m putting the icing on a novel project and here we are now, this morning, with a brand new idea for horror…  )(where did THAT come from?!!!)

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waiting at the diner in Westboro, hoping she will show, Friday night, an artist in the city, alone as usual…

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“Afraid to Wake Up”, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches, from September 13, 2000.  Private Collection.  (so nice to see you again my friend, so much has happened since September 13, 2000 man.)

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Found Poetry Book 2, started on December 20, 2018 and finished on May 9, 2019!  an enjoyable project, telling too!  i thought i was finished with the idea, Found Poetry: repurposing hard cover novels from the goodwill but the other day i came across a brand spanking new, never been opened copy of Robertson Davies, The Cunning Man.  i guess it was too well written for someone!  i grabbed that one off the shelves for 2 bucks and we’ll see what we can do with Bill’s flash words, the quality paper of 1994, and an Anishnabe’s wild and unruly hand of savagery!  go Daddy!

 

a Walk Around the Block

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Deer Clan sketch, 7×9 inches, acrylic on canvas board, February 019.  Folks we are getting close to saying good bye to Stevensons Brand acrylic paint…

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Black Cat and a Raven, sketch, 9×12 inches, acrylic on canvas board, February 019.  Based on a true story too!  Back on the range, one autumn afternoon many moons ago, good old “Whitey”, the cat with blue eyes, climbed a very tall tree out by the waterfalls and yup:  along came a few crows.  I switched out the crows for a raven.

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I thought she was holding out on me.  Turns out…  what I thought was a roll of 20 dollar bills, ready for our trip to the downtown yesterday, was nothing more than dog poop bags…

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Nice work!  At the “How to Breathe Forever” show, Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond St. W., Toronto.  “Onsite Gallery offers powerful, thought-provoking exhibitions of art, design and new media to stimulate conversations on critical issues facing Toronto and the world.”  (Corporate pitch just inside the door)

Also just inside the door:  “OCAD University acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudensaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron Wendat, who are the original owners and custodians of the land on which we stand and create.”

I got to thinking: folks around here (Toronto) have better luck seeing an Indian on the skids, half snapped on Boone’s Farm, up there on University and Queen, than a live beaver, which of course is on a useless nickel.

As for the artwork, speaking of beaver, it was created by an artist from Waskaganish!  I didn’t see the details on the cards but I’m guessing they are a student at OCA.  Nice work, beadwork too.  I wonder how they’re liking the big leagues of downtown, a far stretch away from the mighty woods just east of the James Bay.

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Ink, colouring pencil on super duper high end paper, unknown North Country artist, Onsite Gallery.  The show runs to April 14th so you still have time!

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A genuine fake Norval Morrisseau, front window, unknown gallery just east of Onsite Gallery, Richmond St., Toronto.

They’ve got the scam artists front and centre in this swank place!  You can bet two Indian Head nickels that a fella like me, actual and authentic, and an active artist, couldn’t get through the front door with his work, into this joint.  You can also bet two more of those nickels that the folks in here don’t sport the same pitch as the OCA guys when it comes to the “acknowledges the ancestral and traditional territories of…” bit.  As in: if I were to walk in there and question said phoney in the picture above, how long before they’d be dialling up security to “escort this ‘gentleman’ to the door…”?

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“Indian Residential School Blues”, 36×48 inches, acrylic on canvas, by Anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  (alive and active, authentic too!)  Here at twinravens.com we aim to cause a fuss.

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Acrylic on Canvas board, 9×12 inches

Ah yes…  a twinravens landscape, going back to the mighty ranges just west of the town of Tehkummah, Ontario, Canada.  (We also aim to go above and beyond the woodlands!)

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Mark Seabrook, outside J.E.H. MacDonald’s house, Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, last spring, before the Scotland gig.  I knocked but Jimmy Boy wasn’t home.  (I could have passed myself off as one of the “Indian Group of Seven”, ha!)

Well this old Anishnabe boy and artist keeps rolling along, paints and brushes at the ready.  Maybe some day I’ll have my name on a window in Toronto, announcing a twinravens show, with folks waiting in line, hoping to meet the artist.

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From August 2, 2018, on Dundas St. E.  Beauty day and evening in the city.

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At his studio way back on June 20, 2017.  Did I ever tell you the story about seeing his fancy give away doctorate paper work from OCA?  It was there at his studio, in an amusing display space!

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Rubbing shoulders with the famous:  that is the mighty Jen B., lead singer of the great Anishnabe rock and roll band:  No Reservations, on July 6, 2017 (back stage, a half hour before show time!).  Not only is she a classic rock and roll vocalist and show woman, but she’s a super talented First Nations visual artist as well.  Hopefully we’ll cross paths again, sometime soon!

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Speaking of great First Nations artists: The great Jazzy Moon, on the last evening of summer holidays, Labour Day Monday, September 2, 2013  It was just me and Jazzy Moon left on the beach, Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island, the night before the start of Grade 6.  We had the beach to ourselves and the swings too, the sand, the water and the sky.

You see I’m a father who stayed pretty close to his daughter.  I was there when all those important things happened.  But here today, March 10, 2019, I am up here on the swanky 9th, Markham, Ontario, Canada, and she is in Paris, France, viewing up close and personal the likes of the Mona Lisa, the tower and the cathedral.  How I wish we could have seen it together.

(There should be some ceremonial or ritual thing for us old boys whose daughters are powering up to fly away.)(Empty nest looming like never before…  )

a walk around the block

and so!  a walk indeed!  and in this town…  oh my goodness there are mad capped scenes at darn near every turn and pretty much down every straight away.  the noise is what we can’t share here, online.  you have to come here to these mad streets.  five minutes will do it.  yes we are a long way from the river, the blue and the green.

