Well hello, sailor!Posted: 12 March 2012 Filed under: Rona | Tags: art, artists, Charlie Sheen, David Bowie, Dusty Rhodes, Herman Melville, inspiration, Jean Genet, Jean Paul Gaultier, Norman Sailor Jerry Collins, Otto Griebel, Paul Klee, pets, sailors, Tom of Finland 4 Comments
‘The fame of heroes owes little to the extent of their conquests and all to the success of the tributes paid to them.’
– Jean Genet (1910-1986)
I have a bit of a soft spot for sailors.
Several of my pictures salute the sailor man including Greasy Rhys, as well as his mates Rusty Steel and Topsy Turner.
Part of the inspiration for these works is the flash of master tattoo artist, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins.
I am certainly not alone in my admiration of the sailor – other fans include:
Herman Melville, author.
Jean Genet, novelist, playwright, poet, essayist and political activist.
Otto Griebel, artist.
Paul Klee, artist and musician.
David Bowie, renaissance man.
Tom of Finland, artist.
Jean Paul Gaultier, fashion designer.
One of the things that particularly tickles my fancy about Navy culture is sailors nicknames.
Crew mates are given monikers such as ‘Chalky’ White, ‘Nosey’ Parker and ‘Smokey’ Cole.
The following print is a tribute to my great uncle, John ‘Dusty’ Rhodes (and it’s a tip of the hat to Bindie as well!).
You may have noticed the 8 balls on Dusty’s hands – these are a reference to the character Bean, in the movie Cadence.
It’s time for me to sail away so i’ll leave you in the capable hands of Turbonegro, performing their song Sailor Man…
And here’s a bonus sailor:
On edit and to be more accurate, Westermann referred to himself as “self-taught”—even though he studied at Chicago’s Art Institute; and to be more accurate, he was a Marine (part of the Department of the Navy) and was stationed on ships for most of his military career. A lot of his art fixated on what he termed “death ships” in shark-infested waters.
When I was a young art student, our school invited the self-taught (and local) artist, H.C. Westermann to give a slide talk about his work and experiences that helped him develop as an artist. Being a Navy veteran and a former acrobat, he surprised everyone in the lecture hall by walking in on his hands. Needless to say it got everyone’s attention and we were all rapt listeners to his exploits during WWII in the South Pacific and his days with carnivals and the circus. He was very proud of his tattoos, btw.
Another link . .
Great story, Robert.
I think H. C. W. is a bit of alright myself!