Arbus, My Boy, Stay Alert! is a recent digital composition utilizing an old black and white photograph from Diane Arbus but I also used her last name for the composite’s haphazard protagonist as well. He just seemed like an Arby kind of kid. The TV table and TV were two separate images while the image on the TV was created using a copy of a sign and photo software effects. The Chinese character came from Photoshop as did the wallpaper and the rug although various effects were applied. The wood floor was created using a photograph of boards.
I went for the 1960’s mod living room look because 1. it’s fun and 2. Arby has a retro look about him. Technically for a true 1960’s look there would be shag carpet but I wanted the rug (which seems like a cartoon target) and you can’t have wall-to-wall shag AND a rug so wood flooring. And my trap is all set really – once Arby steps on the rug his weight will trigger the video monitoring system inside the TV and as he moves closer to the central yellow circle of the rug the mechanism that releases the large anvil (cartoons always have anvils) will be activated allowing the 2 ton object to smash Arby into a pancake.
Or not, I’ve liked Arby from the moment I saw Diane Arbus’s photograph of him cleverly captured mid-stride about to cross a seemingly deserted NYC street but distracted by something or someone although, ironically, not the photographer who captured an image of him that would circulate throughout the world and still be available for viewing 60 years later. She was somehow as unobtrusive as a parked car or a trashcan which really circles back to the title and the admonishment to stay alert to the myriad of dangers in the world. Some of the dangers are cartoon-ish (anvils or the fear of people who seem different due to race or religion) and some are hard to see (a car speeding around a corner or illegal surveillance by the government) but staying home is not an option because there are friends to meet, pick-up games to play, and ice cream trucks to follow. So, stay alert, accept that you can not foresee all the eventualities, and go play.