Day 10: Worried Shoes

Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs used this song in the soundtrack for the film version of Maurice Sendak’s picture book Where the Wild Things Are. Miles loved that book. In our house, the Wild Thing took on a life of its own.

Winnie made a Wild Thing costume for Owen several years ago. He loved the book too and he really liked the movie. It was a great costume. She made a really nice mask of one of the creatures in the book. The mask survived past Halloween and it appeared and disappeared periodically in Miles’s room over the years. He started to use it in his photography a few years ago. Kali posed for a picture series accompanying his “The Wild Thing” poem. He also posed his classmates in the mask for a series of portraits that eventually became a color-photo series that he submitted to a local art contest. He won a ribbon for the photographs. The hand-drawn face that Miles drew everywhere is based on the Wild Thing mask.

The Wild Thing was a big part of Miles’s life as a result of happenstance, nostalgia, and anxiety. It’s a matter of happenstance because the mask was just sitting around the house and Miles picked it up as a prop. But he also loved the book—we read it many times over the years, and I think the images left a deep impression on his psyche. And there is so much about those characters in the story that capture the anxieties of growing up, being separated from your parents, and finding your place among the madness of the world.

“Worried Shoes” is like the book and it is like much of Miles’s photographs and his “The Wild Thing” poem. It captures the essence of a way of being that only art can achieve. It’s just have to listen or watch and take it all in.


Owen Wild Thing

5x7 Paper Negative006



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