ALL RIGHT FOLKS, I've been the Mercury's man on the Portland art beat for the last one year, seven months, and 23 days (but who's counting?!), and while I've seen a grip of interesting artwork, I've also seen a whole lot of repetitive stuff that gets old after a while. So over the last couple weeks, I talked to different people from the art community about what needs to R.I.P. in 2011. The following is a completely non-comprehensive series of obituaries I wrote based on community suggestions, as well as my own observations. Enjoy!
Bike Illustration, 92, passed away on December 28, 2010 in Portland, Oregon. A memorial Critical Mass will be held at noon, January 1, 2011. Born February 9, 1918 to A Sears Catalog and That Story Your Grandma Tells About How People Used to Be Poor and Couldn't Afford Those Sorts of Things, Bike Illustration spent his formative years posing for advertisements. Having fallen out of fashion by the late 1950s, Bike Illustration struggled with his marginalization as a recreational novelty, though toward the end of his life, enjoyed renewed limelight as a reflection of alternative transportation. He spent his final years comparing derailleurs, representing increasingly lightweight frames, and asking other types of art if they were going to convert to fixie. Bike Illustration is survived by his sister Pogo Stick and his daughter Canvassing for the Environment Outside Fred Meyer.
Triangles, age unknown, died after Euclid rose from the grave, showed up in Portland at an art show, stroked his long mossy beard, and, I shit you not, in perfect fucking English said, "I don't understand why the equilateral triangle is floating in the air. Birds don't look like that." Triangles is survived by Half-Circle and Pyramids.
A Pile of Objects Spray Painted Black, 32, passed away on December 28, 2010 in San Francisco, California. A funeral service will be held at 9 am, Saturday, January 1, 2011 at the Church of Appropriation, 1480 Arbitrary Lane, San Francisco, California. She was born August 13, 1978 to A Free Box and That Junk in the Basement. She is survived by Trying Harder and A Yawn That Traveled Around the World Three Times.
Lasers, 97, passed away on December 27, 2010. In his early years, Lasers made appearances in comics, as well as in doodles drawn in the margins of notebook paper. In the 1950s, Lasers made a living working in various films next to tin-foil space ships and rubber aliens. In 1961, Lasers received a BS in applied physics from MIT, soon beginning a career as a lab technician. After a decade-long rocky patch during which he was publicly accused of fabricating a death ray, Lasers made his way back into prominence when Cyclops was all, "I'm an X-Men, don't make me take my glasses off at you," and everyone else was like, "Lasers, where have you been?" and he was all, "Didn't you catch me in Independence Day?" Lasers is survived by Ectoplasm and X Rays.
Monochromatic Panel, 48, passed away December 27, 2010 in Portland, Oregon, succumbing to injuries incurred during a boating accident with his friend and neighbor, Color Study. Monochromatic Panel was born September 13, 1962, when some famous conceptual dude painted a canvas black and said, "This is the final painting." And then, get this, people KEPT PAINTING! No kidding! I'm as serious as a hungry hungry hippo. At parties, he was often overheard saying things like, "But representation isn't necessary," and "Painting is dead." Monochromatic Panel is survived by Empty Pedestal and Nonrepresentational Sculpture.
Crappy Drawing of Bros Drinking PBR, 166, passed away December 29, 2010 in Portland, Oregon. A funeral will be held at the Burnside Skatepark, January 1, 2011. Crappy Drawing of Bros Drinking PBR is survived by Whiskey Spin Art and The Pattern Puke Makes on the Side of a Taxi.
Pizza, 22, passed away on December 29, 2010 in Portland, Oregon. A memorial service will be held at Cartopia, January 1, 2011. Though his years were short, Pizza was honest and hard working. He enjoyed spending time in the oven, generally 25 minutes at 425 degrees if frozen. Not necessarily punctual, but well intentioned, when making plans with friends and family he always promised to arrive in 30 minutes or less. Pizza is survived by his mother Filo Dough, sister Baklava, brother Spicy Meat-a-Ball, and wife Promotional Novelty Cup.
Person with Animal Head, age unknown, passed away December 29, 2010. Son of Sobek and Horus, Person with Animal Head was born in Egypt between 3200 and 3140 BC. He earned a degree in history from Rutgers in 1987 after being denied employment from various institutions due to his appearance. He was quoted in his Time 2002 Man of the Year profile as saying, "Yeah, it was weird pursuing a degree in history because I've been alive for like 5,000 years—I felt like a Mexican taking Spanish in high school—but what can I say? I needed more perspective on civic engagement." Person with Animal Head is best known for his lifelong dedication to interspecies activism, having helped draft the Interspecies Anti-Discrimination Act of 2002. He is considered to be the seminal figure within the interspecies equality movement.