Monday, March 17, 2008

before joseph beuys...(well, sort of)

felt house by richar scarry 1963

richard scarry's 1963 best word book ever was one of my favorites as a kid. scarry has a knack for filling a page with numerous things a child can wander over, and generally, every image has a name next to it. i remember spending hours on a single page, just looking at both the words (which i couldn't read yet) and images (perhaps at times words as images...).

to suggest that much of the relationship of word and image in own work came from these earliest experiences might be stretching it a bit, but the book was one of 3 that definitely inspired me to make drawings (i.e. i made very poor copies of a lot of pictures in this book!).

i hadn't re-visited the book in years, and last night pulled it out on a whim and noticed on a page of various kinds of houses, this 'felt house'. there are so many interesting aspects to this, particularly as most of the others are what you'd expect: stone house, tree house, wooden frame house, houseboat, etc. i can just imagine a youngster asking mommy what is a felt house and receiving a blank stare in return.

the insane thing is that of course scarry's felt house is not unlike our airform dome in terms of form (as well as size!). the felt form also resembes a number of early 70's environment artworks related to caves, wombs, and contemplation environments.

beuy's first started using felt in 1960, mostly in collaboration with fat. his famous wrapping of pianos and larger felt works didn't come until the late 1960's, putting scarry's 1963 felt house right in the middle. having seen one of beuy's felt rooms and being overwhelmed by the quiet, i can only dream of someday living in a felt house like this.

i think i'll try and dig out the other two books from childhood and see what they might reveal this week as well...

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love the crumbling antiseptic beauty of a felt house. it allows me to worship the sun. my name is lawrence. (i live on the second floor.)

9:50 PM  
Blogger sroden said...

that's because 'all the people i like are those that are....'

11:32 PM  
Blogger Rob Mullender said...

cars and trucks and things that go! where's goldbug?

1:02 PM  
Blogger Rob Mullender said...

in the melon truck!

1:03 PM  

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