Smoke and Mirrors

High guys and gals.

Hi, guys and gals.

Best Gif on the internet currently.

A few weeks ago I had a bit of fun ranting about the usual, aided by illustrations that may or may not have actually aided said rant due to the possibly irrelevant messages the illustrations may or may not have contained.

If I haven’t lost you already, good for me…otherwise damn.

Today I have a little news article from around these parts which I would like to dissect also.

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Sequential Art
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Reefer Madness Gets Out of Control

The format is sequential in that it reads a little bit like a comic, with the panels containing illustrations and the gutters which divide the images up and serves as a border encapsulating everything.

However yes, one does not really get the feeling that a story is actually being told here – it’s all disjointed and not all the cohesive. I think a brochure would be more apt. Warning the dangers of cannabis and it’s effect on “good” old-fashioned values. Causing the once straight and narrow-minded person to deviate and create absolute anarchy in mixing with so-called “degenerate races.”

Think of it as Haiku but instead of the words seeming nonsensical, it’s the images. While it would appear this way, there is more than meets the eye.

I first of all wanted to do a series of pictures based on 1950’s suburban America, but giving it a twist. Nasty to some, like a nightmare or a fear that has become reality. Maybe amusing to others, it should anyway. Reefer Madness actually inspired this move somewhat. I thought of maybe turning this into a brochure of sorts.

Google produced the following reference images when I searched for ‘1950’s suburbia’ –

fig. 1.

Bill Owens (Photographer) – Suburbia

This is the first image I was drawn to, something to do with the little dynamic going on with this family portrait – Which looks like a pre-camping trip photo from yesteryear. I don’t really get the impression it was from the 50’s looks more 70’s but it may actually even be the 60’s – In other words I’m slightly clueless. That doesn’t matter entirely though, the important thing is finding what looks like the model nuclear family of an era now lost in time.

alternatively

This image is what the 70’s might have looked like if prohibition of marijuana never came to fruition back in the 30’s. A parallel universe – Homes are made of hemp bricks and other building materials. In addition clothes made of hemp and certain car parts are also hemp based. Call it a Utopia if you like, the air is a bit fresher due to the fact that there are more trees a ton more trees – the logging of timber used for construction and paper (N.B. Not construction paper) is reduced significantly.

Brief examination of the picture brought on a weird sense of nostalgia. Extremely strange considering I wasn’t alive for the decade this photo was taken. It’s a time I’ve only experienced as a child watching ancient television from that period in time. From cartoon series to live action series, whether it was a Hanna-Barbera production or a Tex Avery show.

Even with such series as the Jetsons or Flintstones, yes they represented a fictional future and past but they always reflected on the time in which they were made.

I thought by adding a little colour to the B&W photo of this quiet, conservative looking suburb. There goes the neighbourhood, so to speak. Liberals, socialists and communists driving their conservative neighbours crazy. Bringing with them, their herbs by the bounty.

The maternal figure in the family in her the pattern of the Dutch Doll, only tweaking the colours from red to green. Her face was actually er…eh, ehm how shall we say…borrowed? Yes, I borrowed the face from Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I figured she had the right look somehow, borrowed her shades from another picture and stuck them on as well.

Hence I replaced the 3rd child and family dog with a large basket of ganja.

Fig. 2.

Nuclear Family

With this image I was thinking along the lines of how Dr. Lakra would modify photographs by painting over them and giving them their own reinvented narrative. In this case I wanted two wogs and two dutch dolls hence Papa Wog, sunny boy wog, Mama Dutch and daughter dutch.

In my version as well, I brought old Nixon into the picture – more specifically into the television picture. Inspired by his less famous blunder. So no, not the Watergate Scandal. The scandal where he destroyed the report on cannabis by a science team. And no again, not the Science Ninja team otherwise known as G-Force or Gatchaman.

Before I digress further, I mentioned Dr Lakra and his process though –

“Dr. Lakra’s work is best when his enhancements blend seamlessly with the original images. When it takes a moment to see what he’s added, the experience is more rich, a discovery.

