Around 15 years ago or so, an outsider artist emerged on Ebay by the name of Gus Fink. His profile picture was a blurry, vintage photo of an older man in a tuxedo, and his vibrant art brut paintings suggested he was an elderly eccentric oddity who had been creating art for years and now was offering up his work on Ebay. A solid following for Gus quickly emerged, and the prolific artist seemed to be slowly, but steadily selling his paintings.
As it turned out, Gus was not the old man eccentric oddity that the vintage color profile photo suggested. He was actually a young guy in his 20’s at the time, who was more focused on creating art and becoming a full-time artist, than promoting his own personal image. Indeed a rarity nowadays with the emergence of social media, where artists spend more time curating their own persona, rather than actually creating art.
Eventually Gus dropped the vintage photo and came clean. He replaced it with a small partial picture of himself. His art was solid enough that people let the whole old man eccentric angle slide, and they continued to gobble up his unique and affordable paintings.
Gus has never stopped creating since, to this day still selling his art on Ebay, while branching out to create toys, apps, and even experimental music.
Gus has now taken the moviemaking plunge with his first short film called HUBERT AND THE NIGHT PEOPLE. It’s a very well made, interesting piece which moves along incredibly well and relishes in various absurdities throughout.
The characters that Fink creates in his paintings come alive in awesomely designed costumed beings who fluidly move around dreamlike, the way you would imagine them to, if they rose from a Fink canvas. He smartly includes many of his drawings in the film, which one of the characters gives to Hubert on his nightly visit.
Hubert is the main character, an eccentric, disciplined recluse of sorts, who uses his artistic mind to lose himself into his own world on a nightly basis. Perhaps mirroring the artist life of an early Gus Fink, eventually we see our absurdist hero deciding to personally take the plunge into this otherly world.
Just as Gus decided to become a full-time artist while dropping the old man image, Hubert drops his own constructed outer image, and commits to becoming the other worldly being, that he truly is.
HUBERT AND THE NIGHT PEOPLE is a wonderful film and it can be viewed on Amazon in the link below.
For Gus Fink art, go to – GUSFINKSTUDIOS.COM
Rounding out the trilogy of performance video featuring Kelly Broich, Eli Elliott, and Brad Kaup, is HOMESTEAD. The “how to” series started with MUSH, where the performance centered around a cooking demonstration on how you can have a high calorie diet for less than $20 a week by combining dollar store food items, then FASHION revealed how to take thrift store clothing and turn them into high dollar fashion items, concluding with a $40,000 created garment, and now HOMESTEAD reveals how one can live for free in style by simply finding some land, staking it, then creating cardboard homes which you can decorate to your liking.
The performance takes place in a striking outdoor location, where a river runs near and mountains serve as back drops for the pair of pilgrims, Pink Face and Roy, who stake their land and proceed to create cozy and decorative little homes for themselves.
The performance plays on a level that is somewhere between the trendy “tiny home movement” and the classic homeless/cardboard box scenario. This indeed is a murky area that rarely gets talked about as now those with money are purposely downsizing and creating very fashionable tiny homes on trailers, while declaring it to be a new fashionable trend and indeed a “movement.”
Meanwhile “tiny homes” have essentially been created for years by houseless individuals, in the form of tented encampments, wooded shacks, or inexpensive mobile RV’s and trailers. It has now become a trend to become “homeless”, as long as you build your dwelling on a trailer and make it look nice on the inside, and out.
Pink Face and Roy create their own little tiny homes, yet they do not exist in skid row, but won’t be making any of the trendy tiny house blogs either. It’s a gray area which seems to speak on the absence of in between individuals who can’t afford to play in the pretentious tiny home scene, yet don’t deal themselves the helpless/homeless card either.
In HOMESTEAD the relationship between the two characters remains a mystery, as do their choice of facial wear. Yet in this piece we see Roy engaging in more central action, rather than just serving as a sidekick for Pink Face. They both build their homes, create a kitchen area, empty their toilets (a nasty scene), and set up their individual play tents while squabbling over their choice of women’s clothing, “is this your skirt Roy or mine?”
HOMESTEAD (dir. Kelly Broich. Cinematography Brad Kaup. Featuring Eli Elliott. HD, 45min. 2016)
In the second installment of video performance directed by Kelly Broich with Eli Elliott and Brad Kaup, comes FASHION, a surreal absurdity focusing on Pink Face’s obsession with making money through the creating of high priced “designer” garments. The garments are taken through various techniques devised by Pink Face to provide “added value”. Pink Face cuts clothing, repairing them with neon duct tape (“rip and repair”) while assistant Roy applies sandpaper to shirt collars to “distress” the garment further. The result is clothing that goes from $10 retail to now being able to confidently place them at values in the several hundreds.
Where MUSH took rejected food that ends up in the dollar store and shows you how to create a goulash of caloric meal replacement to save you tons of money, FASHION takes rejected thrift clothing and adds necessary uniqueness and flare, showing you how to make massive amounts of money. The techniques fall in line with the real life fashion racket, implementing methods of “distressing”, while adding avant garde original uniqueness to items such as “boy shorts”.
The vibrantly dingy visuals colorfully pop equally to MUSH as the poster paints, glitters and fish hooks turn the clothing line into an absurd looking goulash of their own; the end products proudly hang by rafters in the inexplicable dirt floor shack the two “fashion designers” are operating out of.
Pink Face ultimately unveils the coup de gras of his spring collection. Roy proudly models the garment while a price tag is decided upon.
FASHION is the second in a three piece video performance series. Screening/Gallery inquires contact HERE.
FASHION (2016, HD, 31m. Directed Kelly Broich. Cinematography Brad Kaup. With Eli Elliott)