Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Merry Karnowsky Gallery Opening

Merry Karnowsky Gallery Opening 
Saturday Nov 12th 8-11pm
I'm exciting about these new artworks featuring characters with their unusual pets and their unusual circumstances. I"ll have a few of my new Uncle Six Eyes busts there as well.
If you are in the Los Angeles area, come down and take a gander.

gallery is located at 
170 S La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Some details below

Wilbur and His Hypnotic Gaze

(Detail)
14 x 11” Acrylic on board
Caldwell had a bulldog named Wilbur who possessed a hypnotic gaze that increased perception as well as causing slight bouts of madness. When Caldwell spent too much of his time staring at his dog, he went into a trance-like state, where he was able to see more than one dimension. He could see the spirits of the recently departed as well as visions of a possible future.  He never made the connection that it was only through his dog’s gaze that he managed to see his visions. Convinced that it was his one eye that allowed for the “sight”, he took out an ad in the newspaper. He became an advocate for monocular vision and attracted a cult-like following. 

Herman and Morris
20x15 acrylic on board

Herman found his prized huntsman spider in the basement of his parents’ house. It followed him where ever he went for most of his adult life. He named it Morris because it reminded him of his Uncle Morris, who had long spindly legs and a strange gait that often confused people as to which direction he was about to step in.
Although it was common to have large insects as pets in this town, it was frowned upon to have an arachnid as a pet.  When they would go for a stroll or take in a show at the theatre, Morris would hide in Herman's stovepipe hat and watch through tiny holes near the top of the hat band. Herman could even hear him clapping at the close of the each performance. It made him laugh out loud every time.  
Herman and Morris(Detail 1)
Herman and Morris(Detail 2)

Oscar and the Truth Toad(Ted)
20x16 acrylic on board

In 1895, a large toad broke into Oscar's house. This was not an uncommon occurrence for Devonshire in the summer of 1895. Fore there had been a plague of toads that season, thought to be brought on by a curse. There was always some curse or misplaced talisman causing mayhem in that town. This incident, however, was very unusual in that the toad was enormous. It was the size of pig and seemed to speak a kind of gibberish that sounded like a child trying to mimic a foreign language. It held Oscar hostage in his kitchen for several hours while it appeared to be trying to tell him something. As Oscar attempted to make his escape, the toad would “speak” louder and raise its slimy hands in fist-like gestures and a curious motion resembling throat slashing. As the sun started to come up, the toad threw its hands up as if in disgust and made itself a home in the study of the house. Oscar was both terrified and mesmerized by the experience and decided to keep the toad, . . .or more or less let it go about its business as he had no control over what it had in mind. He started to call it Ted because it seemed to utter that name at the end of every “sentence”. 


As months passed, Oscar started to decipher the strange language that his toad was speaking. He also discovered that Ted had a very special talent. His presence compelled people to speak the truth. Oscar, who was not very trusting of people, began to carry Ted around on his head so that no one would be able to lie to him. From a distance it appeared that Oscar was wearing a large turban and passersby would be startled when the toad would suddenly snatch a bird in flight with its tongue. At first, Oscar was empowered by his new found ability to keep people honest and learn their secrets. It wasn’t long before Oscar became very lonely as his toad made everyone uncomfortable. Remorseful and tired of carrying around such a heavy load on his head, he convinced the toad to go back from whence it came, or so he thought. Ted was actually quite frustrated with Oscar and wanted to leave anyway. Ted was never heard from again and Oscar had to undergo a year of speech therapy to undo the strange gibberish that he acquired.
 






26 comments:

SEILER said...

Beautiful Travis!

Caerphilly said...

I wish I could go. Come back to NY!

REINADELUZ said...

I LOVE YOUR WORK. Simply said.

Anonymous said...

i just saw the gallery show and i love your style and stories

le mononoké said...

it's better each time, it's beautiful and creepy in the same time, i love it!!

dragon said...

I have watched your work for years - just wonderful. Any chance you will be releasing any prints from this new collection? An original isn't in the cards just now, but maybe a print is?!

Isidre Monés said...

Me encantan tus pinturas y dibujos bizarres, yo tambien en mi modestia de 45 años iustrando para jovenes, libros y cómics, (Crepy, en los 70)
en ocasiones, he tenido algun tiempo para dibujat libremente, y es cuando he sido más feliz.
Felicidades, por poder dibujar y pintar lo que quieres. Isidre Monés

Glenn Keelan said...

Great works Travis. They have a dark and sinister feel to them but wrapped up in humor. :-)

Cindy D. said...

Holy cow these are just maddeningly great! Such a fantastic and beautiful style, amazingly cool beasts and wonderful tales. Just wow!

I was most disconcerted with "A Girl and her Troll Head" while my favorite (so far) might have to be "Sir Frederic Burke and His Leviathan". As for this toad, I am not surprised a "misplaced talisman" may have been involved. Boy, do those things cause no end of trouble or what?

(Found your gallery because someone posted you here: http://www.metafilter.com/115251/Characters-with-Unusual-Pets-and-their-Unusual-Circumstances)

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