So I’m still a bit stunned that I was able to actually find out whose shack that was in the woods this weekend. I’ve been trying to track down more about Peter Mayer, and not found much.
But there is this, an interview (of sorts) with the man, discussing the history of art colonies in the Catskills town where I was staying –
The video also visits his second shop, something on the main road in Arkville. I passed that on a walk in town Monday as well, but wasn’t able to get inside; it seemed a similar riot of color and design, crammed full of random junk and oddments. I didn’t see anything inside clearly, so I can’t speak to whether the “Meat Kittens” sign is still in there.
I’ve also learned, too, that Mayer lived in New York City in the late 1980s – and started painting stick-figure dogs as graffiti around the city streets. They would cheer people up, he thought. The dogs have become a sort of trademark for him now, and now that I think about it I did see a few dogs cavorting on the shack I’d seen.
In a way this is even better. He’s not just making art for himself; his shack is probably one of his studios, some place to tinker. But it’s still wildly decorated, because it’s his place to play. And the public face is not all that different. His art is also just gloriously mad, and he doesn’t give a good god-damn whether it makes sense to anyone, he’s gonna just do it.
I like this guy.