Saturday, July 13, 2013

Do Clowns Freak You Out?

I've heard lots of jokes about scary clowns or, how some people are just plain, old freaked out by them. I'd always thought that the jokes were funny even though I must admit that I never truly understood, having never been frightened by one myself... until sculpting this. You'd think that this clownishly happy face would engender joy with its broad toothy grin, wide, alert eyes and abundant topography of smile lines but, it doesn't, at least not in me. The more that I stare into it, the more I'm jarred and unsettled. It's so bugged out that it's hilarious. Perhaps he'd be best described as unsettlingly funny or, fearsomely friendly? Despite ambivalence and dichotomy, I find contagion in his liver lipped, shit eating grin.

I've always loved carnival and road side attraction sculpture, all of it goofy and some of the best of it is naive and hopelessly clunky. One of the grand daddy's of this genera is the Coney Island Funny Face.
In his earliest incarnations he's just so weird and mal-proportioned with his flat, half brained cranium. Through the years he's evolved though a dramatic morphology. The pinnacle of this evolution now exists in the variant that is proudly the mascot for Coney Island Lager. Hands down, he's the best designed of them all and the basis for this sculpt. The first time that I saw him emblazoned across the label I thought, what a great object this would be,... as a badge or a button or a bill board. I didn't include his piercings or facial tattoos in order to give him a more 1950's, fun for the whole family sort of feel.

He's next in line to be printed and will be a foot in diameter, as soon as a 16" tall Mr. Peanut is out of the MakerBot(printing in 3 sections).

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