Santa Barbara artist, David Peacock has emotional roots in Santa Barbara. Currently he has a mural depicting his love for the city in a face, the sun and an electric blue sky, and I challenge you to not grin when you see it. The features on the face…well, I asked David, point blank what are those objects on the face posing as eyes, ears and a mouth? Of course being a true artist he wouldn’t give me a straight answer but instead a question,“What are they to you?”
‘Well David, starting with those teeth…those are some teeth. I guess they are so prominent because inside our teeth is our DNA? And the eyes”-he interrupted me. I think my take on the teeth got him talking.
“Okay I will give you the artists version but only because the first time you saw him you called him “Santa Barbara boy.”
David’s mural in Santa Barbara Funk Zone, on Helena Street, cross Mason Street.
I had not said a word yet how his ear might be mistaken for a seashell. But you have to go to www.davidpeacock.net to delight in David’s other versions of the human face. You are in for a surprise. Oh, did you notice the foliage for hair, yes, another hint of Santa Barbara’s beautiful parks and gardens.
What David said next fascinated me because I find Santa Barbara full of captivating individuals; “Out of college, I wanted to be a cartoonist and every few years I have the desire to create a new cartoon character. I’ve tried to develop the character’s life in stories beyond the image, and I cannot make any progress. This is why I abandoned comic strips and graphic novels. I would rather imagine a new character with new features. Shakespeare wrote 36 plays and most of his plays had entirely new characters. Only a few characters repeat, like Prince Hal and Falstaff. With each play Shakespeare started anew and introduced new characters to entertain the audience.”
“David, that makes me remember why I became an actress, I wanted to introduce
new characters too, except I never had surfboards for teeth.”
“Who said his teeth were surfboards?”
“Well, aren’t they? And while we’re associating, isn’t his head the color of the Old Mission?”
David looked at me with raised eyebrows and I knew what was coming next,
“Whatever works for you.”
You haven’t said a word about his nose, “It’s probably something you saw on State street.”
“It is? What?”
“Vents from a duct of a building I pass often on State Street.”
“Okay, that leaves the sun. Your sun looks all…pointed. It’s hardly round like the sun, I’m afraid to ask the point of all those points.”
The Sun as a 5 Tetrahedral
“I had the desire to see what the character was seeing. I had recently painted a 5 tetrahedral. A tetrahedral is a pyramid with a triangles on all sides. I made a leap and realized I could use the 5 tetrahedral as a Sun. Traditionally the Sun is a sphere or circle, I thought I would show it as an object with sharp points pushing out its energy towards the Earth. We avoid direct vision with the Sun because we instinctively feel it can harm our eyes. The angles show the aggressive dangerous nature of the Sun.”
“So, this guy in the mural has seen the Sun this new way?”
“Right. And he is having an epiphany. The big teeth make him look goofy
and naive, I think that when I abandon my existing knowledge and have a
naive mindset, I am receptive to new ideas and new ways of seeing the world.”
I lifted my eyebrows like David does when he’s considering possibilities and said,
“David, whatever works for you, but I will always see his teeth as surfboards.”