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The Patron Saint of Superheroes

Chris Gavaler Explores the Multiverse of Comics, Pop Culture, and Politics

I’d thought I was only making the above solo image, but looking back at my saved files, I discovered this sequence. Though it documents an evolving work-in-progress as I experimented with extracted pixels, it feels like the hair is somehow growing and exploding in the world of a story too. Since I feel a robotic connotation in the squares forming the body, and a less-easy-to-define distortion of the face, such a world of fantastical transformation feels possible too. My use of MS Paint grounds the image-making in an obsolete past, or maybe a parallel retro-past timeline. Either way, the laughter is optimistic–and so a future working its way here right now.

These are photo illustrations. I don’t remember what town we were in, only that it was a family brunch in some lovely and possibly vegan dinner somewhere urban, DC maybe? The first thing I did was remove myself. The last step was ordering a physical print on canvas mounted on a wood frame. I was planning to submit it to a couple of galleries in Charlottesville and Richmond. That was about a year ago, just minutes before the pandemic and lockdown. An impossibly long sci-fi year. Glad the future is still smiling.

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