Stolen Rainbow, Gray’s Naked Girl and Decorating – How Was Your Weekend?


While hanging out at my sister’s house Friday night, Ellie, who brought her back pack full of goodies to show her cousin Liam, stumbled upon a small, square piece of paper with a rainbow drawn on it in marker. She asked me if she could keep it. I thought it was a temporary tattoo, so I said no. Not like it mattered what it was, though. Later in the night she asked me again. I told her it was Liam’s and that it needed to stay here. She didn’t ask me again.


The three amigos ran wild as 3-year-olds do. The boys dressed up as The Hulk and Spider Man while Ellie shamefully wore Liam’s bear costume from last Halloween. She forced a smile for the camera but seemed uncomfortable from the get-go in it.



Earlier in the day my friend Sam of posted a preview of a piece he created for POPzilla Gallery’s November 1 “The Burton Show,” which recognizes the films of director Tim Burton in the form of pop art. Sam called it Día De Los Rey Calabaza (Day of the Pumpkin King) as he mashed up Jack Skellington’s face from The Nightmare Before Christmas with the stylization of Dia De Los Muertos art (which I love, I mean who doesn’t?). I think I want this tattooed all over my body. EVERYWHERE.



My wife and I split the kids up Saturday for a couple of date nights. Ellie and I saw The Boxtrolls, which hit movie theaters this weekend, while Gray and my wife went shopping. Weird role reversal, eh? Gray seemed timid of those trolls in boxes. I think Ellie just went because she saw I had a box of Reece’s Pieces.


We both liked it. The visual splendor supports this unconventional children’s movie littered with made-for-adult jokes and a charming group of body-shamed trolls (thus the boxes). Oh, and it’s stop animation. Which in and of itself makes the move freakin’ amazing.

While we waited for our driver, Ellie’s eyes locked on a black limo parked outside the theater. Convertibles and limos. She loves them.



The kids and I played sidekicks to the decorating leading roles of my wife and her mom as they prepped the house for Halloween. Between Gray and Ellie, they said this was the best Halloween party ever about 33 times. At the end of the night they asked if we had to take down the decorations. Gray even wanted me to pass out candy if someone knocked at the door, because he had to go poop and couldn’t do it himself.

I asked the kids about their classmates, and what they were going to dress as for Halloween. Ellie had no idea. Gray said three of the girls were going as Elsa, Anna and the Little Mermaid. I asked what his girlfriend, Hayley, was dressing up as. He quietly said a naked girl.

I have to put in to context what a naked girl means, from his point of view. Ellie’s had a Party City costume magazine rolled up in that back pack of hers. In it is some sort of slutty Rainbow Brite girl who looks ready to drive out to Indio for a rave. Because her belly shows, they think she’s naked.

I asked Gray to show me a picture of the costume Hayley’s going to wear.


She’s just missing a glow stick and a pacifier.

Speaking of rainbows, remember that paper Ellie wanted to grab from her cousin’s house with the rainbow on it? She pulled it out of her back pack. Yep, she stole it. So we’ll be returning that to Liam at preschool on Tuesday. Sorry, Karis.

Oh, and I signed up to Pinterest while looking up Halloween decorations because they realllllllllllly want you to use their app, which requires registration. So for the few that started following me, know you’ll be disappointed. Unless you, too, are infatuated with a credit card sized knife that fits in your wallet.

Here are some shots of our Halloween decorations (I’ll post some night time photos on Instagram tonight). How was your weekend?

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DUOS: Pop Art Attacked Two At a Time


To know Orange County artist Sam Carter is to know funny. It’s in his DNA. His father, Samuel Carter III, boasts a cold, calculating wit. If there is a line he won’t cross, it’s buried in the sand. Think the late George Carlin without the raspy voice. Sam inherited the same levity. Toss in the influences of Caddy Shack, Saturday Night Live and The Jerky Boys along with years of listening to movies and television in the background while drawing as a single child growing up in Orange and a pop culture satirical monster is born.

Carter, Director of the Design Studio at USC Auxiliary Services and formerly an art specialist at Disney’s Art Department, started drawing about age 4 or 5. He drew Garfield in elementary school and became frustrated when other kids couldn’t match his skill. When he was 9 created elaborate maps of imaginary amusement parks filled with minute detail.

In high school he started a line of T-shirts entitled Dismal with the iconic Disney “D”. One shirt featured a creepy one-eyed, one-eared Mickey Mouse while another set many Disney characters in a pool hall. While not yet defined at the time, Carter was creating pop surrealism, an underground art movement mash-up of Surrealism and popular culture created simply to entertain.The phrase originated at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 1998 for an exhibit of the same name (and book in 1999 which covered the exhibit) and is sometimes referred to as lowbrow art. It’s often filled with humor and sometimes a sarcastic comment on society.

Pop Surrealism at its Lowest Brow

Carter’s first solo art show “DUOS” exemplifies the pop culture influences from his youth. Hosted at Santa Ana’s  F+ Gallery, his collection depicts “pop culture’s most duos flyer backnotorious, obvious, famous, ambiguous and dynamic duos.” The Blues Brothers Jake and Elwood, Jules and Vincent from Pulp Fiction and Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie are some of the 69 (of course) twosomes on exhibit starting Saturday, June 1. The themed show will run through July 10.

“I liked the idea of DUOS, it’s almost endless,” Carter said. “So picking my favorites would be fun. That’s what this type of art is all about. Nothing too serious or heavy in my stuff.”

Carter, who uses the tagline “Pop Surrealism at its Lowest Brow” on his website, began working on DUOS in January. He sketches a piece with a Wacom tablet and then creates shapes on top of it with Adobe Illustrator. He said this project forced him to learn how to simplify his designs.

All 69 DUOS, by Sam Carter

All 69 DUOS, by Sam Carter

“I usually work my art to death and not realize I should have walked away a long time ago,” he said. “This was a good learning process as an artist to only give myself a limited amount of time for each person in the duo.”

“My fucking wrist hurts from it,” he added.

Amy Kaplan, manager at F+ Gallery, first met Carter, a Cal State Fullerton art grad, at a bi-monthly life drawing group at Dr. Sketchy’s, an anti-art school in Anaheim. Kaplain said the gallery normally features fine art, but her and owner Micah Kersh have always wanted to mix in pop art, and she thought Carter was the perfect fit.

“I’ve always been a fan of his work,” Kaplan said, “and have wanted to feature him in one way or the other.”

A huge Back to the Future fan, Carter said his favorite pieces are Doc and Marty or movie maker Kevin Smith’s characters Jay and Silent Bob.

Blues Brothers Jake and Elwood, DUOS, by Sam Carter.

Blues Brothers Jake and Elwood, DUOS, by Sam Carter.

“It’s fun to have an art show where you can have someone like Jay in a piece giving the  finger,” Carter said. “A simple gesture is so true to his character.”  Each duo can be purchased as limited editions on opening night.

Attack of Pop Art Rages On

Carter said he sees himself expanding the DUOS collection in the future. He hopes to hit 100 total tandems and feature them on his website at

In August, Carter and a group of artists under the moniker Popzilla will put on a themed art show called Mega Mouse, which takes a look at what would happen if Disney continues to buy up creative properties, like they have with Star Wars and Marvel. Popzilla’s first show, Rat Trap, was a celebrity roast of Disneyland and earlier this year Rothick Art Haus hosted SteamPOP, which covered all things pop culture seen through “steam punk” goggles. Carter said the group is always looking for “awesome, nerdy new artists” to join his crew.

For More Information:

F+ Gallery

Popzilla on Facebook

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