‘Bigfoot’ Category Archives

3
Nov

“Bigfoot is Probably Real” exhibit at Renton History Museum

by Eugene in Bigfoot, Cryptozoology, Eugene's work, Museums

 

User-generated Bigfoot drawing from the Renton exhibition

Everyone’s favorite furry giant is making an encore appearance, this time in a more contextually appropriate setting: Renton History Museum. I have been working with director Elizabeth Stewart and we’ve put together a show that’s part art installation, and part educational experience on the value and uses of evidence, eyewitness accounts, and critical thinking.

Renton History Museum is a charming place, housed in the Art Deco building that served as the city of Renton’s firehouse back in the day. The whole main exhibition area is lit by an enormous vintage neon sign (rescued from an old theater downtown), and there are dioramas of Indian villages, a Boeing flight simulator, and a walk-through replica of an early settler’s house.

I have “inserted” (quite literally) Bigfoot into the history of Renton and the Pacific Northwest, in a way that I have always wanted to do, and in a way that I think is quite legitimate. It doesn’t really matter, in a social sense, if Bigfoot is “real”, because as part of the culture of the Northwest, he already is.

The show is open now through January 28. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 4 PM.
Renton History Museum
235 Mill Avenue South
Renton, WA  98057
Phone: 425-255-2330

Museum Website: http://rentonwa.gov/living/default.aspx?id=1220

Here’s a press blurb about it: http://renton.patch.com/articles/is-bigfoot-real

 

 

14
Dec

It’s a guy in a suit, get over it

by Eugene in Bigfoot, Cryptozoology

This story has been floating around the online-news-o-sphere for the past few days, and at least two people have forwarded it to me. Some local hunters in Northern Minnesota have produced a trail cam image that they claim is Bigfoot.

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8
Dec

In the gallery, a simple experiment

by Eugene in Bigfoot, Cryptozoology, Eugene's work

Part of my new show at Gallery 4Culture involves a simple, Myth-Busters type experiment: is it possible to replicate Bigfoot footprints with those giant wooden strap-on feet made famous by Ray Wallace in the 1970′s?

As the video shows, results are mixed. The average step reported in Bigfoot trackways is 48 – 60″. My target trackway was about 57″. For most ordinary individuals, taking steps large enough to replicate this spacing, with wooden feet strapped to your shoes, is simply not possible, at least not for any distance. My friend Jay Bryant, however, at 6 foot 6, is the exception that proves the rule.

In the video you can also see people interacting with the taxidermied bigfoot whose construction I have been chronicling here over the past few months. This is the effect I have wanted: to put you in a dark room with Bigfoot and a flashlight. It changes the experience completely from the open, well-lit group show in Kirkland. There is something pulse-quickening about carrying a flashlight into the dark, to see what you might find there, especially the big lantern type with the huge square batteries and over-arching handles, that bring memories of childhood campouts and thunderstorm-induced power failures. It’s simply primal.

7
Dec

A Bigfoot Expedition, Reported

by Eugene in Bigfoot, Cryptozoology

Journalist Scott Bowen is On the trail of the New York Bigfoot. He joins an expedition sponsored by the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, and tells us all about it. I have always wondered about these expeditions. At the reception to my show the other night, I met a field biologist working on the Olympic Peninsula, who has met some of the core members, and what she had to say wasn’t terribly kind. Another gallery visitor mentioned that the expeditions have become so popular (despite the $300 fee for first-time joiners) that BFRO is no longer allowing new people to come along.

So when you get 400 people to go camping together and trot around in the woods with their night vision scopes and walkie-talkies and whatnot, does it become anything other than a kind of group snipe hunt? BFRO contends that their expeditions do, reliably, turn up Bigfoot-related phenomena like vocalizations and wood-knocking. But are they legitimate, or are they some kind of manufactured thrill-experience? Hard to say. My informants tell me some of the participants are quite sincere.

I guess I won’t find out; not this year, at least.

15
Sep

Building Bigfoot, part five (and last)

by Eugene in Bigfoot, Eugene's work, Processes and Materials, Work in Progress

This is the final installment of this series, you can find part one here. At the opening, a lot of people asked me what kind of hair or fur is covering this piece. It is actually musk ox, and it comes from a musk ox rug that I bought on eBay for $550.00 (which is actually a bargain compared to some others I had seen). I was originally planning on using an old bear skin rug  I had obtained, but I didn’t like the thinness of the hair; this one certainly remedies that. The hair is over a foot long in some places, and incredibly thick– too thick, in fact, to be believable, and has had to be thinned out quite a lot to look right.

