Utican (drawn in 2009) represents the world that lies within the past of an extraordinary person or entertainment production. We don’t typically see this interior; we’re not privy to it; we can’t even imagine it. Up till now, we’ve just seen what’s on the outside.

One cannot conceive what has occurred which has no record. If you can accept that idea, you are on your way to keying in on the oh-so-rare view that is the Utican drawing.

The top-performers among us can’t translate their experiences to our eye, value system, or range of play. Their wildness eludes us because it’s neither visible nor comprehendible. Certain instances can only be experienced by an uncommon creature, life’s proverbial “tropical bird”—that exotic personality who’s lived in the stratified air of yesterday’s stardom.

The Utican drawing depicts this concept in a vivid, momentary cross-section.

Real-life examples exist in older Broadway or Hollywood productions. The average moviegoer may be in awe of The Wizard of Oz’s dreamlike quality, but imagine how surreal it must have been for the supporting actors on that expansive set. To have lived their vantage point personifies Utican. The action took place in the past; the actors’ points of view were unique and not recorded; and the movie has become the pinnacle of legend.

Can we even begin to fathom those 1939-era players’ perspectives? Can we imagine their sightlines on scenery never filmed, fellow characters not documented, the volumes of ad-libs, or the spectacle of real-time bombast? The movie’s mystique is essential to the flavor.

An outrageous slice-of-life can be an unimaginable experience, if we allow the possibility that some greatness will always be beyond us. Utican submits this reasoning is true.

Utican provides a glimpse of a royal bird, unveiling a reality outside the bounds of the layman’s comprehension. We can look at its representative drawing, but no knife is sharp enough to cross-section an icon’s glorious, undocumented past.


Ara Hagopian’s latest book: http://www.LeavesOfYouthTheBook.com


About Ara Hagopian's The LITERATE Show

For over thirty years, I have enjoyed drawing beautiful shapes and writing complementary stories. The imagery tends to focus on our place in the world—whomever or whatever we may be. I am influenced by Twentieth Century history—I read vintage magazines, books and letters. Inspiration comes from visualizing human achievement and personal interaction—derived from people, places and things which may be obscure, but never insignificant. My pen-and-ink THE MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for their 2008 summer art auction.
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