By Bob Deakin
Sometimes it’s okay. Take the cover of Unruly Mix for example. I used Walter Von Egidy’s Saturday at the Caverns painting and to me it's an image like none other. It’s fun to look at yet you can’t quite figure it out. What’s going on there? What isn’t going on? Judge for yourself.
I tried other options, but his odd assortment of characters was perfect for my odd collection of stories. It also grounded me as I started writing chapters for the next two volumes of Burnham Tales. I needed to employ restraint in keeping my characters connected, and the visual cue of this painting serves as a much-needed blueprint for me as the stories develop.
Unruly Mix doesn’t contain any horror stories as the cover might suggest, but the retrogressive look harmonizes with the cultural references to the 1960s and 70s that dominate the tales. As with the painting, the stories can be perceived (or not) differently according to the individual. This ain’t a diet and fitness book.
The tone and timbre of the plots and settings will slightly change with the characters in the following volumes, which, in time, may make the Unruly Mix cover make more sense. For now, just enjoy the artistic confusion.
The Walter H. Von Egidy website launches this week and Saturday at the Caverns is one of more than 70 of his works displayed. Some are sold and some are available. Surrealism is a word he often uses to describe his paintings, and his Super-8 films are mesmerizing at grass roots levels. You know the characters and setting like the street you grew up on.
“My first image of surrealism was revealed to me at an early age in the vision of a bowling ball lying alone in the desert,” he once stated. “Since then I have sought to create a personal universe through the mediums of Super 8 photoplays and enamel/oil paintings by combining a number of childhood influences.”
A further explanation of his art is neither necessary nor practical, and best left to the artist himself. The paintings are predominantly dark in background as well as mood, the detail captivating. The titles are mind-bending. The works mean what the artist meant them to mean, and for us to interpret if we wish.
If you’ve met Mr. Von Egidy you could say he creates a backdrop of serenity amidst a foreground of enchantment. As summer is about to set, the rising of autumn casts a glow on his works that oddly create a bit more order out of any evident chaos.
Take a look for yourself.