Jun 19 2011

#50 “Airwolf”

From Jason in Georgia.

A couple of days ago I posted a picture from Tam in the UK that referenced the American television show Airwolf (1984-1987). Today’s artful illustration from Jason in Georgia takes its inspiration from the same source. I must admit that I was not familiar with this television series before receiving these pictures, and it is a complete mystery to me as to how I could have missed this “far out” tv series. Having grown up during the time period that the show aired, it seems that I would at least have heard of it, but nonetheless, these illustrations struck no immediate chord with me, and as a result I was forced to research the television show online.

My original plan for this post had been to discuss some of the details of the series, but after listening to the theme song a few times, I realized that this musical masterpiece is where my focus should lie. You see, I have recently become completely enamored with synthesized music from the 1980s and modern music of the same style which is inspired by this time period. This song represents everything I love about this genre of music. It contains strong repeating themes with slight variation and a heavy percussive beat, it is highly synthesized, it contains ominous drones but also features inspirational and optimistic high notes, and finally it simply makes me want to speed down the interstate in a muscle car wearing a white blazer/pastel t-shirt combo paired with dark aviator sunglasses.

Going back to the illustration for a moment, you can see how the picture goes hand in hand with the Airwolf theme song and everything else we hold true about this fantastic decade: the wolf’s strong body language and cocky smirk is reminiscent of the “Me” generation, while the coolly authoritative uniform displays classic 1980s machismo and an emphasis on presenting oneself as “rad” and “boss.” Also, even though this picture is in black and white, it is speaks of the action and drama that defined 1980s entertainment.

This picture is truly the perfect complement to this awesome television show theme song.

On another note, before this post is concluded, I want to share with you a short list of some of my favorite modern songs that seem to be inspired by the music and culture of the 80s. If you like the Airwolf theme song below, check out these other hip tracks as well:

FM Attack: “Old School Daze” and “Dreamer”

Anoraak: “Cloud Rain Love”

College: “Teenage Color”

Electric Youth: “Faces” (From the Valerie and Friends album)

Futurecop!: “Tonight’s Hero”

Grum: “Through the Night” and “Cybernetic”

Kavinsky: “Wayfarer” and “Testarossa Autodrive”

Lazerhawk: “Overdrive”

Jun 16 2011

#47 “The UK Couple”

From Tam and Louise in the UK.

I love it when the Wolves by Strangers project brings people together, and in the case of the two pictures that are on display today, I take great pleasure in the fact that a young engaged couple in the UK chose to take a break from the chaos of wedding planning to produce these wonderful illustrations. An email that I received from Tam informed me of the couple’s upcoming nuptials, and I am sure that I speak for everyone reading this when I wish them a life full of happiness and wedded bliss.

Keeping in mind that these wolves were drawn by an engaged couple, I love looking at these pictures and noticing what they inherently suggest about the differences between the sexes.

First examine Louise’s picture: Notice the beautifully dainty features of the bride wolf, how she is adorned with jewelry meant to enhance the natural attractiveness of her features. Her lashes and whiskers are long and inviting, and she is no doubt flashing them about in an effort to entice her groom to desire her even more. She is a prize to be won, a masterpiece of beauty to be kept pure and sacred, a wonderful gift that is worth dying for.

Now notice Tam’s picture: See how he chooses to focus on an American television show whose storyline dealt with a military helicopter that was often engaged in missions of espionage. The wolf’s teeth are sharp and menacing; the eyes are wild in exciting. There is movement, action and adventure in this picture. It is exciting and dangerous and speaks of his inherent desire to be the conqueror and the hero.

These pictures are fundamentally different. But what does this mean? Does this lack of congruency mean that this couple is meant for disaster? Certainly not. If anything, I believe these pictures display a couple that is destined for a lifetime of happiness. I don’t want to adhere to outdated sexual stereotypes, but I do believe that there is a part of every woman that wants to be desired and a part of every man that longs to be the hero and the protector. These features don’t define us as men and women, but they also cannot be denied as a fundamental part of our respective natures, and perhaps an understanding of our fundamental differences will bring us closer together…

Congratulations again, Tam and Louise.