Thursday, February 04, 2010

Travis Louie: A Twisted Inheritance

Travis Louie is a chronicler of the haunted, subterranean world lurking beneath the floorboards of our unconsciousness; he uses cobwebs, bottle-caps, dried bones and broken teeth to revive an ancestral dreamscape, the "old, weird America" that Greil Marcus has written about. This is where the genuine wild things roam. Closer to home in Canada, I found it washed up on the beaches, tangled in the seaweed of White Rock and in the sandcaves of my youth.

It's not exists...really! It's always been there in the circus carny's big top tents, the vagabond gypsies selling their oddities when no one else would have them. These are the exiles from main street, peddling a twisted inheritance as they crawl up through the cracks below the stairs.

Louie was born in Queens, New York and according to his website, he was influenced by:
"the lighting and atmosphere of German Expressionist and Film Noir motion pictures from the Silent Era to the late 1950’s. Films from directors like F W Murnau, Fritz Lang, Orson Welles, Robert Siodmak, Robert Aldrich, Jacque Tourneur, and cinematographer, Greg Toland, had a great effect on the way he wanted his paintings to look."
His work popped up on Les Claypool's 2009 album, Of Fungi and Foe, as well:

The musical equivalent is the Harry Smith Anthology and the more recent medicine show collection, Good For What Ails You. Here's old Bascom Lamar Lunsford singing "I Wish I Was A Mole In The Ground":

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