Dustin Yellin: From Hijacking Golf Carts to Building Brooklyn’s Art Utopia"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." —F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Crack-Up)Artist Dustin Yellin once cracked up.One evening in 1999, he used a camcorder to document himself committing three acts of trespassing: First he wandered onto the Forbes family yacht claiming he owned it (“I think this is my boat”), then he hijacked the golf-ball-collecting cart at the Chelsea Piers driving range (“We’re going to have fun tonight.”), and then things came to an end when he got arrested for breaking into Belvedere Castle in Central Park (“I climbed up the wall because I’m going to talk to someone in the tower that I’m in love with.”).Yellin pretty casually refers to the whole thing as a “psychotic breakdown,” but his behavior during the episode isn’t really all that bad, and maybe not even all that psychotic. Sure, he says some stuff that sounds fueled by a potent brew, equal parts confusion and clarity, that has you wonder if this whole adventure began with a tab of acid or two. But, pretty soon into the video, the mystery of what Yellin might be “on,” a mystery we sort of perfunctorily find ourselves trying to solve, feels unimportant.Instead, what becomes engrossing are the characters who are forced to deal with Yellin. And what becomes fascinating are the reconciliation processes that take place when a guy who has cracked up encounters security guards, managers, and other minions of capital-OOrder—you know, nice folks really just trying to do their jobs. If this video clip is, in fact, a piece of art, then its artistry lies in that it reveals the incredible anatomical complexity of situations where two opposed ideas—Yellin’s seemingly ruleless reality vs. the reality where you can’t just fucking steal a golf cart—are forced to reconcile.See, it’s reconciliation and the tiny miracle inherent in the very meaning of that word that Fitzgerald is talking about in the The Crack-Up, the 1936 essay that Yellin asks the guy on the driving range if he’s ever read, mid-hijacking. It’s reconciliation and the liminal space between two totally contradictory notions that characterizes Dustin Yellin, both his art andPioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation, the wildly ambitious project that has become his Magnum Opus and pretty much consumed his entire life.
Here are three Pokemon pieces that I did a few weeks back in order to practice with color palettes and line work. It was also a project that I started with my good friend Justin Mezzell who was helping choose which Pokemon we would each draw that week. I wanted to have the Pokemon trainers reflect their Pokemon in some subtle way, such as hair style, body shape, pose, etc. This also gave me a good opportunity to redesign the elemental types as an icon in the top right corner of the piece. All-in-all there is no better subject matter to try some new styles in than Pokemon, or anything Nintendo for that matter.
Dragonball Z toys by S. H. Figuarts. #sdcc2014
The Battlestar Enterpise #sdcc2014
THE FLATWOODS MONSTER
Just before dark on September 12, 1952, at Flatwoods, WV, some young school boys saw a fiery UFO streak across the sky and apparently land on a nearby hilltop. Rushing to the site, and gathering a few others along the way, they saw a pulsating red light, encountered a nauseating mist, and turned a flashlight on a pair of shining eyes, revealing a huge creature. As it hissed and glided at them, the group panicked and fled. The next day investigators discovered skid marks and an oil-like substance that presumably came from the UFO.
This depiction (shown here as a composite with background terrain) of the Flatwoods Monster was drawn by a New York TV show staff artist and broadcast on national television during Mrs. Kathleen May’s live appearance on “We The People” on September 19, 1952.
Here’s a bigger copy of that NASA piece, which was done by Roy Scarfo.