Friday, 12 October 2007
22. Composition in Black and White (Dude)
The public's icy reception of 'The Devil is a Don' seemed to affect Fleydon's normally placid demeanour and he reacted by dashing off a series of aggressive sketches that displayed an ire and fury totally absent from his previous work (These were recently collected and published by the Arts Council of Great Britain under the title 'White Hot and Wild - Fleydon and the Art of Rejection') . Fascinating as an insight to the mind of genius as these undoubtedly are, no flag was subsequently forthcoming.
"Just as well really as I would have regretted it. Maybe not straight away but certainly when the writs started landing on the doormat. In fact I was a little concerned about the book publication, even with the expletives deleted. If it shows anything it charts a mind in turmoil so maybe I could claim temporary insanity as a defence!" His lank blond hair shimmered as he threw back his head and howled "Ooooowwww! Mad like a Wolf, that's what art does to you - it takes your soul!!!"
Producing the sketches seemed to provide Fleydon with a cathartic retreat and he was eventually able to divert his energies into more constructive projects.
"I did a lot of channelling, focussing and re-structuring of my energy. Instead of being a mass of negative vibes I became a bundle of positive ones - hyper-positive in fact - and the object of my passion? Not the supporters, players or administrators, all mere humans who I felt had failed me - no, I went straight to the godhead, the fountain, the essence. I sought to glorify the very concept of AFC Wimbledon itself. That divine creative spark from which everything else emerged. I became a man possessed, a modern prophet with an ancient message, a disciple and a proselytizer. For a while I became your worst nightmare, the angry man in a suit determined to show you the route to salvation, whether you wanted it or not. In effect I was shouting at the world and I didn't care whether the world heard me or not."
As a work of art, "Dude!' is characterised by strong black and white graphic style with an overwhelming typographical content. Unlike most of Fleydon's work which by its nature seeks simplicity and clarity in its message, 'Dude!' seems deliberately designed to confound the viewer.
"Yes, well spotted - as you can see I am not exhorting the crowd or even encouraging them. No, au contraire, I am engaged in a hector or a rant. To be honest I didn't care whether whether the crowds could read it or not. I just wanted my say!!"
And what of the title 'Dude', was there any significance in the expression?
"Childish maybe but it was a petulant exclamation - insert 'So ner, ya boo sucks..!' and it would convey essentially the same emotion. But at least I got it all off my chest and I feel all the better for it. It maybe with 'Dude!' I finally said farewell to my youth"
Composition in Black and White (Dude!) was purchased by representatives of the Junior Dons for use as a marching flag on their annual 'Dons Day' Parade. They were especially drawn to its hip-hop sensibility, its irreverent youthful attitude and its comic book graphic styling. As one spotty oik remarked "Dude is cool!"