Recently I’ve had the pleasure of reconnecting with one of my fine arts professors from Penn. I showed her eating goodly, and conversation naturally turned to pumpkins. She told me about an excellent new soup – Apple Cider Pumpkin Bisque – being served up at White Dog Cafe, an awesome spot on Penn’s campus. She also mentioned the annual pumpkin carving competition at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (in which Penn students take part and obviously excel). Though the competition isn’t for a couple more weeks, it inspired me to step up my game a little with Pumpkin Friday.
I give you: Grand.
As you could probably imagine, the idea for Grand started with the nose. Earlier this week I was grocery shopping and stumbled upon a stand of crooked-neck pumpkins – ridiculous looking guards whose raison d’être seems to be turning reality on its head. Because I have no will power when faced with such peculiar produce, I grabbed the weirdest one I could find and spent the rest of the day showing it off to all my dumbfounded friends. What the final pumpkin would look like was still a mystery, but I was pleased it would be appropriately bizarre.
After figuring out what to do with the nose (thanks to an engineering consultation with my roommate, Matt) the rest of Grand sort of fell into place. His eyes are lifted from another big-schnozzed icon, Gonzo the Muppet, and his mouth was kept on the smaller side as not to disrupt the structural integrity of the pumpkin’s base. The result is a pumpkin bold enough to raise eyebrows, but expressive enough to steal hearts.
The big question with Grand is how easily the whole setup can topple over, and I’m pretty sure the answer is “very, very”. Oh well – his presence is at once powerful and ephemeral. Like the autumn leaves, the bold strokes of Grand’s beauty are never more than a strong breeze away from ceasing to be. In other words, he ain’t lasting long.
For this fourth week of Pumpkin Friday, it’s felt great being creatively challenged again by my old professor. Getting in a groove isn’t really what I’m into these days, and her influence really gave me the kick I needed to mix things up. I can’t wait to see (and report) the results of that carving contest in Ottawa, but in the meantime I’m going to try to keep turning heads (and twisting noses) in the Lower East Side.