Tyler Hoare is one of the most prolific creative people I know. I wrote about his art, emphasis on his different incarnations of Snoopy doing battle with the Red Baron, and I wrote about his show last winter at the Compound Gallery.
Now I update you:
1) The Snoopy submarine that Hoare launched in Emeryville on March 15, 2019, disappeared between March 23 and March 24, 2019.
2) The Red Baron airplane that had inspired Albany High School students for 40 years was taken down under orders of the school administration and has disappeared.
Let’s start with the Snoopy and the submarine.
A big-dollar benefactor bought a piece of Hoare’s art last winter. Hoare saved most of the money but he used a small amount of those proceeds to build a submarine for Snoopy.
First – plans. These plans and sketches are found in Volumes 462, 463, and 464 of Hoare’s journals/notebooks/scrapbooks.
When the building was done, it was time for the tide charts. The idea was – a very low tide so that Hoare and his work party could install the submarine on a post in the mud. The design plan: when the tidewater rises, it creates the illusion that the submarine is submerging.
On March 15, 2019, Hoare and friends “launched” the submarine, securing its joined two halves to a post sunk in the mud in Emeryville with a sky of blue and sea of green.
Hoare checked the installation every day.
March 16: A-OK
March 17: A-OK
March 18: A-OK
March 19: A-OK
March 20: A-OK
March 21: A-OK
March 22: A-OK
March 23: Oh dear!
The submarine had broken loose from its tether and washed up on the beach. In time the tides and waves would dismantle her.
March 24: WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL??????
So – fine della commedia. Hoare has no idea who took the submarine or where she is. He’d like to know but surrenders to the street, accepting that some knowledge is not for him in this lifetime.
This airplane made by Tyler hung at the Albany High School for 40 years.
It was the Red Baron – not as in the ace of aces Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen, but as in the Peanuts comic strip.
Richthofen died on 21 April 1918 of a single bullet wound sustained during aerial combat. There is nothing cute about aerial combat.
The Royal Guardsmen’s insufferable 1966 pop song celebrating Snoopy and the Red Baron started with faux German – “Achtung! Jetzt wir singen zusammen die Geschichte über den Schweinköpfigen Hund und den lieben Red Baron,” which is a seemingly intentional mistranslation of the English: “Attention! We will now sing together the story of that pig-headed dog and the beloved Red Baron.” It features the sound of a German counting off – eins, zwei, drei, vier – after the first verse.
Back to Albany 40 years ago – students raised money to have an engineered installation of Hoare’s Red Baron flying what I think is an Albatross D.II.
Hoare dusted and cleaned the plane regularly.
There is a new principal of Albany High. In the 2018-2019 school year, she decided to remove the plane. She based on her decision on:
1) Some students objected to the guns on the plane. Really? Do they object to books about war? Do they not know the “Ballad of Snoopy and the Red Baron?” Do they think that the guns are real? In their defense: the first comic strip featuring Snoopy fighting the Red Baron appeared on Sunday October 10, 1965. The students don’t remember that. The Principal probably doesn’t remember – or know – that. I’d bet that she don’t remember the Queen of Soul.
2) A student objected to the glorification of the Nazis. Oh dear. There is a difference between World War I (here) and World War 2 (not here). Wasn’t this a teaching moment, an opportunity for historical remediation?
3) The principal worried about what would happen in the event of an earthquake. It survived Loma Prieta just fine. The installation was engineered. Maybe further engineering?
The real reason?
That’s why. The Red Baron was taken down.
That isn’t the worst part. In The Electric Kook-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe wrote “Art is not eternal,” and Hoare accepts this. He would like, however, to know where the plane went. Who has it in their backyard? WHO TOOK THE PLANE? No need for fear, let alone the fiercest fear – no retribution – just let Tyler know where it is.
The loss of the submarine and the Red Baron this year are all in the game for Hoare. Sooner or later his planes go away.
Even Hoare’s securely installed UFO went away. He doesn’t know who or how or where it is. So it goes.
Tyler Hoare is relentlessly creative. He keeps journals/notebooks. He sculpts. He makes collages. He draws. He is persistent, continuing, constant, continual, continuous, nonstop, lasting, never-ending, steady, uninterrupted, unabated, unabating, unbroken, interminable, incessant, unstoppable, unceasing, endless, unending, perpetual, unremitting, unrelenting, unrelieved, sustained.
Hephaestus was the Greek god of fire, metalworking, stone masonry, forges and the art of sculpture. He was the son of Zeus and Hera and was married to Aphrodite by Zeus to prevent a war of the gods fighting for her hand. He was a smithing god, making beautiful objects but also he made all of the weapons for Olympus and acted as a blacksmith for the gods. To the extent that there was a god of creativity, it was he.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Tyler’s creativity and stamina just take my breath away.
If you would like to schedule a visit to Hoare’s gallery- something that Quirky Berkeley strongly recommends – call him at 510-527-1885.
I showed my friend the draft post. He had just gotten back from a wedding and had flown in and out of Minneapolis. Don’t worry, he didn’t fly those anti-union bastards Delta. He scrolled through the photos on his phone until he got to what he was looking for. He passed me his phone and showed me this:
“Right there in the concourse in the airport. There are three statues of Snoopy in the airport. Charles Schultz was born in Minneapolis and grew up in St. Paul. There are more than 100 statues of Snoopy in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Most are made of fiberglass and are 5 feet tall.”
I nodded and said, “Is this when you try to sound smart about coincidences and you start talking about hitsuzen (必然) and how you seeing Snoopy in the airport was a fore-ordained event and that all other outcomes are impossible?”
I was a little rough on him, I know. He was rightfully irritatado. I tried to sound sincere and sorry. “What do you think of the post?”
But he wasn’t ready.
“Remind me – what was your Charles Schultz slash Peanuts connection?”
I saw that he wanted time to recover from my lashing. I told him “Our our 8th grade yearbook was called In Medias Res. The Roman poet Horace first used the terms ab ōvō (“from the egg”) and in mediās rēs (“into the middle of things”) in his Ars poetica (“Poetic Arts”). The egg reference is to the mythological origin of the Trojan War in the birth of Helen and Clytemnestra from the double egg laid by Leda following her seduction by Zeus in the guise of a swan.
“Anyway, the thing is – we wanted to use a Peanuts cartoon with Charlie Brown skateboarding in conjunction with a poem one of my classmates had submitted for the yearbook. I wrote him (Charles Schultz, Santa Rosa, CA was the address I used) and asked permission to use the cartoon. I got a decent-sized letter back on very cool Peanuts stationery saying yes. Great story! What do you think of the post?”