Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sticky-Stick #3: Curse of the Kitty, L, age 4, Portland, Oregon, stickers on construction paper

Haiku-thon ’88, my annual sabbatical to West Des Moines, a perfectly cut herringbone smoking jacket, and now Portland’s L—that’s rarified air, my young friend, but oh how my heart soared (and continues to do so!) at my first stolen glance of Sticky-Stick #3: Curse of the Kitty. It’s the once-in-a-generation artist who so cleanly eschews all schools and movements to create so viscerally from unchecked emotion. No hang-ups, as the kids say, L just does. While stickers may not be entirely fresh ground, it’s the concentration and layering that transcend the tired “pee-pee reward chart” and lays claim to higher ground. The simple joy of a sticker becomes a brand-new monstrosity, an old innocent ploy gone terribly wrong. The vibrant red, chicken-scratch backdrop only heightens the effect. Delicious details like the cow back-heeling the soccer ball under the watchful eye of the duck create mini-stories that add depth but never detract from the gorgeous whole. This is perfection. But L has already graded himself in the form of an A+ sticker at the top. Teacher’s pet!