A few days ago, a friend of mine told me about a dream that he'd had. In this dream, I apparently rode up on a customized motorcyle that was painted like a lobster. Obviously it was a bizarre dream! At any rate, once I heard his story, the idea for this self-portrait came to me almost immediately.
As I made this drawing, I had a few thoughts. First of all, it never ceases to amaze me how ideas for artworks can come about. I've gotten ideas from what seems like a million sources - and no, this is not the first time I've been inspired by someone else's dream. While it would've perhaps been more telling if it had been my own dream about a lobster motorcycle, it would be interesting to know where the concept for that imagery came from.
The Surrealists borrowed heavily from the human mind, basing much of their art on unconscious thought. They also found inspiration from dreams. One of my primary influences, Salvador Dali, even used a lobster in some of his bizarre sculptural work, including the lobster telephone and the lobster hat!
As I've said before, I think that a self-portrait can be many things. It's clear that this is not an example of realism for many reasons, but the quirky nature of the subject matter is a very accurate reflection of my personality. And the use of the lobster was a bit of a nod to one of my art heroes - albeit, unintentionally...
#98 January 26, 2011, Ink and watercolor
Sounds: Marvelous 3, Hey! Album