The first thing I did yesterday was line up the fuses and rocks on my new artwork.
A-Okay! I said, as I lit the fuse.
I've been working on some powerful new artworks. I blend bold colors in stripes with gunpowder and fuse transitions. They have energy. They have a lot of emotion. Cool.
The piece blew. Well, not really. See, I'm using these infinitely slow burning fuses. So it was more like light the fuse and wait. And wait.
So it was anticlimactic, really. But the result is awesome.
And now I have a problem. I need a name.
Here is how it goes.
The work has some rich colors. Browns. Vermillion. Black. So I think of calling it "Rich". But I know a guy named Rich and that bugs me. And I didn't intend this piece to be the focus of income inequality. Most folks don't like the rich. So, I move on.
Then, I think it looks like the Cleveland Browns colors. Poor Browns. They suck. But, I suck in my pool, too. I'm in 27th place. And I'm sure if I call it "The Browns", I'll get sued by the NFL.
And, who want to own "The Browns" anyway. That does not sound good. When a friend comes to see your artwork, you can say, "Here is The Browns". Yuch. Man, that is horrible. Your friend will think you are an idiot. Unless of course your friend is Johnny Manziel. He might think it's absolutely awesome.
So, then I think "What County is Cleveland in?".
I check. Cuyahoga County. "Cuyahagoa" sounds cool. What does it mean?
I look up Cuyahoga and this is what I find:
The story of the Cuyahoga River fire of 1969 - the event that sparked pop songs, lit the imagination of an entire nation, and badly tarnished a city's reputation. Yes, an oil slick on the Cuyahoga River - polluted from decades of industrial waste - caught fire on a Sunday morning in June 1969 near the Republic Steel mill, causing about $100,000 worth of damage to two railroad bridges. Initially the fire drew little attention, either locally or nationally. The '69 fire was not even the first time that the river burned. Dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century, the river had caught fire on several other occasions.
So, a burning river. That's it.
I walk by the artwork and shout out, "Cuyahoga"!
Then I play the song Cuyahoga by REM.
Stick Vega is the American Gunpowder Artist, former CEO, and author of LESS KILLING. Stick currently lives and creates explosive pop art at The Blast Factory in Madison, Wisconsin. Not limited to one medium, he works in gunpowder drawings and paintings, photography, digital art and writing. Follow Stick on Facebook and/or Twitter.