Monday, May 19, 2014

Cai Quo Whoa!!!!

Years ago, I took my wife and two daughters to New York City, land of loogie hockers, Shakespearean self-talkers and entrepreneurial sidewalk falafel makers. It is the greatest city in the world. By a New York Mile.

I was in the Big Apple under unnatural circumstances. That is, having lived in the Bronx, several outposts in Queens and the suburban hamlet of Suffern, I was in New York as a tourist.

As such, we did all the shitty things tourists do.

Rockefeller Center.
The Empire State Building.
The Statue of Liberty.
We even visited some chocolate emporium near Times Square that sent my daughters into some confectionary nirvana.

This was an aberration. As a candy store in New York will always be some fleabag bodega where my mother would send me to pick up her cigarettes.

Prior to returning to LA, my oldest daughter wanted to see the Guggenheim. I obliged even though I had been there many times before.

In 3rd grade.
In 5th grade.
In 6th grade.
And I believe twice more in 11th grade.

The Guggenheim is a required course in the New York State Public School curriculum.

But this time was different because the entire museum had been commandeered by a Chinese artist named Cai Quo Chang. I had never heard of him. Which is not all that unusual since I can name about 5 artists, tops: Rembrandt, Picasso, Dali, that dude that cut off his ear and my friend Rohitash Ro.

The first "piece", upon entering the museum, was an out-of-world experience in taxidermy; 300 stuffed wolves, charging in a pack, leaping off the ground and running headlong into a large wall of acrylic glass. I had never seen anything like it.

My jaw was dragging on the ground as I walked through the museum and made my way to the top circular level. That's where this non-museum going, culturally-ignorant, football-watching neanderthal,  was handsomely rewarded.

Michaelangelo had his marble. Caldor had his mobiles. Cai Quo Chang's preferred medium is gunpowder. He designs with it. He paints with it. And of course he lights matches to it.

It was a day at the museum that I will never forget. And for years afterward, I often brought Cai Quo Chang's name to the creative table, suggesting we use him and his penchant for blowing stuff up to hawk some car or soft drink or feminine hygiene product.

But it's always been a swing and a miss. So today I'm giving up.

And I'm giving you, the young creative professional the source of what could be a monster spot. It's all about giving back to the ad community.

It's the same generous spirit I share with Jordan Zimmerman. I can't fly you to South Florida to tour the house that tent sales built. Or wine and dine you at the Ft. Lauderdale Olive Garden. Or share my biceps and my formula for building a $33 trillion empire.

But I can point you in the direction of an artist who is ripe for the ad world.

If you do pursue Cai Quo Chang and you do make an award-winning commercial with dead wolves or TNT, all I ask for in return is a slash.

And a Facebook share.

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