Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Play is Serious (part one): Chad

One of the big revelations that has been provided to me by parenthood is simply this: play is serious business.  And it bears a fair resemblance to the artistic process, which might lead you to conclude (depending on how you feel about children and/or artists) that a) all children are artists, or b) all artists are children.  Maybe both are true.  When I paint, I feel the same transcendent, focused joy that led me to spend hours creating apartments for mice out of snow drifts, or piling up rocks in a stream to make waterfalls.  The goals and objects of play, while real, are always ephemeral.  So is art.  And the best things happen when you realize that you chose only one of infinite options, that your solution is only a place holder for the next creative act.  

Which brings me to Chad.  Chad stands about 2 inches high, wears a casual (if slightly emo) outfit, and his hands are locked in a steering wheel grip so that he can drive his yellow-orange adventure vehicle. 
Despite his diminutive size and lack of physical mobility, Chad has led an astonishingly adventuresome life since coming to live with David about 2 years back.  Among other things, he has survived being swallowed whole by an enormous Komodo dragon, worked for a time driving a John Deere tractor, and dallied in Cinderella's coach.  
He has flown through the air repeatedly without the aid of even a parachute; has suffered attack by dinosaurs on many occasions; has been buried alive in the wilderness of the backyard. And through it all his face has worn the same blank look that suggests a kind of calm readiness. 
Right now, he's thoroughly wrapped in pink yarn.  That right: Chad has been mummified.  Will he survive?  Will he walk the earth in search of victims?  Will he lay an eternal curse upon all our heads?  Only David knows for sure, and he's not telling.  To my eye, he's the perfect little art object.  A thousand or so more, and I'd have a great installation...all I need now is a title.


  1. This is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. I'm not kidding. It makes me want to mummify Barbies and troll dolls.

  2. could the title be something as simple as "Chads"?

  3. Gigi, troll dolls would be perfect! My sister has a collection that numbers in the hundreds...maybe I can smuggle them away and wrap them all!

    HA! I like that, Elena. BTW, just had an "International Ceramics Symposium" here...BEAUTIFUL work produced over the course of the month of July by ceramicists from all over the world...if you're anywhere near the Turman Gallery, you should stop by!

  4. I'm thinking that Barbie would end up looking like a sort of elongated Venus of Willendorf, which we be pretty cool.

  5. Imagination is wonderful and priceless.

  6. sooo funny and sweet. we have a "chad" also...but he hasn't seen quite as much adventure as yours! hope he made it out alive...