Sesame Street

Sesame Street is a popular long-running television program geared towards children. It is an educational show and I am personally interested in the program and characters for the powerful nostalgia. Sesame Street served not only as a didactic platform, but also as entertainment (and, simply put, fun times!!). I am working on other paintings of this series, including characters such as the Count (a sort of re-configuration of Dracula) and Miss Piggy. One of the Count's main goal is to teach children how to count. This page involves a "hybridized", cross-cultural, multi-generational exploration involving the Mexican Loteria and Sesame Street characters, along with my perpetual fascination, critique and celebration of our dependence on tech-toys and gadgets.

Big Bird and Elmo

Painting featuring Elmo holding an image of a sad Big Bird while wearing a t-shirt with La Sirena from the Mexican Loteria
"app 2 stay tickled"
(card number 6, "la sirena")
acrylic, pencils, ink, & oil on paper
24 x 18 in © 2012 Gabriel Navar

I continue to explore my Mexican Loteria series, but now have merged it with a few Sesame Street characters. A nerve was struck while I was watching one of the 2012 United States Presidential debates when the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, declared and threatened that he would eliminate Big Bird by cutting PBS funding. Following that remark, the media, including social media, went into a frenzy mentioning how sad Big Bird would be.

Kermit the Frog

Kermit the Frog wearing a Mexican Loteria T-Shirt
"app 4 green progress"
(card number 21, "la mano")
acrylic, pencils, ink, & oil on paper
24 x 18 in © 2012 Gabriel Navar

This is my second painting of this new series of Sesame Street Characters, Kermit the Frog. I have posted a few images showing the behind the scenes showing the progress of the "app 4 green progress" where you can see the painting from a simple sketch to it's completion. I decided to incorporate "La Mano" (The Hand) from the Mexican Loteria game... this seemingly simple, yet powerful and symbolic card (card number 21). I have posted an "in-progress" painting featuring Kermit the Frog in the Progress of a Painting Gallery where you can see the painting from a simple sketch to it's completion.

The Count

The Count showcasing his smart phone and rubik's cube
"app 4 counting blessings"
(card number 4, "el catrin")
acrylic, pencils, ink, & oil on paper
24 x 18 in © 2012 Gabriel Navar

Oscar the Grouch

My homage to Raphael's The School of Athens
"app 4 schools of thought"
acrylic, oil, ink & pencils on paper
24 x 18 in © 2012 Gabriel Navar

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael, was an Italian painter of the High Renaissance. I have taken a detail of the center of this masterpiece, "The School of Athens" (or Scuola de Atene), located in the Vatican, painted around 1510. I have included and appropriated "Oscar the Grouch" (from Sesame Street), replacing the head of the notoriously "grumpy", short-tempered Michelangelo (representing ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus). The painting's subject matter are the branches of knowledge depicting various luminary personages interacting with books as people of, and engaged, in "learning". I have replaced their books with smart-gadgets (including iPads and laptops) since they are our predominant mode of communication, knowledge-gathering, and learning; depending on your what one believes, these technological "facilitators" may be making us "numb". This painting "app 4 schools of thought" is the newest addition to my Art History Homages Gallery.

Miss Piggy

Miss Piggy wearing a faboulus dress
"app 4 inner glamor"
(card number 3, "la dama")
acrylic, pencils, ink, & oil on paper
24 x 18 in © 2012 Gabriel Navar

Bert and Ernie

Ernie and Bert from Sesame Street
"app 2 cheer up 4 good"
(card number 19, "la garza" and card number 23, "la luna")
acrylic, pencils, ink, & oil on paper
24 x 18 in © 2012 Gabriel Navar

This is my fifth painting in the Sesame Street series featuring long time roommates. "Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics…they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."- STATEMENT on Sesame Workshop's Facebook page.

The Sesame Street Series V I D E O

This video features Gabriel Navar's Sesame Street series of paintings dealing with the Sesame Street television characters. Included are The Count, Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, Bert and Ernie.

The background music is the Sesame Street Theme Song by Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.