Tag Archives: J. Ross Eaker

Our Short film: “Hallows Dance” (2008)

This was our short film for the 2008 48 HR film festival.I supplied the narrative (co-scripted by myself, J. Ross Eaker, and Terry Dellinger). It is based of the tragic, true story of my assistant manager (having taken place in the early 90s).

James Mannan and Robin Panet co-directed. I co-acted with Jason Hignite.

LA LONTANANZA NOSTLAGICA UTOPICA FUTURA (short film)

http://www.theindependentcritic.com/la_lontananza_nostalgica_utopica_futura

THE FILM IS ALSO TEMPORARILY AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING (WITH STATEMENT) @

LA LONTANANZA NOSTALGICA UTOPICA FUTURA (2014)

IMDB LISTING

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4258080/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_2  James Mannan as Van Gogh in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura. Alfred Eaker as Paul Gauguin in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura.James Mannan as V. Van Gogh in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura.

LA LONTANANZA SHOOT 8Alfred Eaker as Gauguin (ravaged by syphilis) in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura.LA LONTANANZA SHOOTLA LONTANANZA SHOOT 2Alfred Eaker as Gauguin2 (ravaged by syphilis) in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura.James Mannan as Vincent Van Gogh,  in La lontananza nostalgica utopica futuraJames Mannan as Vincent Van Gogh in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura.

Rogue Cinema’s review for our film: La Lontananza nostalgica utopica futura.

http://www.roguecinema.com/la-lontananza-nostalgica-utopica-2014-by-brian-morton.html

Co-directed by James Mannan and Alfred Eaker.

Written by Alfred Eaker

Starring James Mannan as Vincent Van Gogh and Alfred Eaker as Paul Gauguin.

Edited by J. Ross Eaker

Makeup: Jen Ring

Camera: J.Ross Eaker

Produced by Eaker Productions, LLC and Liberty or Death Productions, LLC

Alfred Eaker as Paul Gauguin in La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura II James Mannan as Vincent Van Gogh,  in La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura Alfred Eaker as Gauguin2 (ravaged by syphilis) in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura. Alfred Eaker as Gauguin (ravaged by syphilis) in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura. James Mannan as V. Van Gogh in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura. James Mannan as Van Gogh in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura. James Mannan as VG in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura. Alfred Eaker as Paul Gauguin in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura.LA LONTANANZA SHOOTLA LONTANANZA SHOOT 1LA LONTANANZA SHOOT 2LA LONTANANZA SHOOT 3LA LONTANANZA SHOOT 4LA LONTANANZA SHOOT 7LA LONTANANZA SHOOT 8James Mannan as Vincent Van Gogh in La lontananza nostalgica utopia futura.Alfred Eaker as Paul Gauguin in La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura (human misery)

Behind the scene of “The water scene.”

The following are behind the (green) scene shots of an upcoming short film: “The Water Scene.” Written by Wendy Collin Sorin, Alfred Eaker, and John M. Bennett.

Co-directed by J.Ross Eaker and Alfred Eaker

Art direction: Todd M. Coe

Starring: James Mannan & Alfred Eaker

©2014 Eaker Productions, LLC

WATER SCENE
WATER SCENE A DUET BETWEEN ALFRED EAKER AND JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER AND J. ROSS EAKER (things that make you go 'hmmm')
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER AND J.ROSS EAKER
WATER SCENE Alfred Eaker and J.Ross Eaker hmmm2
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER AND JAMES D. MANNAN
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER AND JAMES MANNAN (filming)
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER AND JAMES MANNAN (frequent collaborators)
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER JAMES MANNAN DUET
WATER SCENE DIALOGUING ALFRED EAKER AND JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE II
WATER SCENE III
WATER SCENE IV
WATER SCENE J.ROSS EAKER
WATER SCENE J.ROSS EAKER AT WORK
WATER SCENE J.ROSS EAKER CO-DIRECTING
WATER SCENE J.ROSS EAKER, ALFRED EAKER, JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE J.ROSS EAKER, ALFRED EAKER, JAMES MANNAN (filming)
WATER SCENE JAMES D. MANNAN
WATER SCENE JAMES D. MANNAN AND ALFRED EAKER (waxing John M. Bennett)
WATER SCENE JAMES MANNAN (IN PINK)
WATER SCENE James Mannan and Alfred Eaker (pink & blue)
WATER SCENE prophecy James Mannan and Alfred Eaker
WATER SCENE V Alfred Eaker as BlueMahler
WATER SCENE VI J. ROSS EAKER, JAMES MANNAN, AND ALFRED EAKER
WATER SCENE X J.ROSS EAKER, ALFRED EAKER, JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XI JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XII JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XIII JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XIV JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XV J. ROSS EAKER AND ALFRED EAKER
WATER SCENE XVII JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XX

