Friday, January 14, 2011

A Sea of Green

On Facebook, Doug Rhodehamel left a message saying he would be hanging green fish at Stardust Video and Coffee all afternoon. I immediately jumped in my truck and headed over. The show he was preparing for was called "Sea of Green." When I got to Stardust, sure enough there was Doug high up on a ladder hanging green cardboard fish. Each fish is made from green corrugated cardboard with drink lids for eyes. Inside each lid was a green or blue disk which was painted with day glow paint. He had a small pile of fishes on a speaker and he would string each one with a fishing line and then climb back up the ladder to hand it from one of the steel beams overhead. It must have been back breaking work and I was there just seeing the first fish as they were hung. When he was finished, the entire room was filled with fish from floor to ceiling and wall to wall.

At the opening, Doug explained that he had gotten the idea from the Beetles song "Yellow Submarine", where the lyrics mention swimming in a Sea of Green. The room was dark and the eyes glowed eerily in the darkness. The small fish can be bought for just $5. I know this because Rachel, a ceramics artist, lifted a fish up from inside her leather jacket. The fish eye glowed even through the paper bag it was enclosed in. She took the fish out of the bag and pointed to the reason she had bought it, the fish had a light spattering of day glow paint on its body. It was this imperfection that had caught her eye and sealed the deal.

Author Rachel Kapitan was there having just come from her reading at Neon Forest. She pointed out how she loved the purity of the color. I wanted to talk to Rachel about her writing and "Synthetic Fiction", a literary style she seems to be spearheading. I never got the chance. Jessica Pawli pushed up and said hello to me. She asked if I was still without a computer and I had to relate the painful tale of living six days with no computer. It is odd that people know what is happening in my life thanks to Facebook. It certainly makes starting conversations in a crowded room so much easier. Stardust was packed. A band was setting up in the next room and every table was filled. In a crowded room I always get lost in the ambient noise of the space. I find it difficult to hear a person even when they are right in front of me. I tried lip reading. When the band started playing, I moved towards them considering a sketch. A fellow who looked like a native American Indian was playing a fiddle and the drums were pounding. It could have been my 5th sketch of the day, but I was tired and Terry was at home waiting for me. I went outside, sent her a text, and headed home. You have to go down to stardust some evening and see this amazing display yourself. You will be glad you did.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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