In the early planning stages of the SECRET IDENTITY exhibition I created a superhero character called Tangent Man. I envisioned Tangent Man as a struggling artist with attention deficit disorder who was constantly distracted by television and potato chips. Tangent Man was the opposite of Batman.
The costume had to be created using common household materials such as yellow latex kitchen gloves and a utility tool belt. I imagined that Tangent Man went dumpster diving behind an Ace Hardware to find all of his costume accessories and tools to fight art crimes. Tangent Man wouldn’t have super powers, but he had a delusional belief that wearing the costume made him a better artist. His power was painting pretty pictures of kittens. He loved kittens.
My original plan was that Tangent Man would be heavily featured in all of the promotional materials including a short film or video teaser. I wanted to play the role of Tangent Man and appear at the exhibition dressed as Tangent Man and stay in character the entire night.
The whole idea was inspired by a photograph by Joel-Peter Witkin called “The Sins of Joan Miró.” That image is really powerful and I wanted to do a photo poster that would pay homage to that image.
Unfortunately, Tangent Man was one of many ideas that ended up on the editing room floor. We had a bag full of ambitious ideas that we ultimately had to abandon because of time and money constraints.
I ended up exploring a more heroic / traditional take on Tangent Man that was inspired by golden age and silver age superhero comics. The costume was slightly different in each poster design to show it was evolving and changing over time.
Here is the first character design sketch I drew of myself wearing the Tangent Man costume.
– Tangent Man Costume Design Sketch by Dustin Parker