Behind the scene photos of David Ross’ production “Unrequited”

More behind-the scene photos of David Ross’ film: “Unrequited.” The plot, so to speak (and if one is really required) has something to do with BlueMahler’s descent in Wonderland. As for the unrequited part-let us say it has something to do with a pretty girl named Alice (Jessica Froelich).  Photography by James Mannan (who also appears in the film),  and J. Ross Eaker.

David Ross’ “Unrequited” wedding scene shoot, 2014.

Behind the scenes of David Ross’ “Unrequited.” The following are stills from the wedding scene shoot. All we can say is: things are not what they seem in wonderland.UNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT DENNIS FORKLE AS MARCH HARE AND ALFRED EAKER AS BLUEMAHLER Dennis Forkel as the March Hare, Alfred Eaker as BlueMahlerUNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT 1 David Ross directing Jessica Froelich (Alice), Alfred Eaker (BlueMahler) and Dennis Forkel (March Hare)UNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT 2 J. ROSS EAKER, DAN LAND, AND DAVID ROSS shooting a sleepy BlueMahler (Alfred Eaker)  UNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT ALFRED EAKER AS BLUEMAHLER Alfred Eaker as BlueMahlerUNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT ALFRED EAKER AS BLUEMAHLER 2014 Alfred Eaker as BlueMahlerUNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT JESSICA FROELICH AS ALICE, DENNIS FORKEL AS MARCH AHRE, ALFRED EAKER AS BLUEMAHLERJessica Froelich as Alice, Dennis Forkel as March Hare, and Alfred Eaker as BlueMahler

©2014 David Ross

I Was Married To A Mermaid

“I Was Married to a Mermaid” is an excerpt from a longer, yet-to-be-released long featured movie entitled Brother Cobweb. “I Was Married to a Mermaid” has been co-directed by Alfred Eaker and J. Ross Eaker. It Features Alfred Eaker, James Mannan, and Vanessa Blake.

Apart from starting conceptually as a long featured film, Brother Cobweb has found its way to the Theatres as Performance art by Alfred Eaker himself.

It has also become a traditionally published novel. The audiobook and Graphic novels are well on their way. If you find “I was marreid to a mermaid” intriguing, you should definitely try the first chapters of the novel on Amazon Kindle

Alfred Eaker is Back With “I Was Married to a Mermaid”

© Written by Richard Propes The Independent Critic (https://theindependentcritic.com/i_was_married_to_a_mermaid)

There is one problem that I have with an Alfred Eaker film. It can be summed up most easily as “WTF?”

If as a moviegoer you crave narrative cohesion and a paint-by-numbers storyline, then you should be cautioned to stay as far away as possible from Eaker, an innovative filmmaker whose indie spirit manifests itself in short and feature-length films that are experimental in construction, thought provoking in themes, and more than a few moments where you’re left scratching your head mumbling to yourself “I have no idea what he means by any of this” but loving it anyway.

If you’ve ever read anything by Eaker or seen any of his other films, then you already know that he’s a guy who can weave a thread of spirituality into even the darkest of themes, a gift that can be both jarring and sublime. Those words, jarring and sublime, both came to mind as I sat down to watch Eaker’s latest short film, I Was Married to a Mermaid, a just over 11-minute short film that was created as part of a class at Indy’s Herron School of Art.

The film is part of a larger work-in-progress called Brother Cobweb, which is beginning its life as a novel. The film is a fictional piece inspired by Eaker’s experiences growing up in a Pentecostal church. After you’ve seen the film, you’ll likely find yourself going “Well, duh!” But, I digress. I would love to tell you what I Was Married to a Mermaid is all about. I would love to explain its themes, both philosophical and theological. I would love to weave my mind through its relational dynamics and its unresolved issues, but to do so would take far longer than the film’s 11-minute running time because even watching the film you’ll find yourself absolutely captivated by the film’s images, sounds, and words as they unfold before your eyes.

