Thursday, August 2, 2012

Kenny's Drawings: Gun Totin' Heroes Edition

Good morning! It's that time again-- let's return to our foray into the 1950's, tablet-based (back when that had nothing to do with iPads!) art of Kenny, a first grader with a FIRST RATE eye for art. If you missed the last post, meticulous archives of Kenny's drawings were found in a manila envelope in the basement of an estate sale a couple weekends ago. I just can't get over how much talent these show for a kid who probably can't read or write yet.

One of Kenny's favorite subjects is men-with-guns. One of Kenny's main subjects is men-with-guns. I think about the Lone Ranger/Davy Crockett children's entertainment trends of the late forties' and fifties', and can you blame him for every male figure in his pictures packing heat? The green man above seems to have a pistol in his left hand and some kind of bag in his right hand. Is the purple cap and insignia on the front of his one-suit some kind of a superhero costume? Uniform? Why are his hands red? The most fascinating thing about these pictures is the intentionality of each and every piece. If it was 1947, and you asked six year old Kenny what part of the drawing was, I'm sure he could explain it to you at length.

This might actually be my favorite picture of the whole lot. Here, Kenny's collaged different colored construction paper to a piece of heavier cardstock and drawn in the details in crayon. See the added red feet, hat, and holster? See the mask and the blue buttons? Does this not remind you 100% of the work Al Hansen (Beck's grandfather, an early member of the Fluxus artist group that included Yoko Ono)? Maybe I'm projecting, but this little guy fell out of a sheaf of papers and I went, "I LOVE IT. I LOVE IT SO MUCH" just as soon as I'd laid eyes on it. It's a little bigger than the reproduced size here, and I can't wait to put it in a frame and hang it over the couch. With all the other ephemera. Bravo, Kenny!

The piece above looks like something out of my Kilowatt nightmare... having much experience with items retrieved from estate sale basements bearing unexpected stowaways (worst case example of all time: a Patti Boyd style lace Edwardian sixties' dress I put on after buying from a basement sale, just to see if it fit, from which A LIVING ROACH came scuttling, past my skin, out one delicate cuff, to much screaming, hand flailing, and cussin'), I actually flung this little guy across the room, thinking that one of the fingers was an insect leg or worse. Later, when I was scanning everything in, I found it laying across the air conditioner vent, looking up at me with its faraway, pencilled in eyes. WHAT IS IT? Honestly reminds me of something out of Silent Hill. How about how the arms are deliberately painted blue, and the hand orange and yellow, respectively, but the face is only colored with a slash of blood-splatter-looking red crayon? Spooksters.

Last but not least, here's a familiar face! Kind of. Kenny's mother has labelled this one as having been completed "March 4, 1946", when Kenny would have been all of five, and explained that the sketch depicts Dick Tracy. It's adorable how the yellow trench-coat is there, a little lime-ier than usual, and the hard-nosed profile, but that Kenny's added buttons, an x-ray visible purple gun, a red neckerchief (possibly as a nod to the aforementioned Lone Ranger?), and an orange (not yellow) fedora. Also, Dick Tracy is pink. Still! I love the attention to detail.

There's so, so, so much more where that came from. Which Kenny piece do you like best from this week? Did you watch lots of gun-toting hero shows like Dick Tracy, Lone Ranger, Davy Crockett as a kid?

That's all for today; see you tomorrow for Photo Friday!

1 comment:

  1. i REALLY love the second one down! that is going to look great in a frame! i'm so glad you saved kenny's drawings from the dumpster.



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