The Hideous Birds actually began as an old draft that I came across while cleaning my room a couple months ago — back when the earth cooled I was a member of a woodwind quintet, and I think this painting had originally been meant as a poster image for one of our concerts (I’m pretty sure I had abandoned it because one of the five birds is so much larger than the other four, and I didn’t want to create the impression of a hierarchy in the quintet). My rediscovery of this sketch coincided roughly with the death of Maurice Sendak, one of the most influential artists of children’s literature in the 20th century. Given that Sendak was also gay, it seemed fitting that the Hideous Birds — infused with a Sendak-esque grotesqueness that I find to be both sad and noble — should be resuscitated for inclusion in the 2012 Queer Arts Festival here in Vancouver. This painting, along with another recent work, More Subtil Than Any Beast, will be on display at the Roundhouse Community Centre, from July 31st – August 18th.
The Hideous Birds