Monday, November 26, 2007

The Peanut Vendor!

Or how I stumbled across Len Lye!

The other night I was drawing while listening to my favorite online music stream Radio Dismuke. One of the songs that floated by was a snappy rumba tune that I knew I'd heard a gazillion times but was unsure of what the song actually was. It turned out to be The Peanut Vendor (El Manisero) by Debroy Somers And His Band. That sent me immediately to Google to learn more about the song and the artists who performed it.

In my search however...I came across this film clip from 1933. The person who posted it tagged it as "the creepiest puppet film ever made." I'm not sure THAT is true--even though it IS a bit ragged.

The artist who created this wonderful amalgamation of music and puppetry was a fellow named Len Lye--who quite frankly I don't recall hearing anything about in the past. But he is clearly a significant personage in the history of both film art and painting. His original theories regarding art were encapsulated in his philosophy of INH: Individual Happiness Now

"The three words that make up Individual Happiness Now! represent positive, interconnected values that Len Lye believed could form the basis of a human society transcending nationalism, political ideology and religious difference. This exhibition weaves four decades of Lye's work around this theory of art, life, and happiness," wrote Tyler Cann curator of the Len Lye collection, Tyler Cann.

Sure sounds like someone worth following up on!
Any of you folks know anything more about this seemingly fine fellow?
Stumbling across something like this while looking for something else--this is definitely one of my favorite activities on the Internet!

1 comment:

Startswithana said...

I've been 2 months in Melbourne, in a suburb, and in one of my adventures to the city I found and exhibition on Len Lye's work, he's originally from New Zeland, and has very interesting ideas, he made a lot of different project, not only film art and painting, he thought of art as in movement and created sculptures that would move and create shapes or sounds with the movement, and well he was a genius, because he saw what other people didn't see