Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Ballad of the DMV

Lately, I haven't been posting portraits. This is partly due to a resolution I made to complete more comics, which means I spend more time drawing cartoony-looking people than real ones. I've also been riding my bike to work whenever it's not raining or snowing, and so my time on the subway has been much more limited. However, one trip to the DMV was all it took to get this drawing together:

The face for the portrait above began at the DMV in midtown Manhattan, while I was waiting for my number to be called. The DMV is a black hole from which time does not escape. The warping and sudden disappearance of whole hours within a DMV office cannot be explained by relativity or string theory. It is outside the boundaries of science, outside the entire space-time continuum. Wars could be won using the DMV's devastating "queueing" technology - don't fire rockets at your enemies, just open a DMV office in their territory. They'll enter, take their place in line, and slowly die of starvation. I barely escaped with my life.

The poor man I was sketching must have been at the DMV for days. His hollow eyes were drained of all hope, and his jaw, at one time probably taught with resolve, hung slack in despair. You would think that someone so dejected wouldn't move around as much as he did, but annoyingly he kept shifting his head. Couldn't he at least have had the decency to accept defeat and stay still? But nothing is ever easy. The final drawing reflects my efforts to reconcile all the different perspectives, without Cubism.

I tried to mold this man's features into a peaceful expression, for even if redemption does not await him at the teller window, at least he can attain it though the power of ART.

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