Stripe MEN – Jim Winters

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

117 Walnut Ave

Santa Cruz

I love clowns, specifically vintage clowns. Not monster clowns (Stephen King’s It), not real-life serial murderer clowns (John Wayne Gacy), not rapping clowns (Insane Clown Posse). Killer Klowns from Outer Space is another story… a movie, actually, and I LOVE it. 

Clowns get a bad rap these days. Most people seem to think that they are inherently scary. They can definitely be disturbing. For me, therein lies both the charm and the frisson. I appreciate the manic happiness, the slapstick goofiness and most of all, the exaggerated sadness. The frowning clown holding a broken flower with a tear streaming down his cheek moves me.. 

The clown as an icon seems to exist mostly in a time gone by – in childhood memories from the last century, an archetype of the male entertainer of yesteryear. My online exploration of paint-by-numbers has revealed many portrait paintings of the old-time, classic clown. Google image searches have turned up many photos of famous circus clowns from the mid 20th century. 1000 Clowns published by Taschen books also provide much source material for the pieces in this show. 

My show, “I See Clowns”, consists of 12 paintings – copies of old paint-by-numbers, 6 prints – reduction screenprint versions of mid-century classic clown photos and a surfboard painted with a clown graphic of my own design (a collaboration with MarDawg surfboards).

  I love the context of a men’s boutique for vintage-inspired clown art, and to have my show coincide with the Gay Pride month of June – all the better. As a good friend of mine recently said, “There is a thin line between a clown and a drag queen.” I agree completely!

June, June Downtown
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