Halloween 2023 Artist Statement
The “UNTIED STATE Fun House”!! -- It took me well into the summer this year to settle down a theme for Halloween. There’s just been too much going on. So much that it’s hard to even keep track of it all. There was no single idea seemed possible.
One of my goals for the displays is to tap into the “zeitgeist” or pulse of the nation and world. But what happens when the pulse is so erratic that you can’t figure out what’s driving it all. That was my problem. Then I was at a neighbor’s house for a happy hour and the inevitable question came. “What are you doing this year?” Matt, an engineer, had been encouraging me for years to work in some moving parts, some mechanics into the display.
I walked away that night giving themes and mechanics more thought. Then it hit me! I literally rode my bike up the street the next day and knocked on Matt’s door. “A merry go round! I want to build a merry go round. A working merry go round with multiple themes on it.” And there we go. My other neighbors, Stephanie, also an engineer, and Anneke, helped me the better part of the summer.
The merry go round (MGR) developed into a larger focus on a carnival/fun house. Why? Because all this cacophony of erratic America is like a bizarre out of control circus. You know, the old adage that the truth is stranger than fiction. Can those of us who are reasoned, thinking people really get our brains around the madness that is America? That Trump is the leading GOP candidate, while also facing 4 felony indictments and other lawsuits in various places, among them New York and Georgia. Can my neighbors who are Republicans really say with a straight face that he isn’t an existential threat to democracy?
Because I settled on the fun house theme, but still had lots of ideas running through my mine, the MGR actually has six different sections to it, each its own little diorama. These include: Trump indicted, the Supreme Court, Ron DeSatan and Disney, the Climate Crisis, the Gun Crisis, and, finally, STUPIDITY!
What else will you find? Fun! It is after all a fun house. We built a working skeeball machine, a fun house mirror, a pong throwing game, and a hammer strength game. I know. It’s crazy, but with what’s going on in America and the world, crazy is just about all I have left. Might as well vent my frustration by making fun it all.