Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Bizarre World of Don Waller

I have been fortunate in my days to accumulate a bizarre assortment of friends; artists with élan, panache and vision so bizarrely skewed that one suspects a pod somewhere, hidden in the far reaches of their attic, from whence the current oddity oozed forth...

One of these fellows is the grand wizard of weird, the one and only Don Waller. From his abode in sunny California, adorned with Harryhausen artifacts, Monster paraphernalia, odd knick-knacks and severed heads has he toiled in the film industry and imbued it with his energetic, tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek sensibility. This seems to have had an effect most bizarre on his mindset, and the most glorious ideas burst forth... after all, this gentleman was responsible for some of the most wacky imagery on television, the warped and wonderful 'pee-wee's playhouse' claymation. Yep, Don worked on that. He also Toiled on RoboCop, Dinosaur, Jurassic Park, The Last Samurai and The Addams Family.

It's only fitting that he worked on the Addams clan, as Don's artwork most reminds me of the sublimely baroque pen of Mr. Chas. Addams himself, like perhaps Don is channeling his ghoulish soul. However, the similarity goes beyond eerie and twisted content, but even technique, as the brushstrokes are quite similar (though Don, I insist, is more accomplished in this arena, see, especially the Casper image below). The images are striking, tongue in cheek and quite humorous, but in a cocked-eyebrow-and-low-chuckle kind of way. It is like Halloween lives on daily in his heart, with a bowl of candy corn left out for all of us to partake (but watch out for the hidden spiders!). There is a feeling of nostalgia, and oddly, innocence in his earnest strokes. He takes the icons of yesteryear and allows them to be affected by modern times, but they do not lose their souls, oddly, they transcend the times. They do not feel like modern day is tainting them, but rather, they are strutting their invincibility to us. Heckle and Jeckle, though now gay, still retain their integrity, though they hold placards that are most definitely modern. Like the Mona Lisa, the characters are universally recognizable, timeless, endearing, enduring. I love his paintings. Here is a sampler:







10 Comments:

Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

Bizarre is good. Sorry I haven't been by. We're moving to Portland, OR, and it's taking all my time. Hope you're well.

1:14 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

Well, I just found you at Kat's site. I love the cartoon art that you posted. I like anything retro and since these are retro cartoon characters they are great!

2:17 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

Hi, POP, welcome by!

4:32 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

Hey, what about me? (Just kidding.)

12:22 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

hey... welcome back! can't believe i fergets sometimes.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

Is Sink Chicken still alive?

6:13 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

Check this out:

http://bluemoontoytales.blogspot.com/

I may have found your soul mate.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

my soulmate, indeed! where the hell is sinky? where?!!! (oscar take note)

...WHEEEEERE?!!

5:09 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Callon said...

Is he OK?

3:58 PM  
Blogger Blog Monkey said...

i think so.

5:55 PM  

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