Jive Ass Turkey Sings Take a Walk on the Wild Side
11 X 14
Acrylics on canvas
I have been asked to present the thought process behind developing this idea as an extension to my article on creative thinking. Soooooooooo, here we go
Most of my coworkers know that I feel we can learn to think better, we can learn to think more critically, and we can learn to think more creatively.
I subject my crew to training in both critical and creative thinking whether they realize it or not.
My crew and I are trapped on headsets together literally for hours out of the day. And conversations on headsets can go places where no man (woman, geek or nerd) has gone before.
Interacting with other people and especially other artists, is part of my theory of creative thinking. My crew is a small group of mostly film makers and musicians with a great deal of overlap between the two. They are, to the last man, in their 20's and I have trained everyone of them. So this is a group I interact with and gleam ideas from.
Just before winter break started, one of this crew asked me to paint a jive ass turkey. I agreed. For days I asked for further feedback from the crew on what jive ass turkey meant to them. In this ongoing set of conversations with the group, and with individuals from the group, it became a person, “Jive Ass Turkey”, a funkadillic singer.
I started asking and writing down the answers the the questions I often use in brainstorming.
How does the person of Jive Ass Turkey make me feel?
The whole idea makes me feel wild, full of energy, while juxtaposition on top of that, I am also making fun of how seriously we took ourselves in the late 60's and early 70's
What does he look like?
He Is a turkey, trying to be hip and looks like a peacock. Large outrageous afro.
What does wear?
The nero jacket so common in the 60's amongst performers. It is of a wild, psychedelic, and to be off the charts print.
What does he sing?
Take a Walk on the Wild Side
I started doing sketches and studies. This brought up more questions.
Why did you make the choices you made?
I kept going back to how seriously we took ourselves in the late 60's and early 70's and how wild and funny we actually were. I want to include things from many of the songs we listen to.
What do the colors mean and why did you choose them?
For once I was trying to deliberately capture the mood and feel of the late 60's concert scene. I wanted the colors to be psychedelic and be off the charts.
What does the whole piece mean?
I was trying to catch the music and ideas I remember from the late 60's and early 70's while making fun of “American Band Stand” and “Soul Train”.
What symbols did you use within the the piece? And what do they mean?
There is of course the Jive Ass Turkey that started the whole idea. The vain stereotype psychedelic rock star done as the turkey he is. He is so vain he probably thinks this painting is about him.
Below and in front of Jive Ass Turkey is the hounds of hell, Insert name here, as a three headed lounge lizard; those often times creepy hanger ons trying so hard to fit into the scene. Again I was looking to be psychedelic and be off the charts. A real party animal looking for woman.
The chicken legged one eyed worm sitting on Jive Ass Turkey's shoulder is a little dude I picked up some where along the road who makes appearances in my work from time to time. I saw him for the first time on some album cover (I do not remember which one) and I saw things like him in the graffiti of the time, as well as in many van murals and hot rod cartoons. For me he is the innocent who stumbled onto the scene (or was brought by some well meaning friend) and is trying to figure out what is going on.
Behind Jive Ass Turkey's head and hiding in his hair, is a little bird with a shocked expression on his face. Once again the innocent who stumbled onto the scene (or was brought by some well meaning friend) and is trying to figure out what is going on. But this one's mama told him not to come.
The three ladies next to Jive Ass Turkey are the three colored girls straight out of the lyrics from “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”. They are deeply influence by the Venus figures from the stone age Europe as well as the petroglyphs I love form the southwestern United States. They dance in a ring of the Jive Ass Turkey's foot prints. And each of them holds a sun shield, stamped with Jive Ass Turkey's foot print. The foot prints tie the girls and turkey together as a group.
The great eye all seeing eye above center is the sun shining down on the concert while bringing warmth, peace and happiness to all involved.
The lesser eyes found all over the paintings are the crowd watching.
Above and to the right of the great eye all seeing eye, is freebird, one of the many who live through the 60's and 70's looking for free love and desiring nothing permanent . The girls I knew who engaged in free love all got hurt. And many of the ladies were looking for something permanent and those ladies really got burned by free love.
One of the grand adventures I indulged myself in as a child of the 60's was the lava lamps. I could spend hours quietly listening to music and watching the lava lamps. The only thing I loved more than lava lamps was the light shows. Woven into the rays of the sun are the floating blobs of the lava lamps and rippling swirlings of the light shows.
I have flat worms built into the rays too. I had to dissect them in school and always thought they were great. Plus they just fit well into a psychedelic background.
The spirals are a very powerful image from the Palaeolithic era forward. I use them here as a symbol of the flowing pulsing music that powered our world, but also once again they just fit well into a psychedelic background
Around the edges there are dark areas in black and purple, these are the abyss and the chaos we tried to keep away.
You should see the remix