I felt it was time for another good mash-up. But this time, as opposed to throwing together two things that have nothing to do with each other (see Double Over), I wanted to combine two different universes, but with one very important common piece. In this case, the element tying two worlds together is of course the great Bill Murray, who stars in both Groundhog Day and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, two of my favorite films (thanks in large part to Bill himself). It would be no spoiler to mention that the theme of Groundhog Day is that "superstar" weatherman Phil Connors is stuck in a horrific Twilight Zone-like loop in which he is forced to re-live February 2nd in Punxsutawney, PA for eternity (or at least until he gets it right). It's a simple but extremely funny premise, directed brilliantly by Harold Ramis. In my piece, the idea is that even as a completely different person in a different universe, many years later, Phil still can't escape his doomed fate. It was a joy to paint possibly the most annoying character in the history of film, "Needlenose" Ned Ryerson, mid-laugh, as he cruelly exclaims, "Watch out for that first step - it's a DOOZY!" causing Phil/Steve to break the 4th wall and deadpan longingly at the camera (or in this case, you, the art viewer) as he steps into the ice-water pothole, hears the taunts of "Ned the Head," and realizes just in this moment that he is still trapped in his private nightmare. I like how this one turned out and I plan on doing more popsurrealism like this, putting new twists on fictional but familiar worlds.
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