I was walking down Pirate Alley the other day, between St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo when I was reminded of an old chum of mine, the artist Randy Carboni. Besides doing all the other things he does, he is a fine painter who has been seeing his share of long-awaited success recently. Click the link.
He's started a new site called Pirate-a-Day and his partner is running out of steam. Mr. Carboni can be an obsessive draftsman once he gets a project in his head. When I last bumped into him he was making a painting a day of some limes he had on his kitchen counter for 100 days in a row. Those limes were pretty sour by the time he was finished.
Now he's drawing a pirate a day. A partner and he challenged each other to draw a pirate a day for as long as they could keep it up. His partner's well ran dry after nineteen but Mr. Carboni is a fountain of ideas. Fond of rebuses and low-brow humor, he doesn't limit himself to cartoons. He can paint evocative depictions of a pirate's soul as it is written on a weathered freebooter's face.
No man is an island. The artist Randy Carboni doesn't need competition but he appreciates a friendly challenge to spur him on and keep the sap flowing. Enter your man in the field: Whalehead King.
While I am not as active with pen and brush as I once was, I still know my way around the easel. Since I'll be soon moving into a home that will contain a studio I figured there's no time like the present to loosen up my drawing joints. I've learned my new home is apparently in an arts district which means I won't need to collect the city's crippling 9% sales tax if I set up shop. If you ever needed another reason to purchase an original WK masterpiece to hang in your guest bathroom, here it is. Details will follow. In the meantime, feel free to sample the glory of the Carboni-King collaboration at Pirate-a-Day.
In a recent newsflash it is apparent that Chris Smith, Mr. Carboni's partner at Pirate-a-Day, has re-risen, like Lazarus, to the task. After careful consideration and some sweat equity invested at the drawing table, he is back on board having walked himself to the end of the plank and done an about face to get back a'board. He just finished three pirates for the world's viewing pleasure and contemplation. He's got his gumption in an uproar of creativity and the salty talk can't stop flowing from between his lips as he gets to the task. They say great minds think alike and this is especially true when pirates are concerned.
Other artistes will be participating as well. If you don't have enough pirates in your life (does anyone?) you now know where to go. This isn't the first Carboni-King collaboration. The first happened more than twenty-five years ago when two younger men co-wrote two impressive books of poetry, now out of print but highly sought after by collectors of poesy and scholars of the suburban beat movement that swept western Connecticut in the eighties.
If you are ever in a used book shop and see a volume of "Hitchhiking Corpses" or "The CIA Stole My Brain" snatch them up. Not only will you be the envy of college English professors, you'll be able to enjoy such classics as this:
With your arm cut off
If you stay there much longer
You may bleed to death.
You can now snap your fingers several times and mutter, "Cool, daddy-o. Way cool."
Way cool, indeed. A tip of the fedora to Randy Carboni.