New Art: Clownin’ Around & Straight Jacket

I woke up this morning with a couple visions in my head for new art involving clowns.  Seems timely provided the media’s coming clown fixation (Lady GaGa’s ARTPOP cover art, the upcoming American Horror Story: Freakshow, “Crazy Steve” from IMPACT Wrestling and rumors about who will play “The Joker” next).  I have a feeling pop culture is about to enter the funhouse.

The first image I created, titled Clownin’ Around features a clown doing a backward bend.  This picture may seem kind of random – but it’s very specifically inspired.  I like the idea of a figure in motion, which is something dictated by using a clown as a subject.  Next, I thought of the costuming – how does this clown need to look? I didn’t want the image to be overly cliché and feature a frilly body suit.  Then, I remembered, about a year ago, I’d sent a tweet to Todd Sanfield (a PharmD student, model and owner of The Todd Sanfield Collection underwear line).  I recall asking Todd if he’d ever accept design ideas –  because I fully intended to submit a few – but I never did (that’s life in grad school).  So, Todd, if you’re reading – consider the underwear featured in Clownin’ Around a submission – and consider the idea for a potential photo shoot or next book possibly titled Circus or Funhouse (like Motel | Hotel, or Virgin Island)?

By choosing to feature the clown in underwear, I’ve provided a homoerotic undertone – which, along with the color scheme, is timely considering it’s National LGBT Pride Month.  Finally, I wanted to do a new take on rainbow-colored hair.  Why do all clowns have to have gigantic afros that remind me of the Madagascar 3 song, “Afro Circus” (I saved the ‘fro for the second image!)? Without any further ado, I present to you:

Clownin’ Around

(c) 2014, Bobby James

(c) 2014. Bobby James.
(c) 2014. Bobby James.

View more of my Artwork HERE

The next piece, titled Straight Jacket was the logical progression for this narrative.  What’s the one thing I could do that could drive this clown absolutely mad?  Take away his movement and change his hair – essentially transforming him into a generic performer.  This image is about confinement and restraint.  Despite the clown’s situation though, there is a devious and dastardly smirk.  With reference to ARTPOP and Heath Ledger’s “Joker,” I smudged the make-up to provide the illusion of instability.  Here is:

Straight Jacket

(c) 2014, Bobby James

(c) 2014. Bobby James.
(c) 2014. Bobby James.

Thanks for reading.  Hope you like the work.  Let me know!




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