I have been a fan of Kevin Smith for quite a while now. The indie movies he did in the 90es was a testament to everyone that you can make unique and personal films without a big budget. And even though he shot on film his aesthetics and take on moviemaking helped spawn the indiewave of filmmaking on the threshold of the digital age. Now, you can debate how good a filmmaker Kevin Smith is (and a lot of people do) but one thing is for sure he is an AMAZING verbal storyteller and a really sympathetic character.
I have been following his Smodcast for a while and over the past few weeks while preparing preparing for the exhibition in LA I have been listening to a bunch of his other podcasts at the Smodcast Network site (and there are a lot to choose from) like Highlands; a peephole history, Smoviola, Sminterview, Hollywood Babble-on & Plus one.
What is really interesting about his work as a Podhead is that everything goes on without a filter and nothing is off limits in the debate; his sexlife with Jen Schawalbach, how he grew up as a kid, the way he got threwn off a plane for being too fat etc. And everything is told with a lot of love and a lot of humor. Now what I find really fascinating about this is the question about the public and the private Kevin Smith. There is no doubt that the lines are hard to distinguish because of his complete honesty on the air and the fact that he is constantly joined by a tight group of good friends all chipping in with their stories from their lives with and around Mr Smith, and what a charming bunch. Through the podcasts you get to know everyone really well & you get the strange illusion that you are a part of the gang. Almost every time somebody calls in to the program they are talking like they have known 'Kev' forever - even using the same lingo as him and what not. And a bunch of times in an almost awkward misplaced way, as if he is supposed to know them intimately as well. Yet, I havent heard him complain about his fans one single time, and he seems truly grateful to everyone supporting his growing empire of the Smodcast.
The night before leaving Berlin I had a few hours to kill and since all the Smodcasts are for free, I decided I wanted to give a little some thing back to Mr Smith and his beautiful wife for sharing their truly charming universe with everyone and putting a new spin on the old campfire storyteller tradition packed with a lot of sincerety and humor, so I sat down and spend a few hours to do a quick & dirty painting inspired by his Plus One Smodcast, a Smodcast he does on a daily basis with his wife, talking about life in the Smith home. Not only is it a highly entertaining piece of day, but also a beautiful testament and a legacy to their Tween daughter Harley Quinn. I wish that my parents had had a podcast telling the world about their history, their thoughts and their everyday life while I grew up. It is a beautiful documentary project indeed.
I would have loved to hand over this sloppily done painting personally. I could probably spend a nickel and buy me a map to the stars and hunt them down, but the preparation for the exhibition has been so busy, and to be honorest I dont want to invade their personal lifes for a petty fanboy handshake. I know that he is a good friend of the owner of Gallery 1988 here in LA so Ill pop by there with the painting a bit later and see if they can slip it to the Smiths at some point. Then they can keep it or auktion it off to support one of their many good causes if they please. I just wanted to give something back & say thank you for hours & hours of beautiful entertainment.
It is quite flawed because of the tempo of creation but kind of works in a comicbook kind of way. I wish I had had more time to work on it to really nail their features, but the exhibition (opening tonight) has had priority #1 - and what an opening it'll be... Come to the Royal T Gallery in Culver city tonight to the opening of Party Animals and see my works hanging with the works of Takashi Murikami, Jeff Koons, Friends with you, Yoko Ono and a whole bunch of other amazing people - The Royal/T is the center for cosplay chicks in the area so dress up as your favorite animal. Itll be grand!