Archive Dive: The Lavaguy Origin Story

Creation and Destruction

I love origin stories. Genesis. Adam and Eve. The Big Bang. The Epic of Gilgamesh. Frankenstein. This is the Lavaguy origin story.

I’ve had the nickname of “the Lavaguy” for over 25 years now. I used to get asked questions about the origin of the nickname so frequently, that I had some cards printed up (circa 1993):

Lavaguy card (circa 1993)

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Archive Dive: Form Letters & Checkboxes

Lavaguy card #4 (back) Back in the late eighties and early nineties, I experimented with a form of art that I never defined: it was part performance, part social activism, and very under-the-radar. The format was simple: I emulated government forms, with all their blanks and checkboxes for choices that didn’t seem relevant to me. This was way before Facebook, eHarmony, or any other online social network or dating site/app. They were meant to be funny, with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I must say, most people didn’t get the joke. Once in a while someone would take it seriously (as art) and think it was something kindof ground-breaking… but mostly I just got blank stares from people.

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Gay Dancing collage (1993)

Gay Dancing collage © 1993 J. Thomson all rights reserved

1992/93 was the beginning of my activism for gay rights. While at college, I worked the subject matter into every assignment I could, including this collage for an early 2D class. Available in the giftshop here.

Frog collage (circa 1993)

Frog collage © 1993 J. Thomson all rights reserved Here’s one of the last collages I made just for fun, circa 1993. And what could be more fun than a fancy fish and a  frog frolicking under the watchful eyes of a KitKat clockAvailable in the giftshop here.

Elsinore collage (circa 1993)

Elsinore collage, circa 1993 © J. Thomson, all rights reserved When I went to college in 1992, I virtually stopped making collage altogether, unless it was related to an assignment. I made this collage for a 2D class, but I don’t remember the assignment. It depicts a water dream I had that seems to be influenced by Hamlet (I played Horatio in my last theatrical appearance in Dallas before leaving for college, in 1992). So I titled it Elsinore.