A few months ago, Spanish newspaper El Mundo commissioned me to paint a portrait of Pedro Almodovar, Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas for their weekly magazine. Most of the work that appears on this absurd blog is inspired by gossip, but occasionally I feel like posting illustrations of artists I admire. I tried to find some gossip about Mr. Almodovar, but all I could dig up were friendly barbs about his impressive head of hair. Sources from El Mundo tell me Pedro lives his life to the fullest and can often be found holding court in nightclubs and restaurants while surrounded by adoring friends and fans. Pedro grew up poor and without means to pursue his dream of film directing, but despite his limitations, he never allowed himself to be knocked off course. He worked several odd jobs and even spent 12 years working as an adminstrative assistant for Spain's national telephone company while he created experimental short films during after hours. In 1980, he made his first feature film using his friends as volunteers and later went on to win his first Oscar (Best Foreign Language Film) in 1999. Today, Mr. Almodovar has receieved over 83 film awards and dozens of nominations. I'm told his home country of Spain considers him a national treasure. Medium: acrylic and ink on board.
THANK YOU: Bitch magazine featured Gallery of the Absurd in their quarterly "Bitch List". They said my paintbrush is "skilled in grotesquery and doused with verve" and I couldn't be more flattered. Also, much thanks to the arty Italian street magazine Stirato for using my work in their 7 Deadly Celebrity Sinners feature. Stirato unfolds from a magazine into a giant, visually saturated poster. Put your glasses on and take a look here.
Can you guess which of these "food" items is a real product and which is the fake? Have you noticed how many products on grocery store shelves seem so cartoon-like and ludicrous? It's amazing how certain food companies transform truckloads of sugar, buckets of corn syrup, a dash of trans fat, a heaping tablespoon of processed sludge, and a generous sprinkling of chemicals into what they call a "snack". Good luck with solving the following 3 puzzles:
Pizza Hut has just added Butter Snackers to their menu and it's selling like hotcakes. The Butter Snacker consists of an entire stick of butter that has been dipped in batter, deep fried, rolled in sugar, drizzled with icing, and it's all topped off with candy sprinkles.
Ever since Domino's Pizza added the Oreo Dessert Pizza to its menu, sales have skyrocketed. An entire bag of Oreos are crumbled over a sweetened pizza crust and then the whole thing is drenched in vanilla icing. Get the door, it's the grim reaper.
Kandy Kastle has introduced a line of gummy novelty candies. Tape Worms are packaged in a round plastic container and holds six feet of tart sugary goodness. Who knew intestinal parasites came in 3 fruity flavors?
Competing with Kandy Kastle is Kooky Kandy's newest offering, Gummy Ebola Virus. Kids love 'em.
Burger King is attempting to expand its product offerings onto store shelves. Are you craving Burger King fries smothered in salt and ketchup but don't feel like heading over to the drive-thru? No worries. Now you can purchase Burger King Ketchup & Fries flavored potato snacks in grocery and convenience stores. I hear Britney Spears was spotted munching on a bag as she was photographed leaving a public bathroom. Hey, you never know when the munchies will strike. That's why Burger King has gone to the trouble to make it so easy for you to snack whenever you feel like it. They've even graced us with Flame Broiled Burger-Flavored Chips! When I'm hungry, there's nothing I want more than potato chips covered in hamburger-flavored chemicals - how about you?
It's amazing the astounding number of menu items Taco Bell is able to concoct by using just a few basic ingredients. Cheese, refried beans, tortillas, spicy chicken and beef are magically turned into a wide-ranging menu of Gorditos, tacos, Cheesy Beefy Melts, chalupas, Mexican pizza, taquitos, quesadillas, Meximelts, burritos, and Enchiritos. Now Taco Bell is offering bite-sized chips called Crunchitos. Shaped like little tacos and filled with real nacho cheese, these snacks are sure to satisfy your cheesiest of desires. It's like a fiesta in a bag!
Punk legend John Lydonlashed out at Sting by calling him a "soggy old dead carcass" and an "old fart". Lydon, no spring chicken himself, complained that listening to Sting squeak through Roxanne was like letting air out of a balloon. Celebrity feuds carried out in the public arena are often entertaining, but no one pulls them off as well as the Brits. The rather corpse-like Lydon also grumbled about Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty. "There's no much going on in their head...They obviously don't like what they're doing and that's why you turn to drugs." Sounds like the Punk Rock legend has turned into a grumpy old man. Medium: ink on paper, digital color.
I didn't watch the VMAs. Sure, I was curious about how Britney's big "comeback performance" would go, but I knew it would be all over the internet as soon as she finished, so why bother? Since I'm more inspired by what you have to say about Britney Spears rather than Britney Spears herself, I decided to illustrate some of the more interesting opinions I found regarding her performance:
Chris Crocker, Britney Spears fan/sobbing YouTube sensation, launches into tearful hysteria and eardrum-busting screams as he pleads to all of us to leave Britney alone. "Her song is called Gimme More for a reason because all you people want is more more more! LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!!! sob."
Nekesa Mumbi Moody of the Associated Presswrote that Britney's performance consisted of "lethargic movements that seemed choreographed by a dance instructor for a nursing home."
Michael K of Dlistedwrote, "I could have dressed a sack of potatoes up in a sequined bikini and turned a tired track on and have gotten a better performance and better lip-synching skills."
Dan Aquilante of the New York Postcalled Brit's performance "totally lame, pathetically lip-synched" and that "Spears was stuffed into a spangled bra and hot pants and jiggled like Jell-O as she sleepwalked through the song." What got me is when I read the part about how Britney "danced like she had a pantload." Ouch.
Recent reports claim Pete Doherty's cats were found with cocaine in their systems. Similar to the air in Rome, Junkie Pete's London apartment is wafting with enough cocaine particles to keep him, his cats, and his entire neighborhood high for months. After noticing his cats were snorting lines, hallucinating, drinking all his beer, and stealing his car for crack-fueled joy rides, Pete came up with an idea. He would gather trash, bits of rotting food and dust from his apartment and make cat treats from it. Pete Doherty's Crack Addict Crunchies are taking London by storm and will soon be available in the United States. They're 40 times stronger than catnip and your cat is guaranteed to love them...but please, keep them out of reach from Hollywood starlets. Medium: oil on wood, digital color. Original sketch here.