Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monkey Business

Of all the animals on the planet, I would have to say that I find the monkey the most intriguing. After all, I have one named after me. Aside from the fact that they are relatively close to being human, their mix of humanity masked in fur and mischievousness make monkeys undeniably captivating. There is a strange connection one feels with a monkey because of its human-like qualities, yet there is a sense of apprehension, too, because, well, it's a wild animal.

Up to No Good Monkey

Despite the fact that they are wild animals, monkeys are a symbol of our own humanity as well. Case in point - the San-saru that reside at the Toshogu Shrine in Japan teach us that one should hear, see, and speak no evil. And think about all of the ways we use monkeys to describe our own shortcomings and pitfalls:
  • Monkey on my back
  • Monkeying around
  • Monkey see, monkey do
  • Funny as a barrel of monkeys
  • I'll be a monkey's uncle!
  • If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys
  • Monkey business
  • Make a monkey of me
Even George Michael found the monkey to be a muse for his classic 80s hit, Monkey. Oh, yes. Why can't you do it? Why can't you set your monkey free? I want to know.

Hang in There Monkey

In my line of work, I bare witness to the shenanigans of the corporate jungle on a daily basis. Such inner workings of corporate America has even inspired a book. It is the subject of this book that inspired these series of monkey paintings I did for my friend, Alfonso (a.k.a. "T-Bone"), back in 2006. With "Who's Got the Monkey?" on my brain, I created these paintings for him as a reminder that when people pass their "monkeys" to him to handle, he can eat a banana and do his monkey dance, or, alternatively, fling poop at someone's head. Lucky for me, he doesn't fling the poop when I pass the monkey (well, not all of the time). Thanks, T-Bone.

Kung Fu Monkey

"I am not nearly so interested in what monkey man was derived from
as I am in what kind of monkey he is to become."
- Loren Eisley


  1. a whole blog about me? i'm touched! :)

  2. oh ya...also, i don't eat bananas, but i do like banana bread (except when it's burnt)

  3. just heard a new one:
    "that's a monkey shit fight I can't win"

  4. He won't eat a banana, so he will have to take your second suggestion about flinging stuff.



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