Pen and Ink Like Imagination Lassos

Amos Goldbaum lives in San Franscisco, and makes his living selling T-shirts on the streets.

He's also a pretty phenomenal artist, but I think the former is quite profound, due to my own ability to support myself with my work. The ability to intersect very creative work with something that the general public would like to, say, wear on a T-shirt is rare in this day and age.

At the school we both attended, I remember seeing his strange creations crawling across the walls of dorms, empty cartons of consumer products fixed to the walls with masking tape, and the odd book or pamphlet, produced who-knows-where.

His work, to me, is an interesting interface between the machinic, the animal, and the human, taking common-place sights and depicting them in an unsettling perspective. His ink and line form is perfect for the work, because it depicts shape while leaving it hollow. The uncanny, twisted shapes look like ghosts, showing just how uncanny it is to see people walking down the streets, strapped to the gills with machinery, as if nothing was wrong.

And at the same time, nothing is wrong, because these things are around us and in our minds all day, and we just go on living, from one day to the next. But are we okay? Do these creatures need our help? Are they trapped in their machinic assemblages? Or are they happily lurking, waiting to attack us if we try to pet them? Everything mundane is also uncanny, and everything horrifying is also normal.

You can either catch Amos on his Twitter feed, where he reports his daily selling location on the streets of SF, or at his website, where he has a very nice little store, and hundreds of images from his sketchbooks for your perusal. In addition to his own prints and shirts, he's also illustrated albums art work, a book or two, and done posters for local events. He's also had a few shows in the SF area, which you can see photos of on his site.

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