Concrete Jungle

Essay 387 • Apr 29th 2019

This is a continuing series of memories real and imagined from growing up at the edge of midwestern suburbs. Children’s neighborhood folklore, the late night creature feature, the no-mans lands between the wild and the tamed. This is where you can see man’s imprint begin and the animals that inhabit and adapt to that land. It’s as if James Audubon surveyed the American yard and rendered it in a blacklight poster. 


Tod Kapke
The work is a reflection of influences from Tex Avery to Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Brothers Quay, and Joel-Peter Witkin.  Experimenting has always been at the core of all of it. No ideas or techniques are “out of bounds”. As a child watching cartoons, I wanted to be an animator, as a teen after years of old sci-fi movies and a copy of the ILM book, I wanted to be a special-effects artist. I turned to photography as a way to test out these ideas quickly. I have always been interested in the idea of process-oriented art. The work became a mix of mediums, photography, sculpture, painting, prop and set design. It’s always been about the use of metaphor, handy crafts (growing up making forts and macaroni art) and the use of the trick-of-the-eye whimsy.
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