Background

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Peculiar Picture #13


Some of my new followers might not be familiar with a Chubby Chatterbox feature called Peculiar Pictures. I was a professional illustrator for many years and much of my work was done on spec or for my own amusement. I have a file cabinet of “peculiar pictures” that have yet to sell. Many of these images just popped out of my head, like this one showing me in an uncharacteristically surreal mood. Like you, I can only guess what it means.


I often receive comments from followers saying they don’t know much about art and they don’t want to say something foolish. Trust me; you can’t say anything foolish. There isn’t a correct answer, but you just might provide me with a way to market this image. Do you have an idea what it means? No is an acceptable answer.

35 comments:

  1. Were you smoking some of that "Wacky tobaccy" at the time?

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is clearly sexual. Envey? unobtainable "Locks."

    or as Freud said, "Sometimes a giant key and a bunch of locks is just a giant key and an bunch of locks."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no easy way to +1 a comment here, so I'll do it the long way. Consider your comment +1'd. ;)

      Delete
  3. Hmmmm- I am thinking he is looking for the right key to unlock his locks (solutions to problems?)...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Clearly this man is looking for a solution to a serious problem, but the key he has found is the wrong one.

    ReplyDelete
  5. He appears to be a businessman. We are looking at him through a "keyhole" of sorts. This gives the impression of a portrait, but there's more to this guy than meets the eye. Perhaps he's looking for the key to success.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Life has many challenges, many roads, many questions and often times, only one answer. The key to success is knowing which path to follow. Finding the right answer (or key) is a formidable challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Locks should represent problems and keys solutions. If that is the case, this man is clearly looking for a problem that fits his enormous solution.

    Of course, when you enlarge the picture you can see that the man's expression is seemingly one of fear. Perhaps he's just wondering where the hell his cubicle went....

    As far as marketing goes, if I was using this picture for marketing purposes I'd be writing copy along the lines of "Unlock Your Full Potential" or "The Keys To Success". Self-improvement or business tips related content.

    I've noticed a significant surrealist bent in the illustrations you post here. Is that a common thread in all of your work, or just the unsold ones? Are you a closet surrealist (or maybe a secret postmodernist)?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Man, are you gifted! I love this. But, sorry. If I knew how to market things, I wouldn't be so poor myself!

    ReplyDelete
  9. "The key that unlocks your future is controlled by YOU"

    ReplyDelete
  10. It looks like "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" set in a locksmith's office.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love this, Stephen. It certainly gives “looking through the keyhole” a whole new meaning. I don’t think you’d have to worry about how to market. Let your wonderful art speak for itself. I believe too much explanation and description keeps viewers from using their imaginations. Each of us who gaze at this piece will see and feel something different—and that’s a positive thing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I don't know anything about art and I admit it. I just know what I like and often there isn't any concrete reason for liking it. Go figure. This piece looks like the guy has the key to success and that's what I get out of this. Perhaps it's the briefcase...

    Have a terrific day. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. If he were to eat a bit of the left side of the mushroom, then he'd be large enough to pick up that key...

    ReplyDelete
  14. It reminds me of a Salvador Dali painting...

    ReplyDelete
  15. hhmm....it kind of speaks to me given some of the things i've been through this summer. and since even you don't know what it means and there is no wrong answer....the answer for ME is examining things to find a key to the future. having cast of things behind that kept me "locked" into a certain way of viewing or doing things. i mean it's an empty landscape except for the locks and key, an endless horizon with a sky full of stars. but the guy has walked away from the locks and toward the key even though it's not at all certain what it may unlock.

    yep, i'm reading my own story into this picture but as i said, it just feels like it speaks to my circumstances.

    ReplyDelete
  16. he's on the moon and he's hoping that's the key to his spaceship. and why isn't he wearing his spacesuit?

    ReplyDelete
  17. He feels he has the key to unlock something important but isn't able to use it?

    ReplyDelete
  18. It's an intriguing and enjoyable image. Perhaps the deep meaning is that his business skills (represented by an attache case) are useless now, just like the giant key in a world with locks but nothing to secure.
    Oh, this kind of exercise could lead us to far and wild speculations...

    ReplyDelete
  19. G'day CC. Great piece of work. Were you happy in your job at that time? Other than that, I have no idea what it means. Take care. Liz...

    ReplyDelete
  20. Those gas station rest room keys are really getting out of control.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I was just glad he found the key. :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hmmmm. I have some keys that were left in my house when I moved in. I've never been able to discover what they're for. They don't fit the front door, the back door, or the garage. Maybe they belong with that key. Kind of like where all the lost socks go.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh keys are a wonderful symbol. Looks like an illustration for the NYT Magazine, seriously.

    You could write a short story for this picture, or an essay.

    ReplyDelete
  24. He got his degree and was excited to enter the business world, full of idealism, great ideas, and solutions (large key) and now is frustrated by his job where he is tasked with mundane and petty problems and unimportant tasks (small locks). No wonder he feels lonely and angry (dark, dreary moon landscape). He's looking to get out.

    Love this image!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks like it would make a great book cover!

      Delete
  25. The key to the future! Many locks have to opened to get where you want to go.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You have had some great and interesting comments Stephen. To me the padlocks are like frustrated aspects of potential and the key is our heartfelt desire to find the way to release them.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think you know exactly what your painting means and are fishing for feedback, which is perfectly fine. I like the painting, Stephen.

    Two aspects give the painting away--the barren landscape, and the faceless, stereotypical image of the businessman.

    Just another working stiffs, "locked in" to an unrewarding career which he cannot escape from.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Keys to the imagination? Hey, I lke your comment aluding to the fact that there are no stupid questions! Refreshing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Urmmmm, something about those grown up kids who won't move out of their parents' homes, springs to mind. And the Key of the Door. And stuff like that.

    Or, "No."

    ReplyDelete
  30. Reminds me of some of Magritte's work, one of my favourite artists. To me it's about priorities. The emphasis we put on certain things.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi, I'm a new follower and have NO idea how I got here...but I think I like it. :)
    No ideas on the photo...the first thing that popped into my head, Hank Williams and Take These Chains from My Heart.
    Gotta go read some more now.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Looking through the keyhole could be a title for this one, the right lock is hard to find as your key is only suited for one, the rest just wont work. Something along this line.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Sometimes one key fits more than one lock. Finding a right fit takes determination to look for it.

    ReplyDelete