FLIP'S Grand Wallingford Halloween – No. 21

Phil aka "Flip" Wells - the morning after
Phil aka "Flip" Wells - the morning after

[Click all these pictures to ENLARGE them.]

Here on the Sunday morning after all the Halloween commotion in front of his home the night before, Phil Wells – known as Flip to his friends and sometimes mistakenly as Pflip in print – reflects on the 21st oversize Halloween production on Wallingford’s 42nd Street – at 2506 – just east of Eastern Avenue. In the late 1980s Marilyn and Flip moved into 2506, raised two children, a girl first and then a boy. Perfect, and while they were growing up both of them were regulars on the hurried crews for these big fall productions. Sometimes it was raining, sometimes very cold, but it always happened. Last night was teased with rain only. It too was ideal – like having a girl and then a boy.

Below is a portrait of this year’s crew without the children. (The Wells’ daughter Greta is away in college, and their son Peter was off to a party in the family car with instructions to return by 1 a.m.) I asked Flip to caption the group shot and elaborate on the evening. As you will read, this year I, who am normally merely the “recorder” of the events, was also part of the creative crew, helping with the “Forsaken Art Exhibit”. (I will return to this at the bottom.) Here is Flip’s crew followed by his own caption.  After that we will include pictures of many of the night’s spectacles that he names.

The Crew for Halloweed 2009 - year 21.
The Crew for Halloween 2009 - year 21.

Left to right – Marilyn, Ann Yoder, Rick Yoder, Jeff Bronson, Flip Wells Jan Standaert with Paul Dorpat’s “Forsaken Art” behind.  Halloween on 42nd St 2009 detoured from our traditional theme based productions with the contribution of fifteen priceless paintings from Mr. Dorpat’s Forsaken Art collection of hundreds.  The paintings were prominently displayed on a 12 ft wall lined with thirty 3-D Archie McFee place mats.   Comments on the display ranged from “does this have something to do with a murder in the Louvre” to “I really must buy that rabbit picture”.   Alas none of the treasures were for resale having already been forsaken by their original owners.  Other displays this year included a vomiting Al Gore, 4 ft diameter Spider on a zip line, 10 ft long worm with rope light intestines, a plain face with trunk like nose, gory campsite scene, and blacklit cave of phosphorescent creatures all highlighted by sometime functioning smoke machines.  Thanks in part to agreeable weather a good time was had by our 350 or neighbors roughly half of which were young trick or treaters.

The Goal - The Wells Front Steps with the Candy Bowl.
The Goal - The Wells Front Steps with the Candy Bowl.

With neighbor Doug Wilson – sometimes referred to as Wallingford’s mayor by his nearby neighbors – holding a bottle of root beer,  Marilyn waves from the front steps. Below her momentarily rests the basket filled with candy.  This year these steps were easily sighted from the sidewalk.  Some years they have been hidden behind labyrinthine passages that trick and treaters were required to negotiate – most often with the help of their parents – to reach the steps and the candy.

Lean-2 (aka lean-two) early construction on Halloween Saturday.
Lean-2 (aka lean-two) early construction on Halloween Saturday.

Before the rest of the crew arrived Phil started constructing the basic forms for this year’s sensations.

A neighborly inspection of work-in-progress on the Lean-2.  The view looks west on 42nd St. toward Eastern Avenue.
A neighborly inspection of work-in-progress on the Lean-2. The view looks west on 42nd St. toward Eastern Avenue.
One of the corner's two landmarked American Elms is used to support it.
One of the corner's two landmarked American Elms is used to support it.
Completed, the structure is stocked with black lights and some of the stock of glowing and grizzly and-or gruesome artifacts collected over the years.
Completed, the structure is stocked with black lights and some of the stock of glowing and grizzly and-or gruesome artifacts collected over the 21 years.

The American Elm supporting the Lean-2 is also used as a post for this year’s “headline” of masks.

A small part of Flip's head collection.
A small part of Flip's head collection.
Flip unravels the headline, preparing it for his collection.
Flip unravels the headline, preparing it for the collection. Overhead a Giant Crawing Spider on a tram is for the moment idle.
Meanwhile long-time crew member Jeff Bronson prepares heads.
Meanwhile long-time crew member and wit Jeff Bronson works with the heads.
The moment approaches for stretching the headline.
The moment approaches for stretching the headline.
Much of this year's spectacle, from the candy steps on the left to the murdered campers tent on the right.
Much of this year's spectacle, from the candy steps on the left to the murdered campers tent on the right.
Almost a close-up of the Murdered Campers Tent.  The closer close-up has been avoided for the effect is gruesome in the extreme with crushed skulls, the bloody axe and all, while above it all runs the Headline.
Almost a close-up of the Murdered Campers Tent. Like the man here with the sack we avoided a closer close-up, for the effect is gruesome in the extreme with crushed skulls, the bloody axe and all, while above runs the Headline and its chattering masks with no redeeming values.
One last look as I leave the scene around 8:30 P.M. and head for the peace of the quiet basement in my home around corner but . . . .
One last look as I leave the scene around 8:30 P.M. and head for the peace of the quiet basement in my home around corner but . . . .
 . . . but around the corner in front of another neighbor's candy porch I come upon a gaggle of six chatty teens who on hearing that I write for a newspaper insist on having their photo taken with a promise to see it published.  Here it is.
. . . in front of another neighbor's candy porch I come upon a gaggle of six chatty teens who on hearing that I write for a newspaper insist on having their photo taken with a promise to see it published. Here it is.

