Son Done Good: R. Deeker’s Wooden Wordplay


Deeker’s “Excremental Thought Process (a/k/a Tree of Life)”

That looks like our moms!

We first saw R. Deeker’s work last month at the Pure Project show and were crazily impressed. One of the show’s centerpieces was Deeker’s “Excremental Thought Process (a/k/a Tree of Life),” a three-dimensional freestanding wooden venus-flytrap-ish plant rooted with a pie-eyed man. We were like, Who did that? Deeker. Then on another wall near that ballyhooed Marc and Sara Schiller portrait, there was this other face we couldn’t stop admiring, this really great red-faced freak with tampon stubs for teeth, swirly beer-froth eyes and a lumpy baby-stegosaurus neck. Who did that? Deeker. Then there was this other crazy carved-wood face with a stubbly face and serpentine tongue that grabbed our eyes out of their sockets. We didn’t even bother to ask who was responsible because we already knew the answer. Deeker.

For the last few months, Deeker’s been doing more than these cartoony figures — he’s been claiming the streets with words. Yeah yeah, every backpacked toy with a grease pencil thinks they’re doing that too, but Deeker’s merged the scrap-yard resourcefulness of street art with graf’s territorial paint-pissings and come up with something different: wooden tags. Don’t yawn. They’re not all just plywood cut-outs that scream ‘Deeker,’ but carefully chosen words that’re clever comments on the present-day street scene: MEANINGLESS; THE DREAM IS OVER; BORING.

We don’t want to blow Deeker up too much here, cuz God knows what happens when we do that, but we really like his stuff because it’s three-dimensional and so self-aware. His wooden tags read not only like critiques on tagging, but also like pointed self-criticism — how can you dismiss a piece as ‘boring’ when it tells you straight-up that it is? And if it is so boring, why’d you look? Or how about this: you think this tag is a piece of garbage? Well, yes, it is, it even says so. See there? ‘TRASH.’ And even though he’s just gotten started (or so we’re hoping), Deeker’s already one-upping you with suggestions that he’s run his course: TIME TO DIE, MR. DEEKS. Personally, we hope this stuff stays alive for a long time.

Full credit, full blame: All City took all these flicks.