What I will say is, and I can say it with absolute conviction, is that there is a reason that Brother Cobweb (Eaker) is Brother Cobweb. Eaker hasn’t chosen his wording likely, and the memories and thoughts that unfold are shards of reality and fantasy and truth and fiction. Eaker, using his marvelous creation known as BlueMahler as the foundation for Brother Cobweb, has crafted a character both charismatic and rather frightening in his constant presence.

He is intricately woven into the lives of Mom (Vanessa Blake) and Pop (James Mannan), whose relationship is never fully explained yet is lived out with Mom’s constant listening to old fire and brimstone sermons on cassette tape while Pop mumbles about working on an unfinished manuscript lost in seeming disillusionment and a shattered faith. 

I Was Married to a Mermaid is truly jarring in the ways in which Eaker and co-director J.Ross Eaker weave into the story a variety of dramatic images and ideas that have clearly impacted everything else that unfolds. Yet, there’s a richness of humanity as it becomes more and more apparent that we are watching what feels like an occasionally painful and occasionally very resolute spiritual disintegration.

To say that Eaker excels as BlueMahler (as Brother Cobweb) feels redundant, because BlueMahler is a performance art character created by Eaker in the early 80’s and his comfort in the persona is obvious and satisfying. Eaker excels in both his character’s quieter moments and in those moments when he truly comes to life.

Vanessa Blake also shines as Mom, a woman who is seemingly clinging to her faith despite, I’d suppose, the places her faith has taken her.

James Mannan, as Pop, gives what is no doubt one of my favorites of Mannan’s many performances. Mannan’s Pop is simultaneously broken yet crystal clear, resigned yet resolute, and heartbreaking yet surprisingly enlightened. Mannan serves up a layered performance that is both experimental and incredibly well defined.

The only real area that hinders the impact of I Was Married to a Mermaid is found in some of its early transition scenes, scenes that require a technological ability that isn’t quite present in this low-budget yet otherwise tremendously satisfying film. While these scenes do distract just a tad, one can also easily argue that their roughness fits with the stark themes carried out throughout the rest of the film. Remember that problem I talked about with Alfred Eaker?  It’s also the very thing that keeps drawing me to his films time and time again. 

Look inside “Brother Cobweb,” the Novel

Brother Cobweb” is now available through Open Books PressAmazonBarnes and Noble, and all major bookshops and distributors. If you want to understand the seed of Trump’s America, travel back in time 50 years and witness firsthand those who empowered him; the religious right white Evangelicals who are in fact Christian in name only talibangelicals hell bent on a self-fulfilled apocalypse…

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

“Thunder-sky” documentary

Alfred Eaker and J Ross Eaker of “Eaker Productions” have produced and directed a documentary about Raymond Thunder-Sky. The film documents Raymond’s life and influence through interviews with Cincinnati artists, co-workers, construction workers, and fans who knew him.

The cummulative effect of the film is a portrait, not just of Raymond as a man or artist, but as a cultural and spiritual figure — who through the persistence of his art-making and brave exploration of his own aesthetic universe, and through the persistence of those his life touched — became a touchstone for what it means to be creative and alive…

THUNDER-SKY Trailer 1 “Raymond”

DVDs are for sale here: https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Alfred-Eaker-J-Ross/dp/B00KI2NTOE

Thunder-Sky, Inc. Deconstructing a Legacy of Art

An art gallery and organization — inspired by Raymond Thunder-Sky, an unconventional artist whose works and life transcend notions of “outsider” and “insider” art — breaks barriers, demolishes stereotypes, and empowers artists (both self-taught and formally educated) through showcasing their works and stories side by side.

Thunder-Sky, Inc. Deconstructing a Legacy of Art

Documentary directed and produced by Alfred Eaker & J. Ross Eaker. Keith Banner and Bill Ross producers. James Mannan and Patrick Greathouse Associate Producers Eaker Productions, LLC in association with Thunder-Sky, Inc. Liberty or Death Productions, LLC Asylum House Productions, LLC.

For more info about Thunder-Sky and his legacy, visit Thunder-Sky, Inc,


Dear Raymond (BlueMahler’s homage to Raymond Thunder-Sky)

You definitely don’t want to miss the letter/tribute/video that Alfred Eaker himself gave to Raymond Thunder-Sky through Eaker’s performance art character called “BlueMahler.”

