Grizzly Man / Miguel Rodriguez / Vegas

My family and I watched Grizzly Man last night. This is the brilliantly understated Werner Herzog documentary about Timothy Treadwell, self-proclaimed protector of Alaskan grizzlies, later mauled to death by same. His girlfriend died with him. Both were killed in the fall of 2003. Grizzly Man

There’s not much you can say about that. This guy had an obsession with bears that constantly put him and his girlfriend at risk, and that reflected a certain instability. And yet you could see that some of the bears trusted Treadwell, and that he genuinely loved them. Then the way he befriended wild foxes–astounding. Whole story is tragic all the way around: two terrible deaths, then the bear was later shot as well–apparently one that had not known Treadwell, nor learned to trust him. The only place where Herzog oversteps his bounds is when he asserts his opinions about what he feels governs the natural world. I’m pretty sure none of us really know what governs it, except perhaps native cultures, but hey it’s his film.

When I worked in Alaska, I knew one thing about grizzlies: never let one get closer than 100 yards to you. That was one rule I never broke.

Miguel Rodriguez graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in the late 90s. Very gifted ceramist, and figurative sculptor. The piece above is in the OPCC collection. Miguel lives in Las Vegas now, where he did graduate work. He’s thinking about moving back to KC, claiming that Vegas is beginning to seem a bit unreal. I know how that is. Passed a night there once in ’77, some road trip to LA and back, a buddy and me in my old Roadrunner. We stayed out all night drinking and gambling. Woke up 200 bucks to the good. Now in Vegas, that’s unreal.

Anyway Miguel loves lipstick on his wife, hence this self-portrait. I thought that was a pretty good explanation of the piece.

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