Sunday, May 23, 2010
When did you start working in parks? "Ah, I started in Union Square on August 23rd last fall, 2009."
Cuz I see you out here all the time..... "Yeah, this is what I do for my day to day, sort of bread and butter."
Do people contact you? Can they buy your art? "Yeah, absolutely, it's just JoeMangrum.com, and my sand paintings are archived on facebook, more so than my website because I post while I'm working.
And I've done plenty of events over the years. I've done commissions for large scale festivals like, All Points West, lots of different stuff like that, as well as private events, weddings, parties, that sort of thing."
Okay, this is a little un-related, but I have to ask.....Did you have a themed wedding? "Yeah we did, we were planning to move to New York so before we left San Francisco we decided to throw a big party and have our friends and everything, and ah, a true San Francisco style wedding. Um, we did it at the Palace of Fine Arts, and we had everyone come as their favorite artist or a piece of art.
Who was your artist? "Well, I made up my costume. It was a combination between the Mad-Hatter, George Clinton, and Willie Wonka. And then my wife made her own dress which was inspired by art nouveau."
And, in terms of the urban grid, it's like the world is dividing by minutes and seconds by the Gregorian calendar. And those equate distances, and so it puts us in a state where we're out of balance with nature. And it puts us in a psychological division opposed to unity. So, that's why I explore this symbol."
Then a fellow with a small white dog joined us.
Mr. White Dog: "Is that your design?"
Mr. White Dog: "What prompted you to choose that if I may ask?"
Joe: "Ah, it's all just made up as I go. It's my imagination just getting poured out onto the sidewalk."
Mr. White Dog: "I'm not making a judgement at that. That's one way or the other. Do you understand anything about the meaning of that? I'm a painter, and a student of psychology."
Joe: "What do you see in it?"
Mr White Dog: "I'm just talking about the purely intrinsic qualities of design."
Joe: "Em-huh. That's like we're peeling an onion of metaphors, so where would you like to start?" (Laughter)
Mr. White Dog: "We can start with the fact that it's non-figurative, it's not an object."
Joe: "It's leaf like, and it's.."
Mr. White Dog: "Suggestive."
Mr. White Dog: "Um that it's symmetrical, the symmetry is basically four-sided."
Mr. White Dog: "Um in one way, from a psychological view, I don't wanna shock you with this, but it would be considered symmetrically the kind of design somebody who is schizophrenic would come up with."
Me: "Really?" (Joe laughed.)
Joe: "That's funny."
Mr. White Dog: "Why is that so?"
Joe: "Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I."
Me: "That's funny!"
I had to stop recording because Mr. White Dog was very intent with attempting to convince Joe that he was schizophrenic… Apologies for the interruption.
Dear Joe is humble because when I took a closer look at him online I learned that while Joe lived in San Francisco the L.A. Times wrote about his public artwork a number of times, that he has permanent work at the bus stops at 22nd Street and Mission in San Fran, and that he was honored by the Lorenzo de Medici Award at the Florence Biennale in 2003.
So, if you're looking for something that will circulate positive energy visit Joe's website. The link is above.
Lastly, when you spot Joe drop some cash in his suit case. He is a gem of New York City.