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SQUIGGLE#7 (Super-moon & spider) Edition 1 of 1

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Date Minted: April 9, 2020

Artist Description: From an old ballpoint pen squiggle of mine, an animated digital reinterpretation. A doodle that has new life. The 7th piece of the series is about the century super-moon.

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

Vangango is clearly an artist of varying sensibilities. It’s really proving quite hard to get any cohesive read on what his style is, as his oeuvre is more a zany hodgepodge of momentary inspirations or phases than one cohesive artistic continuum. That’s not a negative by any means, just an observation. This is an artist who, whether within his works themselves (like here in SQUIGGLE#7 (Super-moon & spider)) or in the meta-view of his entire creative output, jumps all over the place, meshing styles and levels of artistry, marrying pop culture and abstract, creating completely unique visions in one place and committing blatant or unimaginative rip-offs elsewhere; what we see in Vangango’s works is the artistic mind set free of any limiting constraints; social norms be damned. His works like a stream of vomit: varied in texture, not necessarily pleasant, with individual areas of great (although perhaps twisted) beauty, and that have emerged into the world in what seems like a steady, unstoppable deluge. 

However, among his pieces, the SQUIGGLE collection stands out for its originality and artistry. There are twelve SQUIGGLE pieces in total, and all share a similar preoccupation with line, illusion, and color. Not one is so similar to another; this seems like the collection in which the artist’s creativity is most unbound. Of SQUIGGLE#7 (Super-moon & spider), Vangango says, “From an old ballpoint pen squiggle of mine, an animated digital reinterpretation. A doodle that has new life. The 7th piece of the series is about the century super-moon.” Doodle is a good way to put it, although I’m not sure it does the piece justice. Because there’s really interesting composition here, the kind of optical illusion melding of shapes and lines that we’d find in the best cubist works. In SQUIGGLE#7 (Super-moon & spider), our subject is a mishmash of squares, rectangles, shapes, and lines and color that seem to all be emerging out of the piece and coming towards the observer. Finding the single point from which the various skyscraper-like shapes erupt is tricky, but most share the same tendency to appear with momentum and movement, as if they’re exploding out from some infinitesimal spot. Amongst the multicolored squares and long, segmented rectangles, psychedelic and rainbow fencing, shaded triangles, red and blues and yellows and pinks and blacks and oranges, a blue circle, a shape like an old length of film with red and orange and yellow negatives, we find a tiny, flashing —green, red, yellow, grey— Ethereum symbol, and we find a flashing black-and-white outline of a spider, and we find, alone in the top-left corner of the piece, set against a navy blue background, a spinning moon, this not of the clearly hand-drawn style of the rest of the piece, but a photo of the real moon, with all its craters and reflected light.

Imposing symbolic meaning upon this piece seems like a waste of its gifts. This piece lives in a realm of pure aesthetics. It’s like an intersecting playground of many different pieces, all fascinating if unrelated. Here is none of the heavy-handedness of so much abstraction. This is abstract, certainly, but it pulses with a certain verve, a certain freedom, which perhaps stems from how it was conceived. As Vangango said, this piece began as a ballpoint pen doodle, and it has been rejuvenated through its integration with technology. There’s a spontaneity about this piece that is certainly captured in its composition. I’m reminded of my own notebook doodles, ones I would scratch down during boring high school classes, bizarre and free-flowing organisms without logic, ruled by shapes, lines, and randomness, enlivened by an understanding that this or that was not meant to resemble anything, it was simply an emblem on paper of a mind slowly working elsewhere. I get the same underlying feeling from SQUIGGLE#7 (Super-moon & spider), which seems ruled by all the instantaneity of surrealist art. It is not beholden to any kind of internal logic. If there is a single logic holding it together, it is something subterranean and probably subconscious: where the mind takes the hand when the mind is left to its own unexamined devices.

I’m reminded of Pinder Van Arman’s art —he the artist of hand-crafted pieces which he then digitizes before commanding a literal painting robot to reconstruct the pieces, sending them back and forth between the digital and physical world. Here, Vangango displays a similar kind of fascination, or at least a fleeting interest, with the interplay between physical art and digitized art, especially if SQUIGGLE#7 (Super-moon & spider) is, as purported, a computerized version of a notebook doodle. It makes us almost pity those pieces relegated to the physical world, stripped of their ability to become dynamic by the decidedly unanimated rules of stringent reality. Absorbed into the computer, however, the doodles gain life and pop and the benefit of collage. The moon, the spider, the ethereum symbol, the interplay between static colors and others flashing; this is a markedly more interesting piece because of what it can do now that it is online and not languishing on a page somewhere. 

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