The curators urge us to see Dr. Lakra’s use of sexual and racial stereotypes as disruptive to racism and sexism. But despite the instructive wall texts, I’m not sure he’s doing anything besides perpetuating these stereotypes, albeit sometimes in interesting ways. One of the most intriguing series in the exhibit is a collection of black-and-white photographs, perhaps from the 1960s, of naked women in discreetly titillating poses.”

E.g. 1.

Dr. Lakra

“Using black paint, Lakra has modified the images so the women seem beset by menacing silhouettes. This series succeeds in being subversive and thought-provoking”

Eg. 2.

The perverse world of Dr. Lakra

“But the violence against these women seems unintegrated. It would be, I think, a stretch to conclude that Lakra is making a statement about pornography or the male gaze.”

I don’t remember where I found those quotes but for the record they aren’t mine, I’d like to credit the writer still. So if said writer happens upon this page, remind me where this was from and I’ll post the link etc.

Meanwhile back on the farm.

With fig. 2. I just went along and painted over the black and white image altogether to create this mixed up family which was born out of Anslinger’s fantasy/nightmare where mixing of the races can be brought on by reefer.

Fig. 3.

Say, look at the gang. What a swell bunch.

Fig. 3. reminds me of a cross between Happy Days and Archie’s gang from Riverdale.

My idea for this image was to bring the whole social dynamic. Looking at alcohol vs cannabis.  It’s probably safe to say that you don’t necessarily see the picture the same way I do. I was aiming for the loud, abrasive drunk yelling at the mellow weed smoking couple reading High Times magazine from a retro era.

The cigarette machine also made me want to put in my own brand of marijuana cigarette back into the eyes of the public – Ganjafield. Based on the Chesterfield cigarette.

Study the images and decipher what you can for yourself. I can’t teach you how to read or think, I hope maybe you can find something in the image, maybe.

I want to show you lads and ladies a video that I found to be really informative and a hella interesting – it’s a video pertaining to juicing raw weed.

Yup, you read correctly. It’s all about juicing the vegetable that is cannabis.

This is a bit of a feel good video I think. Open your eyes and open your minds and watch!

What we see here is how this demonised plant manages to not only alleviate sickness but can cure to an extent. Why buy those filthy chemical p-harm-aceuticals when there is a safer and natural alternative?

When juiced raw, the fun psychoactive effects are negated and it just serves as pure medicine devoid of side effects which non smokers might find uncomfortable.

Weed ah di best ting, interesting.

——————- News ———————

Alright guys, just want to let you know I’ve been working on a bit of a comic recently, mostly writing out the storylines etc. But today I am finally getting my stuff back from London. So this means I shall be drafting the pages and in a few months I will start posting em maybe weekly.

I’ll work that stuff out as time progresses.

Also my plan is, if that works out to be successful I might start making animated shorts, based on said stories.

I’d like to remind you all of my online gallery -> http://www.wix.com/creativesmd/hgfieldscollections#!home|mainPage

And the 4/20 postcards. Remember, they’re limited edition and luckily for you I have slacked off completely on advertising them, so if you want a few pieces of my work on the cheap – please go ahead and snap up a pack.

Finally: if anyone is so fortunate to be in California now or soon, you’ll want to check this out. For cannabis, Lego and art fans alike. It opens tomorrow and will be on until the 9th of June. An art show about cannabis through Lego installations.

Check the link below for your in-depth info and a few colourful photos.

All I can say is, I wish I came up with the idea myself last year for the CSM Degree Show. (It’s just short of a whole year since I’ve been done uni. Amazing). Actually more than that, I wish I was there!

Anyway ye, if you’re like me and can’t get to LA to see this radical exhibition, just have a look at the link to see what we’re missing.  http://knowngallery.com/blog/post/tag/legolize-it/

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“I smoke ’cause it give me knawledge!”

Irie folks, remember…

  Keep Blazin’

 And

   Stay Amazing!

 H.G. Fields

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