Astral ANS Ratscape

Just messing around with the rainbow rats and ANS synth tones, which I overlayed on top of the footage. The guys, Ratman and Chris, are cool old skool NYC street characters…they just ask a dollar tip for people to photograph or be photographed holding the rats, who are colored with a safe vegetable based dye. They don’t try to intimidate anyone or arbitrarily raise the tip on a whim, as I’ve heard some of these bootleg Sesame Street or Toy Story costumed people have been doing. Though I’d hope not all of them are like that. (I got hit on by one of the Chipmunks once. A real sham Chipmunk who had the “A” on his shirt like Alvin and glasses like Simon.) Times Square used to be thought of as sleazy because it was full of pimps, peepshows, junkies, muggers, you name it. There are still a few of those around, but the mufugga with the real hard reputation these days is Elmo. Or ElmoS.

Had a weird encounter at this new Bushlick wick boutique called Scumbags and Superstars…I don’t think the last two words were necessary for the guy we talked to. I was curious to see what it was due to the E.C. horror-esque flyer someone had brought into the loft. It was of yet sparse, or maybe sparseness was the intent – a rack of t-shirts, another of hoodies, and any number of collectable vintage figurines, madballs, etc. on display. There was a replica of Big Daddy Roth’s “Rat Fink” that went up to my knees.

I was admiring some pen and ink monster drawings on the wall, and the spectacled fellow behind the counter proceeded to tell me about the artist out in L.A. and how they planned to have a different artist shown every month.

So being that this whole cartoon-horror-monster-skull-devil thing has long been part of what I do, I asked if I could bring by samples or if there were someplace I could send a link of some work.

He instantly backpedaled and said, “Oh, well this art show didn’t go the way we hoped, so we’re not going to be showing anything new for a few months.” As if neither me or Eric would remember that he’d just told us that was precisely what they planned to do???

So, WTF?I mean, if he’d actually looked at the work and rejected it, well, that would still suck, but it wouldn’t seem as shady as just completely changing your story ON THE SPOT. What the hell was that? Is he one of these fuckwits who just assumes “girls can’t draw that type of thing”? Did the two of us not look affluent and “alternative-but-in-a-clean-cut way” enough? What bullshit. So far we’ve mentioned it to a few other artists we know, and the consensus has been “very unprofessional”.

But maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. I mean, would I really want to show with a shifty snooty gentrifier who demonstrates his tendency toward dishonesty the very first time you meet him? I’d think not.


2 thoughts on “Astral ANS Ratscape

  1. Thanks, I’m just getting the knack of shooting and editing video, and I’m doing it on a little phone. Maybe I should have left more of the footage with the rats’ colors & no effects.

    Yeah, the shop thing was dodgy. I don’t think he would have tried to take credit, the work is signed, but he might have tried to screw me on the profits if any sold? Who knows. But changing your story mid-conversation? Probably a bad sign.


  2. The rainbow rats are pretty cool, I wish I could have gotten a better look at their colours. It’s always amusing to me to see someone who looks comfortable handling rats/mice, in my mind I hear the comments I got for such unabashed lack of fear, and it never ceased to put a positive spin on someone else sharing my experience.

    I concur that sounds dodgy, I’m glad at least that he didn’t try to reel you in and do something else shady, like take credit for your work or something. XP
    But it still kinda sucks.


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