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unknown artist and paint station, outside the Rideau Centre, November 3rd.  it was clear to me she had talent and if you took her up a notch, switched out the dollarama paint and canvas for some big leagues gear, i’m certain she could show something in one of the many indie galleries in this town.  she wanted 40 bucks for that little picture she was working on.

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invisible man?  around here you never know…   outside the Rideau Centre, November 3rd.

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spooky window display, Somerset West near Spadina, November 6th.

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more weirdness in the same shop window…  Somerset West and Spadina, on the mild night of November 6th.  me singing:  i’m an Anishnabe in the Capital City…  (sung to the tune of Sting’s Englishman in New York)

when you’re out walking and sporting the “artist’s eye”…  goodness gracious, so many “things”.

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what form!  with a silver hand…  shop window in the St. Laurent Mall, November 7th.  those super stretch fabrics, now i wish they had those when i was young!  (ha ha!)

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ah yes…  what form.  put some heels on there and you’d really have something.

if you have 8 minutes, here is a song i wrote and performed back in the summer of 1995, recorded on a 4 track Fostex, one night in a diff city, many moons ago.  before the internet.  back when my rock and roll band:  NR, was planning on being something.  ah but nothing makes the Great Spirit laugh more than a man with plans.

for the youtube video: i went out one night, twenty years after i wrote and recorded the song, in this very city, camera in hand, and shot those pictures:  headless figures (children too!), lifeless eyes, bare heads, flashy clothes, big lights, right next to the dispossessed, the have nots, the sick and the old, and the grey, placed next to a little First Nations “made in China”, thrown in for good measure.  military medals along side a public service message showing a cigarette pack filled with bullets and someone’s scrawl:  Funding natives to buy back their land 1 acre at a time…  yes it was my attempt at Anishnabe movie making/story telling.  (oh yes!  that first and very long 2 minutes of yours truly in his pow wow dancing gear-i plugged that in (just ahead of the Joseph Boyden scam which became an amusing and a down right hilarious news item right around Xmas 2016) as a confirmation that yes indeed, yours truly is an actual indian as defined within the terms and conditions of the indian act, and handled by indian and northern affairs Canada)

so where was i going with all this?  oh yes.  what i mean to say is i’ve walked these streets before.  and some things seem to never change, all we’ve done is switched out the characters and moved in some new ones.

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back to the walk around the block:  the cops on Blake, November 8th, where hookers roam, sometimes pimps, and men alone in all makes and models of cars cruise very slowly up and down the streets.  you don’t need warning signs to tell those boys to slow down on our quiet neighbourhood streets!  all we’re missing with this scene is the background NOISE.  the roar, the sirens, the continuous horn honking…  sheesh!

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unknown young man who has clearly lost his marbles, sitting in the very cold wind outside a Rotten Ron’s, Montreal Road and St. Laurent, November 9th, at noon.  he was out there for an hour, smoking his stuff, listening to whatever he had on those flashy headphones.  it was like…  zero degrees out there.  and they might be his brightest years…

i was inside looking out, wondering if it was safe to show a photo like this:

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that’s me and what’s his name, on the movie set, back in June, in Scotland.  we signed a non disclosure thing about not posting but here we are after the release date of the picture so i hope its safe to post this!

they had me so uglied up over there i was sure i could never come home.  the look was totally Hollywood Indian.  the only way i got the gig was, well, beyond that i was clearly indian, was that face of horror:  they asked me to scowl and snarl into the camera at the casting (my interview was all of 15 seconds at the Native Friendship Centre in Toronto) and boom!  they called me up and so i went.  now that was a serious walk around the block!

that chrome dome of mine, it hadn’t seen the light of day in over 45 years!  over there though, those charming hair and make up girls shaved me a fresh one every morning around nine.  i walked out of there thinking the boys are going to have a field day with this when i get back to the club!

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that’s the photo i snapped with Joe’s camera, that he smuggled onto the set one day.  that’s the two stars of the show, chilling between takes.  not sure who that other young snot nosed punk is but he was main frame with the other two.

and so if you were reading my blog back in late May and June of this year, this is what i was going on about: making movies in Scotland.  a grand adventure, something i’d do again, but next time…  i think i’ll take a pass on shaving the dome.  yes, it is growing back, but we’re a long way from the look of confidence, when sporting the Dark City Boy outfit, which thank goodness, is back in rotation, out here on these mad city streets.  i lost the “gut” i was sporting on that shoot, but being away from the 9th and all the good cooking over there, certainly helps in the weight losing department!  ha.  kooky stuff.  silly stuff too but at the end of the day, if you’re going to run with the wolves, you have to keep up AND look the part.

photo of said Dark City Boy outfit!

artist in October

 

crappy grainy photo but that’s the idea (i’ll get an updated, soon).  super fun black boots to go with!  many moons ago, on another walking around the block adventure, i drew a picture of the then “dark city boy” outfit, an idea for some jackets i wanted to make, the idea stolen from the costumes department over at Debajehmujig Theatre Group (another story we can save for later!)

photo of said picture, drawn many moons ago:

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2000 Man, Dark City Boy in front of Treasure Island, Lake Mindemoya, Ontario, Canada.  March 1, 2000.  Bic ball point pen on 98 pound paper.  yes…  we need to maintain the maintenance department…

what i’m getting at through all of this is this:  if you’re going to take a walk around the block, you might as well do alright with it.

(psst: more movie set photos to come if i can get away with posting these!)