I see clownsJune 1, 2017

posted in portraits

by Jim Winters
 
I just installed my lil’ clown show at the finest men’s shop in Santa Cruz – Stripe MEN. Such a pleasure working with the team there. Special thanks to Ry, Anne, Emily and Leda.
 
For those of you that aren’t in the area and can’t see the real deal, this post includes all of the images.
 
 
While I totally enjoyed making these paintings and screen prints, the piece I am most excited about is my collaboration with MarDawg Surfboards. You can check out mardawgsurf on Instagram.
 
surfboard mo
 
 

I love clowns, specifically vintage clowns. Not monster clowns (Stephen King’s It), not real-life serial murderer clowns (John Wayne Gacy), not rapping clowns (Insane Clown Posse). Killer Klowns from Outer Space is another story… a movie, actually, and I LOVE it.

Clowns get a bad rap these days. Most people seem to think that they are inherently scary. They can definitely be disturbing. For me, therein lies both the charm and the frisson. I appreciate the manic happiness, the slapstick goofiness and most of all, the exaggerated sadness. The frowning clown holding a broken flower with a tear streaming down his cheek moves me..

The clown as an icon seems to exist mostly in a time gone by – in childhood memories from the last century, an archetype of the male entertainer of yesteryear. My online exploration of paint-by-numbers has revealed many portrait paintings of the old-time, classic clown. Google image searches have turned up many photos of famous circus clowns from the mid 20th century. 1000 Clowns published by Taschen books also provided much source material for the pieces in this show.

My show, “I See Clowns”, consists of 12 paintings – copies of old paint-by-numbers, 6 prints – reduction screenprint versions of mid-century classic clown photos and a surfboard painted with a clown graphic of my own design (a collaboration with MarDawg surfboards).

I love the context of a men’s boutique for vintage-inspired clown art, and to have my show coincide with the Gay Pride month of June – all the better. As a good friend of mine recently said, “There is a thin line between a clown and a drag queen.” I agree completely!
 
 

The paintings are all 5″x7″ and are Flashe on wooden panels.
 

Blueboy
Blueboy

Frowny
frowny

Bucko
bucko

Hobo
hobo

Ringo
ringo

Jacko
jacko

Dribbles
dribbles

Puffo
puffo

Sadsack
sadsack

Wacko
wacko

Big Boy
bigboy

Pyro
pyro

 
 
The prints are 4 color reduction silkscreens measuring 8″ square.
 

Checkers
checkers

Four Eyes
four eyes

YoYo
yoyo

Grunt
grunt

HoHo
hoho

Slurpy
slurpy

 
 

Go ahead and watch this until you have a siezure! BOIOIOIOIOIOIOING!!!

i see clowns

 
 

Some installation views:

installation view 1

installation view 02

installation view 03

installation view 04