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Monday, December 17, 2012

A Picture of What Makes Me Tick

... in case anyone is curious:

This lonely Wisconsin radio tower (funny, I think "Lonely Radio Tower" is the name of a song by a band from Milwaukee; their name escapes me because I was always bad with proper names and now I'm going senile, but they sounded a lot like the Replacements) is from a painting on Blotchy Blobs Blog, a bittersweet online collection  by John Shimon of J. Shimon and J. Lindemann.

Shimon and Lindemann are a couple of old punk rockers/collaborative photographer-artists/farmers from Manitowoc, WI who I first met when I was 21 and vomiting off my decrepit porch after a bungled drug raid by the Madison, WI police. (The cops missed the drug dealer, whom we'd kicked out six months ago for throwing his girlfriend at the wall, but they destroyed most of the house. By the time Julie and Johnnie saw it, it was, er, awfully picturesque.) Since long before I knew them (and that's, crap, 17 years ago now; geh stop the clock I wanna get off!) they were making images in a similar vein: part wistfulness, part humor, part sensuality, part matter-of-fact, mostly Midwestern and most from the lost landscape north of Illinois into which I had the dubious honor to be born.

They've always been painfully good at capturing the feeling of being wedged up against Canada, out of sight, mind, and kind of out of time as well. But till they started the Blotchy Blobs Blog I'd only seen them do it with a camera. The painting above gets the wistfulness from a different angle, so to speak; the radio tower looks at once like the inanimate object it is and like the friendly but lonely creature in the darkness that's steadfastly trying to send you a message. But the night is dark, and huge, and it's lost in that eternal un-floodlit sky, and first it must air a commercial message to justify its existence, but maybe then it will finally be able to bring you the song you want to hear...

Here's the main blog page if you want to see more of these:

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