Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. - Oscar Wilde
Animation, Art, and Other Shiny Things
This is that post I mentioned in the Have You Seen My Sister Evelyn post, and Cynthia von Buhler is the artist that sent me down this rabbit hole.
Ms von Buhler not only drew the cover art for the Evelyn Evelyn album, but joined Mr Webley and Ms Palmer in creating a companion book to the disc that further details the lives of Eva and Lyn Neville:
Enthusiasts of genuine tragedy and celebrity intrigue, gird your mental loins for an authentic tale of unbelievable hardship and epic catastrophe! This wholly true and accurate account details the extraordinary lives of Evelyn and Evelyn, a darling but unfortunate pair of conjoined twins who brave extreme circumstances of calamity and adversity
…and while poking about on the intertubes to learn more about the Evelyn Evelyn album I went through a side door somewhere and ended up at one of those pages that is art. (and i don’t assign that lightly. at least i hope not… the word really deserves a completely different font as well, but you have to work with what you have)
It is digital magic when an artist’s work and the internets come together to make more than the sum of each (remember retropolis?) and But Who Will Bell The Cats is a terrific example. Another of Ms von Buhler’s sites, The Cat Who Wouldn’t Come Inside, is also a work of art.
Ms von Buhler has illustrated several children’s books, but The Cat Who Wouldn’t Come Inside and But Who Will Bell the Cats? are the only two with their own websites. (though you can get a look inside any of the books in the library) BWWBTC is her latest and looks to be the first Ms von Buhler has also written.
Cynthia von Buhler is an internationally exhibiting visual artist, illustrator, children’s book author, and performer living in New York City. Von Buhler uses traditional as well as unconventional media: painting, sculpture, performance, video projection, installation, living fauna, collage, photography, human detritus, and electronic audio. By innovatively combining these media, often enhanced with text and electronics, von Buhler’s canvasses frequently become elaborate kinetic installations. In March 2006, Art & Antiques named von Buhler “one of the top contemporary surrealists”, however she has also been linked to the Fluxus movement.
The sculptures she creates for these two books are rich and warm and invite you to poke around looking for the little details and surprises. (the reason the books are so popular with kids, no doubt. the library got a dozen copies or so of both books a few weeks ago. got several of evelyn evelyn too, for that matter. but i digress…)
The same attention is given to her websites as well and is what puts them on my ‘best of’ list. Ms von Buhler’s primary site is at cynthiavonbuhler.com and her blog, or rather, one of her blogs is at cynthiavonbuhler.blogspot.com. Both are incredibly packed pieces of imaginary real estate and, much like her books, are great places to poke around in – you’ll never know what you’ll see next or where you’ll end up. Just trying to find the way back to something often has me finding something new. They are also fairly well linked together, so you can pretty much start on any one of Ms von Buhler’s sites and find yourself on her bio page as easily as on the ‘Find the Mouse‘ card trick page. I heartily endorse the ‘click everything’ method of site exploration.
This video has it all; unique animation, a snappy 30’s-style tune, and a twisted, satirical bent.
From their bio:
EVELYN and EVELYN NEVILLE are a songwriting duo performing original compositions on piano, ukulele, guitar and accordion. The sisters are parapagus tripus dibrachius twins, sharing three legs, two arms, three lungs, two hearts and a single liver.
Born September 11, 1985 on a small farm on the Kansas-Colorado border, the Evelyns have traveled the greater part of North America performing with “Dillard & Fullerton’s Illusive Traveling Show”. Their unique musical style is inspired by their many eclectic influences – from 80’s music to showtunes, Joy Division to the Andrews Sisters.
The story is detailed within the Tragic Events tracks on their album. They were discovered by Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls fame) and Jason Webley (a long-time Seattle busker) who invited them to record an album. (which they did. it’s most excellent)
Others insist that Evelyn Evelyn are actually Palmer and Webley dressed in connected garments.
There is also a book, which led me into a whole new digression into the art and artist that deserves a post of it’s own. (which is in the works)