Like Raymond’s stoic construction clown, BlueMahler is not a clown in the traditional sense. Rather, the clown characterization is merely a skin to wear for the spiritual promenade…

***

(By Alfred Eaker, as BlueMahler)

Dear Raymond,
We hope you enjoy this short companion film to the documentary Thunder-Sky as much as we’ve enjoyed your life’s work. I hope you travel well… More


“Thunder-Sky”: Eaker simply “gets it”

(A review by Richard Propes, originally published at The Independent Critic)

Raymond Thunder-Sky is an icon but, in all likelihood, never realized as much in his lifetime. A Cincinnati artist and pop culture icon until his death in 2004 at the age of 54, Raymond Thunder-Sky traveled Cincinnati’s city streets day after day often clad in what would become his trademark clown suit and hardhat, both symbols of his unusually free spirit yet passion for all things construction.

Thunder, diagnosed with Autism, had extraordinary genetic roots being the son of former Mohawk Chief Richard Thunder-Sky and a mother who descended from an Austrian nobleman. You may never have guessed these things simply by meeting Raymond, a man whose primary methods of communication seemed to come through his almost non-verbal grunting noises but, perhaps most of all, through the extraordinary way in which he authentically lived his life.

Maybe he didn’t know any better. Who knows? Maybe it wasn’t so much an intentional choice or a courageous act, but there was something about the way Raymond showed up “as is” and envisioned a world far better than the current one that inspired nearly everyone around him including those who were assigned to be his caregivers.

Thunder-Sky is a documentary feature from Indianapolis-based filmmaker Alfred Eaker, an equally perplexing chap whose works run the gamut from starkly political to darkly comical to intimately vulnerable to, now, refreshingly honest and even joy-filled. Eaker creates an unconventional documentary with Thunder-Sky, a film that celebrates an unconventional artist whose legacy lives on through Cincinnati’s Thunder-Sky, Inc., an art gallery and archival center created in Raymond’s memory that offers support and encouragement to a new breed of unconventional artists both trained and untrained.

Thunder-Sky, Inc. Art Gallery

The recently completed documentary, I love it when I’m one of the first to see a terrific new film, isn’t so much a masterpiece in the traditional sense as it is a perfectly wonderful tribute to the unconventional nature of Raymond Thunder-Sky and the world in which he lived. Eaker has always had a knack for transcending cinematic norms, finding creative and inspired ways to communicate his unique vision. Thunder-Sky is the perfect project for him, because it allows an unconventional filmmaker to affectionately and joyously pay tribute to an unconventional man. So many filmmakers would have either been far too reverent or, even worse, far too condescending towards Raymond. Eaker finds just the perfect balance.

As both a writer and District Manager for a state agency working with individuals who have developmental challenges, I found myself completely enthralled by Thunder-Sky, in which Raymond’s disabilities are viewed not as making him less but as part of what made him who he was and for how they contributed to the ways he lived his life. Eaker doesn’t minimize the challenges in Raymond’s life, but neither does he bow down to them.

Bravo.

Eaker incorporates an abundance of archival footage and photographs involving Raymond supplemented by Raymond’s artworks and several interviews with those who knew Raymond best ranging from former caregivers to those who to this day continue working with Thunder-Sky, Inc. Eaker divides the film into several sections separated by beautifully realized animated sequences that capture both the playfulness and the seriousness of Raymond’s works.

Raymond’s drawings are, in fact, rather simply drawn yet complex in their details. Raymond would also often incorporate narratives into the fabric of his drawings. Most often, these narratives would announce the destruction of a building to be replaced, “Coming Soon,” by something magical or magnificent like a multi-colored clown suit factory.

Thunder-Sky, Inc. Art Gallery

You know you have a terrific documentary when you find yourself really wishing you’d met the subject of the film by the time the closing credits have rolled.

What really makes Thunder-Sky such a satisfying film is that Eaker really seems to “get” Raymond Thunder-Sky. Eaker “gets” Thunder-Sky’s unconventional artistry. Eaker “gets” his disability. Eaker “gets” the passion for clowning that grew out of Raymond’s first visit to a circus and led to his being embraced by the clown community.

Eaker simply “gets it” and he brings Raymond Thunder-Sky’s uniquely wonderful life fully alive on the big screen.

The only aspect of Thunder-Sky that didn’t quite resonate was the decision to follow up an emotionally satisfying section on Raymond’s death with an extended section regarding Thunder-Sky, Inc. While this is likely an effort to expand upon Raymond’s legacy, it’s a tad long and a less emotionally satisfying way to end an otherwise intellectually stimulating and heartfelt documentary.

