The Manimals is a photo journal comprised of artwork and short character biographies collected during a public works funded Submerican odyssey…
We’ll be launching our Kickstarter campaign this summer.
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When I set off to find and record unique personalities in depressed rural Submerica, I never imagined they’d make as much of an impression on me as they did. It was a public works project, a government job meant to help me pay the bills so I could keep making “real art”… art that I always thought meant something, but never seemed to mean enough to anyone else.
But this project wound up becoming much more than just a J-O-B. I thought I would travel out into the suburban landscape, snap some pics, and return home unchanged, but I was wrong. The further afield I went, the more characters I met, and the more solid the ground beneath my feet became.
When I returned to the city, I was changed.
This catalog is just a sampling of some of the untamed spirits I met along the way. I offer it up as proof that the Submerican spirit is still alive, and very well.
‘I’mma mean, hard left and a cold, cold right. If you see me up close it’s cause we’re in for a fight! Hahaha, that’s a promotional chant my manager and I came up with to help sell my fights. Something about a rhyming boxer makes people curious. I can’t explain it, I just know that once I step up to fight, people forget all about them cutesy words and hold their breath in fright. Last guy I fought, he’s still trying to count up all the little birdies he’s got flying ‘round his head! I’m not saying violence is the answer, only that when you find out you’re good at something, you kind of owe it to the world to show it off.’
‘It started out as a gag. I bet someone I could beat Houdini’s escape time, and next thing I know, I’m strapped in tighter than a titmouse and everyone is laughing at me. I’ve always been a bit high-strung, but I never would have expected to wind up chasing my own tail around the bar like a lunatic. Turns out I really don’t like being confined. Not only did I not even come close to beating Houdini’s time, but the authorities were called and this photo taken, and now I can’t go anywhere without being called out as “That guy!”‘
‘One day this circus came through town, they didn’t have much: a few fire-eaters, some clowns, and a lion tamer… But when I saw the trapeze artists, I knew I was going to be leaving with them in the morning. I showed up—scrappy, confident little thing—and bullied my way onto the train. They didn’t let me fly at first—I spent a lot of time selling peanuts and popcorn and picking up after the elephants. But eventually they let me train with the flyers, and once they saw how graceful I was in the air, they moved me into my own train car. I’m an attraction now. People come from all over to see me soar.And my parents told me I couldn’t fly…’