Beating the Boss


I casually entered the room only to be assaulted by an overpowering stench. Immediately, I recognized its origin, for it was the unmistakeable, signature scent of the nerd, cheese curls blended with Mountain Dew, laid over a heavy base of overripe teen.

This piece was painted with acrylics on a gessoed hardboard surface, my favorite materials of late. It was partially inspired by the children’s book, The Wretched Stone, Chris Van Allsburg’s thinly disguised warning about the evils of video gluttony. The idea though wasn’t to create my own cautionary tale about video addiction. Instead, what I attempted, was to capture the expression of the devoted gamer, that interesting combination of mind numbed detachment and complete focus, and to hold it up to the viewer so that they may draw their own conclusions. The title is a reference to the tried and true video game formula in which you must defeat ever more difficult or numerous enemies until you ultimately reach an endpoint battle with The Boss, typically an uber version of what came before.

In order to see the effect of a single video screen light source, I posed my model in front of a big screen t.v. although the expression on the subject’s face was more my creation than his. The background was also an imaginary creation. I wanted a setting that was simple and would not compete with the main figure. The old green couch came from memories of a small antique sofa we used to own many years ago. The pattern adds some nice movement within the wrinkles on its surface, imparting a feeling of age to counter the youth of the subject.