The Sock Puppet Portraits are framed photographs of sock puppets I make, each with a name, story, and elaborate life of their own.
Each Series of Sock Puppet Portraits is built as a set of nine related characters, tied together via a governing visual, story-based, conceptual, and/or interactive idea. Miraculously, I have sold thousands of them over the years.
See below for a reverse chronology of the full Series.
SERIES 5's characters were all based off of cultural masks and were premiered in over-sized 20"x30" commercial packages (and matching small, limited edition 5"x7" packaged pieces) as a collaboration with artist Leopold Masterson.
Series 5 premiered in September of 2014 as a solo exhibition at Brooklyn's Emerson.
Pictured here a selection of 20"x30" packaged pieces from the Emerson premiere.
Created in 2012-2013, Series 4 consists entirely of characters from the world and story of the still-in-progress novel, "Theodore and the Seven Layers of Space: The Search For Mozzarella Botticelli."
"Theodore and the Seven Layers of Space" tells the tale of one boy traversing the world that surrounds and integrates most of my artwork, "The Seven Layers of Space."
Pictured: G'zort Bleep
Released throughout 2010-2011, Series 3.5 consisted of three sets of three related characters, like the two "decimal-based" series before it.
This series is made up of: "Three Noteworthy Kansans" (designed for Wonderfair, Kansas), " Three Lava Men" (tied to the release of Uncle Monsterface's album, "Rise of the Lava Men"), and "Three More from Manor," three extra characters from Series 3's "Sock Puppet Manor."
Coming eventually: a full archive of all the Series 3.5 Characters
Pictured here: Amelia Earhart (Three Noteworthy Kansans)
Created in 2010-2011, Series 3 consist of the cast of the Monsterface Industries Sock Puppet Soap Opera, "Sock Puppet Manor."
The Series consists of all of the members of the two opposing pickle-canning families, The Lollybottoms and The Durtlingers.
Coming eventually: a full archive of all the Series 3 characters
Pictured: Lillith Lollybottom
Released around 2008-2009, Series 2.5 consisted of three sets of three related characters, like the two other "decimal-based" series.
Series 2.5 is made up of: "The Old Timey Moustache Society Brigade", "The New Champions of Tomorrow," and "Three Guys Named Charles (Darwin, Dickens, and 'In Charge').
Released around 2007, Series 2 consists of nine characters who all have songs that they wrote themselves. Six of the songs were composed by me, and three were composed by or with guest artists.
Coming eventually: a full list of all of Series 2's characters AND songs
Pictured here: Spot the Elusive Dinosaur
Released around 2006, Series 1.5 consisted of three sets of three related characters, the first of the "decimal-based" series. All nine characters were created for a group exhibition in Chicago, "Under Five Feet."
Series 1.5 is made up of: "The Fabulous Flying Zambinis," "Three US Presidents," and "The Super Speculex Brothers."
Coming eventually: all of Series 1.5's characters.
Pictured: Plim Zambini (of the Fabulous Flying Zambinis)
The original series of Sock Puppet Portraits was born slowly between approximately 2003-2006.
When I first sold Sock Puppet Portraits in galleries and in the earliest days as a NYC Street Artist, they were something of an informal pile. After a few months, as I talked with folks and got to know the puppets, they began to form personalities.
In or around 2006, I eventually narrowed the number down to nine of them, giving them all Myspace Profiles (!?!), and cementing the foundation of many more to come.
Coming eventually: a list of all of the Series 1 characters.
Pictured: Uncle Monsterface
Ongoing Celebrity Series
At some point, I started making a few real people or other people's fictional people as Puppet Portraits. Some of whom are incorporated into a few of the regular Series, but some are stand-alones. As such, I started grouping them together as the only of my open-ended series.
Stand-alone characters have included the likes of Freddie Mercury, Captain America, Joss Whedon, and Cthulhu, while I also consider characters like the "Three US Presidents" and the "Kansans" as kinds of cousins to this set.
Coming eventually: a full archive of all the Ongoing Celebrity Series Characters
Pictured: Bill Murray
A Note on Frames
Over the years the portraits have appeared in a variety of frame styles.
From 2004-2012 the smallest (2"x3") and most common portraits were presented in "mini-Victorians." Then they ran out.
There were several odd variants during the interim, including a large number of plain, sanded wood portraits.
Around 2011 I also began presenting portraits as stretched canvases, most often with a printed "faux frame" on the piece. These are most commonly found as 8"x10". They have also had major runs of 5"x7" and 3"x4", along with large-scale 20"x30" and 18"x24" pieces.
From 2012-2016 I sold the newest small style, the mini-baroques (pictured in trunk).
In 2016 I sold the last of the small baroques, and also presented a limited edition run of packaged 5"x7" canvas pieces for the Series 5 portraits (as a collaboration with Lee Masterson).
The newest presentation is a continuation of the notion of the packaged pieces (see store).