Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Bigfoot Chronicles

The Weekly Volcano
Nov. 26, 2013

Bigfoot Gets His Kicks
The first thing I thought when I visited Thomas Studio Art Gallery in Olympia to see M.W. Lindenmeyer’s pastels was this stuff is funny. And then I thought it’s more than just funny; it’s also smart. And then references came to mind. These pictures remind me of Red Grooms and Robert Crumb, and closer to home of James Martin and the dynamic duo Ric Hall and Ron Schmidt — only more illustrational than any of those except for Crumb and not so surrealistic and Picasso-esque as Hall and Schmidt.

Maybe it’s not right to compare, because Lindenmeyer is really not like anybody but himself, but those comparisons are an easy way to give you an idea of what to expect.
Bound for Sturgis

This show, called The Bigfoot Chronicles, comprises a series of pastel drawings of Sasquatch in various societal situations. They are all done on road maps. The pastel hides the road maps in such a way that they appear only as ghost images with here and there a town name or an ad (such as a Texaco sign) showing through the picture. The scenes depicted are scenes long past, and the specificity of time and place are made concrete by the juxtaposition of the scenes and what shows from the maps. For instance, the name Albuquerque appears near an adobe-style building.

Most of the maps are from Western states, and we get the impression that taken all together the pictures chronicle Bigfoot’s journey from New Mexico to California and up to the Pacific Northwest.

The images are drawn in a comic and sketchy manner.

In “Going to San Francisco” Bigfoot and his girlfriend are drawn as a hippie couple hitch-hiking near the Golden Gate bridge. Driving by and not stopping to pick them up is a truck with the name Cock O the Walk printed on the side.

“Swami Sasquatch” depicts a Sasquatch as a fortune teller telling the fortune of Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.” There is a gypsy wagon and a tornado in the background, and the map and sheet music appear in the storm cloud.

“Bound for Sturgis” is a night scene with Mt. Rushmore in the background and Big Foot as a big biker.
In “Bigfoot Gets His Kicks” he’s driving a red and white Chevy convertible circa 1960.

Perhaps the cleverest of all is “Magi of the Old Northwest” depicting the birth of Jesus with Bigfoot, a mountain man and an Indian playing the roles of the three wise men.

[The Bigfoot Chronicles, Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Dec. 30, Thomas Studio Art Gallery, 109 Capitol Way N., Olympia]

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