I’m not afraid to lay it right on the line. I think Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp is funny. Really, really funny. Chimps in clothes, acting human is right up my alley, especially when the whole routine bangs and clangs with the color and noise of early 1970’s, Saturday morning psychedelia.
I decided to indulge this sophomoric side of my self with a painting of the Evolution Revolution, the “band” of chimps that occasionally “performed” on Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. I thought I might write something about how these chimps seem to display the three or four most primitive neurological circuits of the brain, as described by Dr. Timothy Leary, and what that says about being/seeming human. However, none of that stuff quite captured the spirit of the Evolution Revolution or my painting of them.
Evolution Revolution, Oil on Canvas, 32 x 42in. 2009
I made this painting in a spirit of fun, humor and adventure. While speaking to my obsession with the late 1960’s-early 1970’s media of Los Angeles, the painting represents a departure from my typical way of working in a few key respects. The palette is about twice the size of that with which I generally work. There are fourteen individual colors represented, not including white and the earth-colors I used for the under-painting. I typically paint with round brushes of varying sizes, but for “Evolution Revolution” I used only one size 12, (which is pretty big), flat brush. Also, I did a lot of painting with my left hand—I am right-handed.
Just for kicks, enjoy this video of the Evolution Revolution doing their thing. The keyboard player particularly tears things up! And you can leave the bong on the shelf. This is joyous, hilarious and confusing enough just as it is.