Wearing Jim Dine

How does it fit?

Like many others, I’ve always understood that there were more important reasons for making art than just art world approval. Nonetheless, from the beginning I couldn’t’ help but wonder how uncomfortable the fit was going to be in the very small art world’s established taste of what art was at the time.

Snoop Dogg Wearing Jim Dine by Tom Everhart
Snoop Dogg Wearing Jim Dine
Shorty Wearing Jim Dine by Tom Everhart
Shorty Wearing Jim Dine

Would my robes of camouflage constructed through Sparky’s (Charles Schulz) abstracted cartoon forms ever be understood as something more then just cartoon translated into painterly process?

By 2008, 20 years into my Schulz-influenced work, it began to feel like the fit was becoming more comfortable. But, I knew as well that there was still the necessary discomfort. So at this 20 year point I began a limited series based on a Schulz strip drawing featuring a large robe supporting a small floating Woodstock Head.

For me, it was speaking to Jim Dine’s robe paintings that were created around the same time period as the strip. The robe paintings made a dignity possible between a state of visual dress and undress. They related to my thinking of usual art and new un-art. Thus, the construction of my titles “Wearing Jim Dine.”

It was always my practice, from the very beginning of this body of work to reference art history and it’s arist. It was my method of giving notice to the art world’s small contemporary circle that I was bringing in this new very different kind of art. Examples of this process can be seen in some of my very early works, such as “Lucy’s Scream” featuring Sparky’s character of Lucy with a wide mouth scream,. Referencing Edward Munch’s “The Scream” 1893. Opening Night by Tom Everhart
Lucy's Scream

It was even a periodic practice of Sparky’s to make art historical references in his strip. such as Van Gough, Camille Claudel, and Christo. Through Sparky’s abstracted forms, there is even a reference to Picasso, in his multi-angled portraits of Snoopy and Woodstock both characters in “wearing Jim Dine” are presented in side views while wearing sunglasses in front views.

10 years later, now in 2018, the fit still seems to be a bit loose . So I decided to revisit the robe concept in two new print-works, titled “Snoop Dogg Wearing Jim Dine” and “Shorty Wearing Jim Dine.”

Snoop Dogg obviously refers to Sparky’s character of Snoopy, but as well, to the music of Snoop Dogg that was often playing in the background during the works production. “Shorty” referring to the shorter Character of Woodstock, references a name heard in the language of Hip Hop.


– Tom Everhart