Of course there were technical tidbits and hiccups on small details, like how to attach my bulldog skull to the church hat I stripped of it's embellishments. ( No bulldogs were hurt in the process. The beautiful skull with the underbite is a a museum quality replica.) I also knew that I needed roughly a month of peace and quiet dedicated to this and this alone. ( It turned out that once I got started it took me between 2 to 3 weeks, BUT, and it's a big but, I did have every single component ready to go and a complete mental picture of what it was going to look like.)
But where does this demented looking blingy idea come from?
Well, there is a story to it. The name of the piece is Homage to Endre Szász. Who happens to be my favorite Hungarian painter. I grew up with his work glaring down on me from every wall. My father was a big fan of his. We had framed prints from him in our apartment. My mother wasn't very fond of him because she thought his paintings were creepy. There are many, many worse things is life than creepy. Creepy is good. It's an aesthetic quality I was always particularly fond of and felt right at home in my creepy daydreams about the people with the hats.I think I said this before, but there are so many, many things in life that are less predictable and safe than creepy monsters. In fairy tales and stories, rules always govern how monster act. In life, oftentimes the monsters are a lot harder to identify and they are rarely good or bad. More like a mix of both.
At any rate to me these people seemed like they lived interesting lives in a parallel universe. Imagine the places they went wearing those hats. Imagine the architecture surrounding them. I could imagine the whole world around them. And to me, art was always a door that opened on all the things it did not show, only hinted at. You look at a picture, soak in the details, but the best part is what happens to your mind building a world around what you glanced at, through that window. I can see the cities these people live in. The pools they go to, the parks they visit.... I am eternally grateful for having had the good luck to live my childhood amongst them. They were my secret garden.
Unknown to them, they replaced a set of skulls with antlers attached that my paternal grandfather- whom I never met- killed. And a mask of the devil, made out of paper mache that my father's college buddy made in art class. I think me and my sister were a little squeamish about the devil and the deer heads and my mother gave those objects away thinking that was the right thing to do. I missed the skulls, and even the devil. They were my predictable monsters too. But I am glad they were replaced with my new Hat People.