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Joel Pelletier Art
Not to confuse the issue, but what exactly is art..? (click for more)

#TrumpClown (11 August 2016, updated 16 August)

I never cared for clowns.

As a child I remember sitting on the set of a local TV station to fill the audience beholding our local Bozo The Clown. He bantered on and did his familiar Bozo act, until the commercial break came and I witnessed him talking to the crew and smiling - not with his big painted-on clown smirk, but with his yellow teeth. He was just an old guy, pretending to be something special.

Sound familiar?

At best I find clowns annoying. At worst, each subgenre seems to have its disciples; happy clowns for the kids (and Red Skelton paintings), sad clowns for the adults, and angry/scary clowns for the nihilists. But, for me, the best thing about clowns, whether in makeup or not, is that, as annoying as they are, they are ultimately harmless and easily ignored. That is, until this clown.

What I resent most about this clown is that I can no longer ignore him. For decades he swam in a cesspool of greed and a philosophy that a good deal is not if both sides win, but only if he wins AND you lose. So what if everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie, which may have started as dogma but is now pathology. I could still ignore him, his trite phrases, his reality TV cartoon, even his entire reality (as he certainly has had no problem ignoring or even acknowledging mine).

But then this clown decided to stray from the three rings and into our political ring. And now I have to hear his bile daily, along with the demand from his followers that they be taken seriously, and I have no hope of escaping this circus until November 9, after the headline LOSER TRUMP sends him into what will have to be some sort of psychological break. As much as his type are incapable of ever admitting defeat, the fact that he will not be sworn into office in January 2017 will eventually have to break through even his metastasized shell of an ego. I would hope to pity him and his family, but they will still be very rich, and will be able to publicly deny reality as long as the money - or his will to live - holds out.

LIZ #3 at the Art Institute of Chicago

I thought of this Warhol-inspired approach months ago, but hoped to keep both my hands and mind clean of it all. Then, by coincidence, I actually walked by Warhol's original LIZ #3 in Chicago a week ago, which spurred on completion of this image. And to misquote Andy yet again, this guy's 15 minutes of fame should be WAY OVER. As a registered American voter, I have only one vote. But as an Artist, like in 2004 (when I completed and toured American Fundamentalists), I guess I can't help but do my bit to express in images what I'm feeling about my culture and politics. Whether or not this thing has any traction, think of this as my go at Patriotism.

Special thanks to photographer Michael Vadon for agreeing to let me adapt his 2015 photo.

Attempt at a Meme (22 March 2015) - If these people are truly committed to what they are doing, and believe they are right, then why are they hiding behind masks?

Dreaming With Orson (30 December 2013) - I've just completed a LONG planned painting, originally conceived after first seeing Henri Rousseau's original THE SLEEPING GYPSY at MOMA in NYC in 1985, hanging the poster in my apartment, then getting my first Irish Wolfhound in 1993. Although not as large as a real lion, these doggies are about as big as you can get, and I even dressed Scruffy up a lion a couple of times for Halloween costume contests (which he won). As a musician with a large animal, the fit seemed perfect to me, and Rousseau is one of my favorite painters, but over 20 years of planning (both as a painting and/or a staged photograph) only finally became reality when my current wolfhound (and Scruff's grand-nephew) Orson, now almost 11 years old, had what I believe was a small stroke and ended up in the hospital unable to walk (which, for a 130lb dog, is essentially a death sentence). I somehow managed to nurse him back to health, and was reminded about my version of Rousseau's painting having just revisited MOMA a month earlier. I love Orson so much, and we are very bonded, and it became very important that I complete this painting while he was still alive (and here it is, about a month later).

Rousseau's SLEEPING GYPSY at MOMA; sleeping with Orson with the painting DREAMING WITH ORSON above the couch at home, 25 December 2013.

I will be printing postcards of the painting, mostly for friends and dog lovers, and will make them available for sale. I also shot video of the process, and hope to create a video essay about my love for my dog, Rousseau's painting, and my obsession with copying art/music/etc. I am a clever monkey, but is it art? Stay tuned...

Dreaming With Orson Update (27 August 2014) - I've launched a website dedicated to this painting, and the now in-progress film documentary on it: dreamingwithorson.com. I've also reworked the digital image to much better match the painting, and am having more accurate postcards printed. More as it develops...

Updated WWJD T-Shirts (13 January 2011) - A play on the "What Would Jesus Do?" hats, t-shirts and accompanying lectures and disapprovals that inevitibly follow, I have recast it as "What Would John Do?", a common question in my mind as I learned the music, stage persona and life of THE WHO bassist John Entwistle while performing in a Who tribute band (which ended in 2010). John himself answered this question definitively by dying in a Las Vegas hotel room with a pair of strippers and (apparently) too much cocaine. I prefer to concentrate on his musical choices when asking this quesiton, but you can think what you want...

I have had t-shirts professionally manufactured with this original art, and it already seems to be a hit with bassists and Entwistle fans worldwide. There are now BLACK SHIRTS and GREY SHIRTS, and I am catching up on filling orders starting in February 2011. Order yours today - $20 + $5 USA/Canada shipping, all others email first for rates. Available in men's Medium and Large Hanes tees, they fit a bit large, and don't seem to shrink much.

WWJD John Entwistle T-Shirt MEDIUM BLACK $20
(plus $5 shipping/handling within North America)

WWJD John Entwistle T-Shirt LARGE BLACK $20
(plus $5 shipping/handling within North America)

WWJD John Entwistle T-Shirt MEDIUM GREY $20
(plus $5 shipping/handling within North America)

WWJD John Entwistle T-Shirt LARGE GREY $20
(plus $5 shipping/handling within North America)

Recently unearthed cartoon from age 16 (2 June 2010)

Darwin Gnome (24 December 2009) - The Darwin Gnome installed on a public park and running path in Santa Monica was vandalized on 22 December 2009, and repaired on 24 December... (click here for more photos).

