Friday, January 6, 2012

Echo of Gary Coleman

In December I was walking down the street in Milan, window-shopping galleries. What is that strange little canvas?...

What in the world? It looks like a silkscreened face of...

Gary Coleman!
Oddly, this is not the first time I've seen his mug smiling in the Northern Italian city of fashion and art. The face has become a glyph in the lexicon of street art, stenciled mysteriously on the tag-sotted nether quarters of many buildings, along with Andre the Giant's acromegalic grimace (Obey!)

Gary Coleman was a cherub, full of cheer, an early Micky Rooney Puck, a sputtering mirthful spirit, quite different from Andre's bulk and portent. Some writers might be able to dig out psycho-histories involving minstrel shows and such.  

He has become a meme, a sign; put your story in as you like...

There is something going on!

He was very small in stature, but I wouldn't want to have tangled with him. He managed to take on larger people, putting them in the hospital both with his bare hands, and with machines. Throughout his post-cherubic life the tabloid press kept track of his many adventures and misadventures in courts of law.

Numerous health problems dogged him and lead to great financial stress. His coup de grace fell in 2010.

Ecco of Gary Coleman c. 1985 by this blogger
location: lost

1 comment:

  1. I remember your Siqueiros/Coleman work -- too bad it's non-extant (burned)? Last time I saw it was probably in the cellar in Sandy. I wasn't aware his face was a "banksy" type stencil now -- remarkable you saw the silkscreen in Milan.