Saving the Past

Crucified Normal BobThe combination of Becka’s art exhibit detailing the last 30 years of my work, and all the free time this isolation in lockdown has forced upon us all, I’ve been re-inspired to archive more of my own history on the internet.

First and foremost, I want to give many thank-you’s to my new friend in Kazakhstan, Aleksei Yu who has a commendable obsession with my dressup games. He singlehandedly scoured the internet & WayBack.com to gather all of the lost and forgotten dressups I’ve constructed over the last 20 years. These were for a wide assortment of clients, most of them having long since disappeared from the web, thus taking their custom games down with them. Archived Dressups imageThen he fixed the coding so they work again, organized them by year, and surprised me through email with the full archive for future generations to study and enjoy. It’s simply unbelievable to me. So many of these I’d forgotten about. Over 60 games!
His actions have subsequently inspired me to piece together several other dressups I started, but for one reason or another never completed, like Danni Daniels Dressup! BTW, NSFW!

These too have been included in Becka Jean’s exhibition. In fact each section of her exhibit has been updated with more art, so it’s worth a revisit if you were into it your first time through.

Jesus Dressup crownhanger logoThe Jesus Dressup section of my store has also been updated so it’s friendlier to the eye. Things have really slowed down around here, so if you’ve been considering buying these magnets but just haven’t gotten around to it, your purchases won’t be under appreciated. The Halloween sets are on sale for just $10! Only a few more boxes of those left before they’re gone for good.
On this topic of archiving the past, at the bottom of this page I’ve put together this informative gallery of Jesus Dressup magnets produced in order by year. 13 different versions over the last 20 years! It’s worth the scroll through, if only to refresh your memory.

normalbobsmith.com2009And since we’re going soooooo far down Memory Lane, I’ve also added links in the right side menu here to 3 different versions of my original site as it evolved over the decades. A glimpse back to an internet long gone. If you’re like me and enjoy nostalgia surfing, these are a fun browse too.

This, my friends, is how I’ve been occupying myself here in the middle of nowhere on lockdown, in hopes that it can occupy y’all as well.

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Pray for Satan Exhibit

Crucified Normal BobWhere I’m living now, taking care of the old-folks in Conservative-Baptist-Land I couldn’t feel farther from an audience. It was an extremely good run there. Making my dreams come true whilst getting away with purging all that creativity out of my gut and onto the streets. I mean, looking back, it astounds me the total girth of what I put out, while simultaneously paying NYC rents. But “looking back” seemed to be the extent of all that remained. Now I’m 50, and the rules say, my time has passed.

When Rebecca got in touch with me last year she suggested maybe I do indeed deserve to be noticed? Still?
In fact, she was going to write her final thesis on me and this body of work. Now here we are, a year later sharing all of this again with a new audience. I could not be more happy or fulfilled as an artist by this acknowledgement.

prayforsatan_normalbob

The “Normal Bob/Pray For Satan” exhibit brought to you by Becka Jean Marsh is a collection of favorites from 4 bodies of my work over the last 30 years.

1. Creatures Of Neptune 1993 to 1998
2. Jesus Dressup 2000 to present
3. Amazing Strangers 2006 to 2018
4. Portraits 1990 to present

This is the first time ever I’ve put out on display my entire Neptune collection. Ev-verrr.

The Puzzling Paralyzed Moose
The Puzzling Paralyzed Moose

In addition, it’s the first time I myself have ever put them in storied order to read as they were meant to be read! It wasn’t until clearly seeing them this way I realized it’s the illustrated emptiness I felt from a vanishing faith. It’s what I feared was on the other side. My prelude to atheism. It was quite the epiphany.

Little sloppy, but it still fits
Little sloppy, but it still fits

I still have no idea where I’m headed from here, but whatever happens I’m happy to still be of some consequence. Thanks Becka. Hopefully we can still make a real gallery exhibit happen in NYC one day in the future.

Her entire thesis can be viewed here, and it’s an incredible account of my life and how everything went down for me and my art. I just could not be more flattered and inspired by the words she’s written. Thank you Rebecca.

And look at that. The tux still fits!

