Resilient Americana: Levity: Harold’s Auto Center Dinosaur, Spring Hill, Florida is a Hybrid VR Painting™ by Dave Alber.
acrylic on Canson paper and panoramic VR technology
22 x 10.75 in (56 x 27 cm)
Levity: Harold’s Auto Center Dinosaur, Spring Hill, Florida explores the American virtue of levity in small town America.
If we couldn’t laugh, we probably wouldn’t go on living. Laughter returns us to our humanity. For in times of difficulty, isn’t it often is the oddball, the strange, and the downright weird that sometimes puts a smile on our face, makes us laugh, and returns us to ourselves?
An old Greek myth states that the goddess of nature, Demeter, had become paralyzed with grief at the disappearance of her daughter. So much so that nature itself became arid and dry; no plants awakened and no flowers bloomed. It was at this moment that Baubo, the lunatic goddess of levity, saw the goddess of nature paralyzed, and in an expression of mirth and madness, she danced an absurd dance. The downright silliness of it broke Demeter out of her fixed trance of grief; nature once again stirred to life, and Demeter went onward in quest of her daughter.
A monument of absurdity, the Harold’s Auto dinosaur—an Apatosaurus of the late Jurassic period lost in time—finds itself on Spring Hill’s Rt. 19. The dinosaur was originally a gas station inspired by the Sinclair Oil mascot, which was featured in display advertisements since 1930.
During difficult times it is heartening and enlivening to have an absurd dinosaur greet your sideways glace with a smile and happy gaze. A mirroring glance at absurdity makes our most difficult moments more bearable.