Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined

I was recently challenged  to post three pieces of my art a day for five days. Working on props for Hairspray this morning, I knew what kind of pieces I wanted to post today: wacky and childish.  I like to think I have a few refined tastes. An appreciation of subtlety. I love ballet, opera, classical music… but time and time again I find myself delighting in art that is, as they say, “delightfully tacky, yet unrefined.” Being Prop Master for Hairspray means I HAVE to think tacky. The story is about Baltimore teenagers who are crude and mean with juvenile definitions of status. Just today I was discussing tiara options with our costume designer. Looking at a gorgeous tiara options she had mood-boarded, I said, “It’s too elegant. It’s not tacky enough.” It isn’t about my tastes, it’s about what belongs in the story’s world. Take today’s first art piece, these headbands I made for the play.

headbandsThey’re for a scene in which eight high school students tease the protagonist, singing she has cooties. I showed them to our wig mistress. I wondered if I should paint the plastic headbands black so that they’d look better. When she saw them, she bust up laughing. “No!” she said. They were just right.

For my next piece, I’m gonna dig way back to the first video I ever made. It was for an inter-sorority contest in college. The idea for the story came to me in one fell swoop that I wrote down feverishly at the Living Room Cafe in La Jolla. Technically speaking, it’s terrible. I knew almost nothing about shooting a movie, recording sound, setting levels… The sound is so bad it’s hard to hear what’s going on, so I’ll explain. The basic premise is that our protagonist, Hannah, is having trouble fitting in her sorority, Delta Delta (a.k.a. the Double D’s), because she doesn’t know how to dance, and dancing is what Double D’s do best. She decides to prove herself by winning an inter-sorority Guitar Hero tournament. The underlying crude premise is, obviously, that in order to be a Double D, you have to have big boobs, and Hannah’s might not be “able to fill the sacred cups of the sisters who came before her.” In the end, Hannah proves herself by being herself. With the help of some friends we made a wonderfully crude little movie that still makes me laugh out loud.

My third piece is a more recent stop motion project. Bet you can guess my favorite part.

Here’s to Wacky and Childish art. It’s so much fun, I can’t help myself. Sigh.


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