Tuesday, July 30, 2013

coffee break

so the first morning, myself, rich, zio and mike show up to the bowl bright and early, coffee in hand. what do we see? russ hanging with his buddy neil blender. russ is giving neil a can of spraypaint and free reign to walk around the bowl and do whatever. neil was a nice guy and treated those of us who were geeking out a little bit with humility and respect. if you don't understand why this is a unique and incredible life moment for me, see the bottom of this post.
i was not going to spook this dude or feel like more of an idiot, so i lurked on the deck and snuck this shot. but then i took some more shots of the drawings before i got started on my section.
i'm sure it must be difficult to reconcile your personal identity with an idea of you that people have all over the world. my idea of neil blender is probably very different than whatever the real personal neil blender is. but the image in my mind, or my interpretation of the life and art of this guy that was put forth in photographs, artwork and videos was one of freedom, creativity, humor and mystery with a weird, beautiful meaningfulness and depth to it. as in some serious zen ridiculousness. this guy meant a whole lot to me growing up and that spirit remains. that's why i am still so psyched when i see anything new by him and why i have a photo of him doing a frontside grind in my office. 

 it's the little things that are the good stuff, in all cases, every time. circle-r sign and the extended checkerboard because that's "what lance would do."
 deathbox and arrow-shadow
 all my buds who are into baseball will love this one
abstractions and a dude
 neil threw down a a nickel and sprayed around it a couple times on the flat bottom. awesome.
 mike watt? why don't you just kiss me on the lips. and the dude riding the red bull. he hit almost every logo in that place. 
long arm of the law. not shown: where he wrote "smoke weed" in russ' painting which bummed the cops out and caused a whole big thing. also a snail shell and "deb + john".

and this is why it was such a big deal:
best contest run ever?
i'm sure these dudes had no idea how important this video part would become to kids and adults the world over. or maybe they did? this is the template. also part of the reason i painted a giant egg in this bowl next to one of neil's drawings.
post script: 
you know after a while i went over grabbed that black nickel because that's how i roll.

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