Darwin Gnome (15 December 2009) - On December 14th I installed a Darwin Gnome (click for more photos) by the ocean in Santa Monica I created for Atheists United in Los Angeles. Every year many organizations install holiday displays, represnting the wide range of cultures and beliefs in Los Angeles. A fellow AU board member sugested a gnome with or REASONS GREETINGS message, and it occourred to me that Chanrles Darwin looks pretty much like a gnome (just taller, I guess). I added a copy of his book in his hands to help et the point across, although most people will not get it, and probably think it's just a poor attempt at a Santa or Santa elve. I prefer to think of it as the only character displayed at this location that actually existed.

As ist was, as of of December 14th the only 2 displays at this location is a huge, multi-part nativity scene, each 4x8 foot plywood hut featuring full size manicans including angels, etc (featuring chain link fencing a la The Blues Brothers for security) and our little (6 foot tall) gnome under a tree. We'll see if more groups, all promised to install something, come through (click here for more photos).

Morals vs. Ethics (16 January 2007) - A recent website posting entitled The Lie Of Moral Atheism continued the timeless canard, this time by a conservative christian, that without god there can be no morality OR ethics. I have been wanting to paint this for quite a while now to illustrate my take on the issue, and this article, along with a recent viewing of the Magritte exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, finally forced my hand (well, defeated my laziness...). Read my response to the article sent to its author here (not that I expect it to be printed or posted on the original site).

Magritte has been a major visual influence of mine since I was a teenager, although I use his visual technique to make different kinds of points (or, as opposed to many of Magritte's works, to actually make a point at all). I'm sure this literalism is an anathama to surrealists everywhere. Whatever.

Signed & Framed Morals/Ethics print $120
(plus $8 shipping/handling within North America)

Morals vs. Ethics Postcards
These 4"x6" color postcards suitable for mailing to your friends and enemies are available unsigned, mailed in an envelope, for $1 each plus an additional $1 for the envelope and stamp, ANY qty, OR I'll sign 'em, stamp 'em and mail 'em anywhere with a custom message if you like (you can request the message in the Paypal COMMENTS field, but I get to decide if I write it or not, so be NICE).

Signed/numbered framed prints on archival paper stock, 100 year inks, 13x16 frame, postcards available soon; Max prefers carrots

I am using Paypal's secure credit card payment system. You DO NOT need to join Paypal to use a credit card, although if you are a Paypal member you can pay by credit card or bank account. Your support is appreciated! Additional shipping fees for orders outside of North America will be required - I will email you for payment of the difference; quantity discounts available.

Payment by Mail
USPS Postal Money order (only; no personal checks, please) for $128 (including domestic US shipping/handling) to:
Joel Pelletier, Box 2663, Los Angeles, CA 91610
For outside US, or for quantity discounts or other payment methods, please email.

American Fundamentalists Project (2 March 2007) - This huge painting, completed in May 2004, continues to morph and evolve (take that, creationists!). After shipping and setting it up all over the US in 2004-6, including taking part in panels and public lectures, it is temporarily back in Southern California, but continues to attract interest and conversation. Aug 2006 events included an on-air discussion on Los Angeles' Air America affiliate KTLK 1150AM, plus a fundraiser display in Riverside for a Democratic congressional candidate (go to the American Fundamentalists website for details and regular updates). This painting has allowed the speaker/activist in me to develop; in 2007 it may resurface as a multi-media stage presentation (a la Laurie Anderson & Spaulding Grey). The issues are not going away any time soon, and niether am I. In the meantime I am available to display and speak about the work anywhere in North America and Europe, so send your invites!

24"x36", printed on heavy glossy stock, hand signed and shipped rolled in a tube
American Fundamentalists Poster $15
(plus $3 shipping/handling within North America)

I am using Paypal's secure credit card payment system. You DO NOT need to join Paypal to use a credit card, although if you are a Paypal member you can pay by credit card or bank account. Your support is appreciated! Additional shipping fees for orders outside of North America will be required - I will email you for payment of the difference; quantity discounts available.

Payment by Mail
USPS Postal Money order (only; no personal checks, please) for $18 (including domestic US shipping/handling) to:
Joel Pelletier, Box 2663, Los Angeles, CA 91610
For outside US, or for quantity discounts or other payment methods, please email.

Lankershim Art Gallery, North Hollywood, CA July 2004

Manchester, UK 1 September 2007

Ethical Society of Chicago, Skokie, IL, October 2005

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, April 2006

Sacramento Freeethinkers, 2005 (in front of a full-sized duplicate)

University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, WI, October 2004

In the meantime, I have started some new painting projects, "political" in a different way - they are figurative and realistc, approaches that seem to be passe in the contemporary art world. I have joined an informal Los Angeles based Remodernist artist group, calling themselves Stuckists after a 1999 UK painter's movement. We think Art (with a capitol "a") is a combination of ideas, craft and innate talent, not just "ideas" (like most contemporary art). See my Words page for more on this topic...

COMPUTERS=TOOLS (2001), acrylic, 9x16ft mural

Alternate Theory
ALTERNATIVE THEORY (1995), acrylic, 4x7ft

CD cover
Chamber Pop CD cover
(for Gumby the cat, 1994), acrylic, 31x31 inches

Got CDs?
Got CDs? (1999), computer art
illustration for Electronic Musician magazine

Y2k Solution
Y2k Solution (1998), computer art
featured on my 1999 Y2k Solution Calendar/Poster

© 2018 Joel Pelletier, The Way Home Media/Music, Hollywood, CA
email: joelp@joelp.com

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