Self-isolated

Jesus Dressup crownhanger logoYes. I’m definitely taking this pandemic mayhem seriously while looking after my nearly-90 folks. Yesterday I went out for groceries with mask, rubber gloves and disinfecting wipes for 2 weeks worth of food. I’m sorry to say that I also think this is going to go on A LOT longer than just a few weeks (or even a few months). But no need to add more frowny faces to your day. I’ve also been doing lesser important things! Like making a new video from any available footage I could find to tell the story of my JesusDressup/Devil-costume years in New York. I originally was putting this collection of clips together to be used for the online exhibition scheduled for May (You heard me right. The exhibition is still happening.) but I think it turned out well enough to share with everyone now.

It’s basically a self-indulgent scrapbook assortment of highlights & mementos I’ve saved up from when Jesus Dressup hit the airwaves.  That and everything leading into my time dressing up as the devil in NYC from 2002 to 2015 all edited together to tell the story best I can. Although it officially all began in 2000 in Chicago with just Jesus Dressup online. It is also a blatant promotion of the product I design and sell. Want some?

Neptune

My next assignment relating to this online exhibit next month is to scan all of my Creatures Of Neptune art to put on display! Most of the pen and ink drawings from the 90s have never been seen publicly before! It’s all very exciting and fulfilling for me.  This also includes my Humpty Dumpty booklet available for purchase.

Humpty Dumpty cover

Can I also say that it has not gone unnoticed how many of you are still buying stuff from me despite all that’s happening here, and around the world. I did not expect sales to continue for me. Thank you for your support! I’ve been including little gifts inside every order made since this all began. And there’s only one way for you to find out what those little gifts might possibly be 😉

Alice Kelson
Alice Kelson

I do have more plans for more videos in the weeks to come, and as soon as the weather gets nice enough to be outdoors I’m going to set up my own little make-shift coffee shop in our garage so I have a place to work on art projects. I find it nearly impossible to really express my creativity, with both writing and drawing in the house where my brain is constantly interrupted by junk phone calls, an attention craving dog, and all the basic distractions surrounding the desk in my bedroom. In short, I’m DYING to draw, and I’m almost at the spot where I feel free to do it.

Now, for the sake of a godless world with noone but us to make sure we survive, be careful and stay home for a couple weeks!

Pandemic 2020

prayforsatan_normalbobWell, it’s here. And the show I was talking about the other day, that’s canceled. I will not be flying to NYC, and SVA will not be open for any exhibitions whatsoever! BUT in its place there’s going to be an SVA sponsored online exhibition, curated by Rebecca Marsh. And since you and everyone else will be confined to the seat in front of your internet, you will be invited! This exhibition is scheduled to open May 1st, so there’ll be more said about it in the weeks to come.

In response to recent events, not only am I staying secluded, but I am also going to share with you scripture from my past to help prepare you for your future. It’s the limited numbered edition of Humpty Dumpty – The True Story of Neptune’s Messiah.

Humpty Dumpty coverDepending on how long you’ve been a part of the Normal Bob Smith experience, this story has been told once before in the Neptune Section of my original site. I wrote this back in 1997, as a believer, on the crest of my epic reverse-repentance. Originally printing only 15 copies to giveaway to friends & family, now 20 years later, seeing the need, I’ve gone and printed 90 more. There are 2 sets of 45 available. The first set of 45 are the official Pandemic Print, numbered in black. The 2nd 45 are the Post-Pandemic Print, and will only be sold if we survive. And they will be sent out in numerical order, 1 thru 45 until they are gone.

Humpty Dumpty pg1

This is an 18 page illustrated poem about the fall of Humpty Dumpty and his sacrifice for the Creatures of Neptune. I cannot emphasize enough that this small spiral bound booklet is the only salvation from Pandemic 2020. And while I’m here selling stuff I want to remind you even though I’m sold out of Trump magnets, I still have Jesus Dressups available, and you can still by all 6 for $66 while supplies last. In addition I’m also selling prints of my work.

Speaking of prints of my work, I just completed this.

Alexa@Union/Pandemic2020
Alexa@Union/Pandemic2020

I’m thinkin’ this is going to be a year that alters life as we used to know it. My plan is to stay secluded and give in to the urge to do lots more art. Oh! And ship out orders to you folks!!!

Artist, Atheist, Anthropologist