Monday, August 6, 2012

An Obsession for Cephalopods

So many people asked me at the opening what my obsession with octopi was. I've had time to think more about an answer to that question. It isn't just octopi, it is all the cephalopods that facinate me - squid, nautilus, octopus, cuttlefish, etc. There are around 800 extant species of cephalopod. Cephalopod means "head-feet", meaning that the feet extrude from the head. That alone is cool and art-worthy. Also, they are extremely smart creatures. Octopi are documented to be problem-solvers and have acute vision. I also like gears, so when I thought of the obvious connection of making an octopus the center of a cog, I had to make it happen. Here is a sketch from my sketchbook.

I also think it is a cool concept to be all head and legs. Who needs the shackles of a body anyhow?! Here is a self-portrait of me as "Paulopus".

My other two legs are behind me.

Anyhow, back to the answer to my obsession. I have been reading a lot of Steampunk novels lately and almost every one of them has a menacing octopus in it. Jules Verne, the Father of Steampunk, wrote about all the things that now dominate my art - octopi, submarines, robots, Victorianisms, and a wicked sense of humor.

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