“NOOO! Don’t trash it!” I vividly remember begging my mom not to trash our old vacuum cleaner as I clung onto it as if my life depended on it. I was only two years old back then but I had a really strong attachment to it. The dingy old vacuum cleaner was one of the few friends I had during that time. I was the only child and I kept myself entertained by befriending with inanimate objects that can’t talk and have no soul. But in the eyes of a two year old, these objects were able to talk to me about their life and feelings. And the thought of me being separated with them tore me apart. But… in the end, my mom succeeded in throwing away the vacuum cleaner and I cried the whole day until my mom bought me a huge teddy bear to make it up to me. My dear old friend disappeared from my mind and I continued my life as a two year old.
Few months back, as I was driving in Koreatown, I came upon a discarded television but however, it wasn’t any old tv. There was a sad crying clown face painted on the screen. It was entertaining to see and it was such a fun and clever idea to illustrate discarded items since they can be such an eyesore. But that’s how far my thought went and I didn’t think much deeply of it. But two weeks ago, I came across one of my favorite gallery’s IG and it said they were going to showcase Lonesome Town’s work. In the photo was an art frame that had a similar sad crying clown face that I saw before illustrated on top of it. It caught my attention and
Lonesome Town is an anonymous street artist based in LA that started painting sad clown faces on discarded items all over Silver Lake and Koreatown. In an interview, he said his project began when he saw a discarded refrigerator that was “sadly staring back at him”. He first put a face on it and the next day, nothing happened to it. So he continued to add on more items such as buttons and polka dots. And that’s how his project was born. I really recommend you guys read his interview. It’s really interesting how he views this project. It’s sad but also beautiful.
This thing that was utilized on a daily basis, an integrated part of somebody’s family … just abandoned. (1)
The exhibition took place in La Luz de Jesus Gallery and it was Lonesome Town’s first exhibition. As I was looking at each individual piece, I felt overwhelming sadness. Even though these objects have no soul, the faces personified them and made it seem like they were alive. I know it’s weird but I was able to feel their sadness LOL. It made me sad that they were once valued but now, they’re the unwanted. The feeling of abandonment and unloved made me hurt inside. The clown faces made it only worse because clowns are supposed to make you laugh but yet the sad clown faces on these inanimate objects contrasts the main purpose of a clown. I just wanted to give each and every piece a big hug. To some people, it may just look like faces on items and nothing more but to me, they were things that were in dire need of love. I think I was able to relate so well with the pieces because of what happened when I was two.
Even though it was depressing, I loved each and every piece. Hopefully, I’ll be able to come across another one of Lonesome Town’s installation someday.
These poor little things… it’s just a dream, go back to sleep 😥