A brief introduction to the FORSAKEN ART EXPOSITION

As noted in Flip’s caption to his crew’s portrait near the top, this year we hauled forth part of my Forsaken Art Collection, as one of the last ditch additions to Production #21.  Many things were still needed.  This was needed – sort of.  Flip was away on business and unable to return until the day before.  So I answered the all-points plea with Forsaken Art.

Over the past dozen years or more I have collected a few hundred examples of it, and most of these objects have video interviews “attached” to them.  That is, I have bought them all in yard sales and video-interviewed the persons who sold them to me, usually for nothing more than 4 dollars, my limit – unless it is stretched.   This small Exhibit on 42nd Street in Wallingford is a prelude for what will be a large covered exhibition with the video production that matches the art to the interviews along with reviews by local critics – critics who may owe me something, and so will give this art some intelligent, sensitive, creative, and above all encouraging review and thereby perhaps rescue these canvases and many others from their forsaken situation.

All my video interviews conclude with this question.  “Before we complete this transaction would you like to change your mind and hold on to this art, which you are about to forsake?”  Only one of many hundreds has agreed to turn back the sale and keep the painting, and it was much the greater job for me to get her to change her mind again and let me have it.  I had the interview and needed the painting to support it.

Flip prepares skelton frame for the Forsaken Art Exposition.
Flip prepares skeleton frame for the Forsaken Art Exposition.
Forsaken Art Exposition frame has been covered with Archie McPhee optical tables mats (I think, that is what they were) while in the foreground "the critic" is also getting dressed.
Forsaken Art Exposition frame has been covered with Archie McPhee optical table mats (I think, that is what Flip called them) while in the foreground "the critic" is half-dressed.
With most of the exposition mounted, its agent-docent, long-time crew member and wit Jan Standaert, rehearses is introductions to the several canvases - some of them even framed - on show.
With most of the exposition mounted, its agent-docent, long-time crew member and wit Jan Standaert, rehearses his introductions to the several canvases - some of them even framed - on show. In the foreground, the critic is nearly ready to respond.
The critic responds with the help of this halloween show's traditional Vomit Machine..
The critic responds with the help of this halloween show's traditional Vomit Machine..

Note the spirit of his exhibition is indicated by its sign above, which reads, in part . . .”BEWARE Look Aside Look Askance The Critics Knows Forsaken Art Danger to Taste . . .”

Harvey and Friend
Harvey and Friend

The shown art included “Harvey and Friend” the only painting requested for sale.  Something about the would-be buyer’s husband wearing a rabbit outfit for some Halloween and handing out carrots to the kids.  Unfortunately, we had to explain to her about the video interview and our need to hold onto the painting for the greater show and production.  She was sympathetic.  Perhaps her interest in the painting was influenced by the bottle of wine she was carrying, and we were acting prudent for her.

Clowns at a Bull Fight
Clowns at a Bull Fight

Of all the art exposed this was perhaps the most appropriate.  Jan hung a sign from it reading “Available to Qualified Buyers Only.”  The original yard sale price remains fixed to a small tab stuck to the painting (in the black door to the bleachers).  It reads “50 cents”.

All the ingredients for a picturesque triumph, but lacking something.  The critics will need to be kind.
All the ingredients for a picturesque triumph, but lacking something. The critics will need to be kind.
Breakers that break like the foam on a machiotto made with low-fat milk.
Breakers that break like the foam on a machiotto made with low-fat milk.
Unsigned and unexplained, but the guitar with a bowl of fruit motif is traditional.
Unsigned and unexplained, but the guitar with a bowl of fruit motif is traditional.
Art influence by real estate presenters.
Art influence by real estate presenters.
Leda and the Swan.  Or it may be The Swan and Leda.  I have forgotten which side is up.  Perhaps the stars offer a clue.
Leda and the Swan. Or it may be The Swan and Leda. I have forgotten which side is up. Perhaps the stars offer a sign.
A "Street in Pomona" I call it.  That looks like Mt. Baldy on the horizon.  This is probably the puresy example of enthused naive art in our halloweed selection.
A "Street in Pomona" I call it. That looks like Mt. Baldy on the horizon. This is probably the purest enthused example of naive art in our Halloween selection.
This selecton for the Expo may test your sophisitation meter.   A child in a hero's costume asked his mother, "What is it?"  while mom looked to the Critic who for the moment was quiet.
This selecton for the Expo may test one's sophistication meter. A child in a hero's costume asked his mother, "What is it?" while mom looked to the Critic who for the moment was quiet.

If you were raised on Spokane’s South Hill in the 1940s, as was I, you would have been taught that Gainsborough’s  “Blue Boy” was one of the greatest of masterpieces.  But like me you may have known nothing of his “Pinky.”  Below are paint-by-numbers versions (or variations) of both accompanied by smaller copies of the original – for comparison.  Somewhere there will be a kind critic who will find the paint-by-numbers examples the better, just what the originals needed, more robust and to the essential points of their subjects, the lovely Blue Boy and the lovely Pinky.

f-art-blueboylg

Blue Boy
Blue Boy

f-art-pinkielg1

Pinky
Pinky

We conclude by noting, again, that there are hundreds more where Pinky came from, and she and the rest of these were merely taken from one accessible side of this collection – with very little selection.  As they lay.  Might it be that this little Halloween exposition at Flip and Marilyns will someday be remembered like the French Impressionist’s Armory Show, as the start of another great movement in the history of Western Art, the Forsaken Art Movement, supported and even promoted by a new CWC: Critics With Compassion.   And finally for this trick or treat of Halloween 21, does anyone recall what was the old CWC?


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