// you’re reading...

Pretty Pictures

Gold Dust

Yet more unearthed creations from the mind of Albert Beauparlant. In the artist’s typical fashion, this newly discovered work builds on previously witnessed themes. However, while most of his work was done in standard pencil, the majority of these pieces incorporate hastily applied strokes of color that oddly detract from the stark, yet intricate beauty of his line work.

The first piece revisits the artist’s fascination with military themes and life. While relatively flat and simple, for the first time I have seen A.B. uses a ruler or some other straight edge to create uniform wood paneling along the side of his clubhouse.


Next we see the bird’s eye view of an architectural blueprint for a fictional canal system. Beauparlant lived in Chicago at the time, yet instead of a river system we see the mention of the ocean. In addition, I could find no reference of a “Miller Canal” in the Chicago area.


Also of interest is the reverse side of this piece. Whether in response to the financial hardships imposed by the depression, or just due to thriftiness, Beauparlant was fond of using the blank side of mailings, catalogs, or phrenology charts as his canvas. The above work was created on the backside of the West Star Tea Company’s weekly catalog. If you happened to be in need, one could purchase a large box of gold dust for .22 cents!


My favorite piece in this new crop of work is the design for Al’s own houseboat. Drawn in 1930, this boat showcases Beauparlant’s love of mechanical apparatus and machinery. Although obscured by dark, heavy crayon, we see the artist’s prototypical pension for detail and coarse mechanical accuracy.


More comic strip styled adventures:



And again the images and symbols of rank/achievement consistent with military regalia of the time.


Coincidentally, I performed another Google search for Albert’s father, J.A. Beauparlant and found an interesting reference in the August 14, 1945 Chicago Tribune documenting how city residents celebrated victory in WWII:

“In the back yard of his home at 2330 W. Washington Blvd., J.A. Beauparlant climbed a ladder to light an 18-foot-tall, 2,250-pound solid wax victory candle that had taken him three months to make.”

World War II ends, Soldiers and civilians jitterbug in the streets at the news of Japan’s surrender.

You might remember this great candle-maker was a local tourist destination exhibiting what was at the time the world’s largest candle.

J.A. Beauparlant World's Largest Candle

I can only wonder how long this red, white and blue victory candle burned, and if it compromised the record.


4 comments for “Gold Dust”

  1. To me, the “biggest candle in the world”, represents the American Penis, erect after WWII, and ready to fuck the world.

    Then again, that’s probably some shit I should save for the shrink since I’m going to pay fucking $100 dollars a goddamn hour. I must be fucking crazy to pay that right?

    Posted by The Shit House Poet | March 3, 2008, 12:32 am
  2. James,

    Seeing as how our site’s graduated from a stand-in for your bathroom wall to a primer for your psychiatrist’s couch, let’s say you pay us $75 per comment and everyone walks away happy?

    Posted by Marcus | March 6, 2008, 10:27 pm
  3. You guys are worth far more than $75 per comment. Do you accept food stamps? Can I barter with some stuff, second hand of course, from Ebay? How about some of my scratched to hell cd’s from the 90′s? I used to be the last kid on campus with tapes / cassettes back in the 90′s. How about a pair of my vintage coke bottle glasses with the welfare frames? I know, my civil war chess set with missing Robert E. Lee? My self help tapes, “attacking anxiety”, with that chick who looks like a really dragged out and whorish Kathie Lee Gifford? A fart I trapped in a mason jar when I was 15? Hmmm… or maybe a drive by poloroid converted to digital of… yes, the stump faces carved by the blind guy who lives down the street. I just have a tough time working up the nerve to say, hey, i’d like to photograph your carvings to put on the internet. I guess i’ll be needing those “attacking anxiety” tapes for a little while longer.

    All jokes aside, your page cheers me up, and I do appreciate you guys putting up with me. I have been banned most other places. Also, let’s be clear on one thing though, the bathroom wall is a sacred place. It is a place desecrated over and over by the noise of everyday mankind. (Yes, mankind is appropriate in this case because I don’t go in the ladies room. I bet if I did though, they wouldn’t have any cool shit wrote on their walls.) The bathroom wall is the subconscious of society in general. Thoughts flow in and out of the subconscious, most of them bizarre, and so flow the ramblings or crude images on the bathroom wall. The bathroom wall is society’s public private place. That’s where all our drawings of sex organs, clever little nasty poems, and otherwise hideous secret selves manifest. It is a sacred place. What makes it the perfect place for well thought out demonstrations of art, or poetry, is that there is where something beautiful is most beautiful, in stark contrast to all the ugly surrounding it. Yes, to write something beautiful on a bathroom wall is to look upon a wild flower growing in a garbage dumpster. Thus, your page is not my bathroom wall, but rather the beautiful thing, sometimes I think the only beautiful thing, standing out in stark contrast to the ugly of the internet. The internet is the new bathroom wall. Your page is something beautiful demonstrated on it. So see, I mean well… I really do… and honestly, I thought I was beneath your notice. I’m flattered to be adressed at all. (really) Kind of like a little e tag along annoying little brother who is just tickled shit-less to be, in any way, acknowledged at all. (for good or bad)

    Posted by The Shit House Poet | March 19, 2008, 9:55 pm
  4. [...] To follow this story from the beginning: Albert J. Beauparlant On the Shores of Wonder Lake Mother, Father, Sister, Brother Maps and Legends The Lingering Question Mark of Beauparlant The Weight Room Gold Dust [...]

    Posted by On the Heels of a Ghost | Art Good, Hitler Bad. | October 25, 2008, 11:58 am

Post a comment