Room 23

A gathering place for those who love the ABC TV show Lost. This blog was started by a group of Fans who kept the Season 3 finale talkback at Ain't It going all the way until the première of the 4th season as a way to share images, news, spoilers, artwork, fan fiction and much more. Please come back often and become part of our community.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Hurley Sees A Shark" by Johnny L., age 14


As a child and shy, introverted teenager, Johnathan Locke had a flair for imaginative art and storytelling that he rarely pursued as an adult.

In this mixed media collage/painting done when he was 14, he depicts the hero of a series of fantasy stories he made up called "Hurligan's Island".

In this composition the hapless jinxed "Hurly," dressed in a cheery picnic tablecloth patterned shirt, is seen in a typical cartoonish situation, seemingly about to be hit on the head by a falling coconut. However, Hurly is on the far side of the tree and the cluster of coconuts is on the near side, indicating they will fall behind him and miss him.

It is a bright sunny day but ominous approaching storm clouds foretell doom. Hurly is sitting near the beach gazing out at the ocean but he sees a shark and cannot go swimming.

When asked about the significance of the grave marker in the lower left corner, John replied "That's his girlfriend - someone shot her in the guts."

This work inspired much controversy when it was "unveiled" - ie turned in as an art class assignment.

The teacher noted the vertically divided composition. All the bad elements - the storm clouds, the shark, the grave - are on one side of the dividing line tree trunk, but Hurly is on the other side with the life-giving sun and the growing plants.
The art teacher also noted the Ernie Bushmiller "three rocks" and Charles Schulz "cluster of plants" influences/homages and praised the way "Johnny L." disguised his Johnny Hart inspired signature at the base of the clump of weeds.

The school nurse was concerned about the obsession with death symbolism. One of the counselors also noted with some concern the Christian cross as a death symbol (grave marker) while the sun, the source of life, was depicted with a third eye, implying "some sort of Easterm Mysticism". And the Vice Principlal was most concerned with the palm tree, in the belief that all seven leaved plants represent marijuana use. (Pot leaves actually have serrated edges, however.)

When asked about the symbolism of the smiling sun, young John just laughed and said it was "product placement". (the three-eyed sun has been the trademark of the small press comix company "Nice Day Comix" since 1979.)

The work was framed and displayed in a student art show at the local public art museum and, not having been picked up, remains in storage as part of their permanent collection.

1 comment:

Napoleon Park said...

The inspiration for this was "what if John's precognitive "smoke monster" doodle wasn't his only artwork? What if his later art class projects were even more detailed and accurate?"
"You can't be a super-hero, John."
"Don't ever tell me what I can't do!"
After producing this drawing and essay, it occurred to me - on the TV series "Heroes," producing precognitive art - the ability to paint images of the future - was Isaac Mendes's "super-power". If that qualifies as such, then little Johnny Locke had a super-power and was a super-hero all along and just never knew it.