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The Order of Oddfish

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Odd-Fish art: Chen Reichert & Tracy Weber

April 9, 2010

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The Order of Odd-Fish art show is now just a week away. Don’t get caught by high ticket prices at the door! If you want to get in for free, register to FIGHT in the battle-dance tournament by sending your name and fighting persona to domeofdoom@collaboraction.org. Here’s a refresher course on how to battle-dance.

And what better way to hype the Dome of Doom than with this stunning picture of its impresario Oona Looch! Winding up Professional Artist week, Chen Reichert of Botodesigns gives us a hilarious take on the Eldritch City mafia queen. Chen nails what’s so grotesque yet irresistible about this woman, right down to the absurd “Razzle-Dazzle!” t-shirt, poor Fipnit trotting along behind her, and the utterly impassive Looch daughters. Oona’s fishlike old-man face, her slack, lascivious mouth, and piteously feminine eyelashes are perfect.

Chen does brisk business at Botodesigns, which makes T-shirts, paintings, prints and more with a “Japanese-inspired robot and plant art land” theme. You can also find her at Etsy. Here’s some of my favorites:

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Chen and her husband Sam Malissa were among Heather’s and my best friends when we were on the JET program in Japan together in Oyodo, Nara prefecture. Sam taught at Oyodo’s junior high school; I taught at Oyodo’s high school. Oyodo means “stagnant pool” in Japanese, but it was a beautiful riverside town. Sam spoke at Heather’s and my wedding, and Chen made this painting of Heather and me:

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But Chen isn’t the only artistic friend who’s contributing to the show. College chum Tracy Weber, who now works as a designer out in California, made a delightful trio of painted wooden boxes depicting Jo, the ruby palace, and the washing machine where Jo was found:

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These are exquisite, subtle—everything I’ve always liked Tracy’s design sensibilities. Back in college, I lost the cover of my beloved Coctails CD, and for some reason Tracy made me a new CD cover of her own design—and it was so good it made me happy to have lost the original. I wanted to scan it and post it here, but it is 2010, and thus all our CDs are packed away in inaccessible boxes. Too bad. But here are closer shots of each of Tracy’s sublime illustrated boxes—starting with the ruby palace, which she said was inspired by a Frank Lloyd Wright building in the desert:

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And these cool, precise, iconic portraits of Jo, both as a baby in a washing machine, and as the girl we know:

Simple and elegant! I love them all. Thanks, Chen and Tracy, for this spectacular Odd-Fish art. I’m lucky to have such talented friends!