Musk ox hair

Musk ox hair

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14
Sep

“False Proof” at Kirkland Arts Center

by Eugene in Bigfoot, Cryptozoology, Eugene's work

False Proof

September 11 – October 3 , 2009
Curated by Cable Griffith

Nola Avienne, Zack Bent, Jana Brevick, Drew Christie, Jonathan Gitelson, Eugene Parnell, and Samantha Scherer.

Opening reception: Thursday, September 10, 6 – 8:30 PM

False Proof

False Proof

It is human nature to linger on the threshold between rational thought and total fantasy, fact and fiction, known and unknown, natural and supernatural, regardless of religious or spiritual persuasion. A great many things in the universe defy explanation, and in some ways, we prefer it that way. Answers can sometimes be cold and decisive, shutting the door to the fundamental question at the root of creativity, “What if?” The artists in False Proof address several of these time-tested phenomena by creating work that exploits the bubbles we preserve between knowing and not knowing.

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11
Sep

Building Bigfoot, part four

by Eugene in Bigfoot, Cryptozoology, Eugene's work, Processes and Materials, Work in Progress

This is part 4 of this series, you can see part three here. In the last installment, we saw the process for casting a body part as a hollow fiberglass and resin shell. In this post, we’ll look at the other casting method I use, solid casting with urethane plastic.

The left hand of Bigfoot, modeled in clay

The left hand of Bigfoot, modeled in clay

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1
Sep

Building Bigfoot, part three

by Eugene in Bigfoot, Cryptozoology, Eugene's work, Processes and Materials, Work in Progress

This is the third post in this series: for part one, go here. In part two, we saw how the body of the piece is cast and then carved from expandable urethane foam, and now let’s have a look at the finished mannequin:

front_view_carveddsc03134

Front view of the finished mannequin

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1
Sep

Building Bigfoot, part two

by Eugene in Bigfoot, Eugene's work, Processes and Materials, Work in Progress

This is the second installment of this series– the first is here. The final piece, like most of my large pieces lately, will be constucted largely of urethane foam, like a commercial taxidermy mannequin, with recycled animal skin rugs glued over it. With a piece this large, it is necessary to have some kind of hard armature inside the foam to give it greater structural strength.

Commercial taxidermy mannequins above a certain size have threaded steel rods in their legs to help strengthen them. This is easy to accomplish at the commercial level because the entire mannequin is cast as one or two pieces in large silicone-and-fiberglass molds, and the rods can be affixed in place inside the molds before the foam material is injected.

That’s not an option for me, because I will not be casting foam into a mold; this would require sculpting a life-sized sasquatch in several hundreds of pounds of clay, then using gallons and gallons of expensive silicone and fiberglass resin (can you imagine the smell?) to produce a mold that would also weigh hundreds of pounds. If I were making a thousand copies (an army of sasquatches?) that might be feasible but not for a one-off piece.

So instead I will be building the foam structure up over the armature directly, and cutting and rasping the final shape from a life-sized foam blob.

All of which doesn’t preclude me from using threaded steel rod for the armature, but considering I don’t have a welding kit in my studio, I have opted for plywood instead, it’s just easier to work and strong enough for the job.

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Maquette of the finished piece alongside maquette of plywood armature

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9
Aug

Building Bigfoot, part one

by Eugene in Bigfoot, Eugene's work, Processes and Materials, Work in Progress

Every time I produce a new piece, I try to document the process– perhaps it’s just vanity, or perhaps I am worried I will forget how something is done, or, most probably, I just want people to know how time consuming and complicated the process is.

When I was in school I had no interest at all in representative or figurative work– I was a hard-core postmodern conceptualist, and I really rolled my eyes a lot when we had to do things like make armatures and scale maquettes. So I didn’t pay as much attention as I should have, and have had to re-learn a lot of things on my own. But the process is not so different now than it was a hundred years ago. We start with a maquette (which is an impressive French word for a model).

Armature for maquette with Owen's 19th Century study of gorilla and human skeletons

Armature for maquette with Owen's 19th Century study of gorilla and human skeletons

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