As a New Englander transplanted to the midwest, I must admit I am fascinated with this region's obsession with enormous and bizarre roadside attractions. Dinosaur Park in South Dakota, the Biggest Ball of Twine Made by One Man in Darwin, Minnesota (subject of one of my favorite Weird Al songs), the House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and of course the giant Field of Corn in my former home of Columbus, Ohio. In my home state of New Hampshire, the weirdest things you see tend to be things like rock formations and Revolution-era buildings. I must admit, being walking distance to one of the weirdest roadside attractions in the country is a great benefit to living in this town.
These two prints represent two different, tongue-in-cheek approaches to paying homage to Bemidji’s statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. When working with representations of these statues, it is best remembered that the statues themselves are ridiculously oversized, crudely-sculpted, and garishly prominent along the town’s skyline. Much like the Biggest Ball of Twine or the House on the Rock, they represent that roadside aspect of midwestern Americana that must be seen to be believed. I chose to celebrate the statues of Paul and Babe by letting their own playfulness shine through and not taking them too seriously.
The first print depicts Paul as an axe-wielding barbarian clad in a tartan, and Babe as a giant blue minotaur with cloven hands. It's ridiculous and over-the-top, but not a huge stretch when compared to the original legend. The second print is a simple attempt to create a hip, stylish poster using an old postcard photo of the statues in all of their uncool glory. This print was so popular at the event that the originals were stolen right off the table.
You can order prints of these posters here.
Our local Pecha Kucha Night chapter displays local artwork at each event, usually three to six local artists in exhibition. Our most recent event was meant to be Bemidji-centric, so we put out a call for artists to produce work in tribute to our town's world-famous statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. If you have not heard of these, then man, you're missing out.
This is where we post news, announcements, product launches, and musings on the design process. All posts written by Erik Evensen unless otherwise noted.
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