One can only hope that film festivals will discover Thunder-Sky, a documentary feature celebrating an unconventional man whose unconventional artistry created an extraordinary world. The film will unquestionably be popular with indie film fests and among disability advocates and activists. In fact, I chuckled as this thought came to mind, this may very well be the first time that Eaker has created a film that truly deserves to be a Heartland Truly Moving Picture.

That would be incredibly appropriate, actually. Because, to this day, Raymond Thunder-Sky continues to truly move those who had the privilege of crossing his path.


Raymond Was Born in Hollywood

(A review by Thunder-Sky, Inc.)

Alfred Eaker has concocted a strange and lovingly disjointed documentary about Raymond, called simply Thunder-Sky.  Which probably is the only way to do it:  Raymond’s significance really does not come from his status as an “outsider artist,” as much as his unique self-created persona, his self-imposed and beautifully freaky monarchy over a universe of buildings being built and buildings being destroyed.  The drawings are simply evidence of his reign.  In other words, “art” and “life” were never fully compartmentalized in Raymond’s psyche and practice; in fact he seemed hell-bent on blending them into a cement-and-cotton-candy dream-world only he could tell us about.

We screened it Thursday night at Bromwell’s Gallery, asking for criticisms and corrections.  And we truly got some insightful, wonderful ways to make it better.  It was as if everyone in the room were completely invested in making sure Raymond’s life story is conveyed with as much style and class as possible. 

Eaker’s movie is high-style at points (beautiful animation done by Todd M. Coe is kind of like the movie’s “tent poles,” offering a funky, psychedelic structure to the ongoing talking-heads-ness; a great ongoing motif involving the items Raymond collected in his toolboxes also helps to shape the narrative), and a little too campy in others (those weird clown vignettes really do need to go).  Sometimes the interviews get redundant (he focuses too much, I think, on Bill and me), and I think he may want to revisit having Thunder-Sky family friend Larry Higdon more in the spotlight, as his voice/demeanor/gentlemanliness as he speaks about Raymond really is arresting and actually made me cry.

No matter what though I just wanted to tell Alfred and his cohorts how much I appreciate all the work they have done.  I know I’ll never completely understand all the hard work and many hours that have gone into making this movie, but I do appreciate the final result:  you’ve taken subject matter that is very hard to comprehend and fashioned it into a funhouse mirror world of reflection and celebration.

Thank you very much.

Raymond was born in Hollywood.  Having a movie made about his life only seems like the next step in his evolution.


About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

Dear Raymond (BlueMahler’s homage to Raymond Thunder-sky)

(Alfred Eaker, as BlueMahler)

Dear Raymond,
We hope you enjoy this short companion film to the documentary Thunder-Sky as much as we’ve enjoyed your life’s work. I hope you travel well…

About the movie

BlueMahler pays homage to the artist Raymond Thunder-Sky. BlueMahler is the performance art character of artist Alfred Eaker. Like Raymond’s stoic construction clown, BlueMahler is not a clown in the traditional sense. Rather, the clown characterization is merely a skin to wear for the spirit journey.

“Wanderer, there may be no destination, but you must travel the road anyway.” (Luigi Nono, composer).

BlueMahler feels this is something Raymond understood and identified with. It is that which endeared Raymond to BlueMahler. This is BlueMahler’s tribute.

Co-directed by Alfred Eaker and J. Ross Eaker. Starring Shelby Armstrong, Alfred Eaker, Nate Saylor, Steve Stephens, and Jordan Wheatley. Make-up Jen Ring, Shelby Armstrong, and Steve Stephens. Music: Peer Gynt by E. Grieg courtesy of Tahra Records © Eaker productions, llc.

A homage to Raymond Thunder-Sky, a dear friend and fellow artist

(by Alfred Eaker, part of an interview originally published at 366 Weird Movies)

I met Raymond in 1999 through Keith Banner and Bill Ross.  We had an art showing together in Cincinnati.  Raymond had some kind of developmental disability and Bill had been his case worker.  Raymond  dressed up like a clown construction worker and repeatedly depicted images of a wrecking ball tearing down the world in front of him. 

In place of what was being destroyed, Raymond imagined, through his third dimensional text, what would go in its place.  Usually, that was a clown suit factory, a circus, or a highway named after his father. 

Raymond Thunder-Sky

Raymond’s work is deceptively simplistic.  He was working out his own vision of Shangri-La, not unlike the way Gauguin envisioned his own Eden, but Gauguin never found that Eden, even if he repeatedly tried to depict it in the form of Tahiti.  Of course, Gauguin moved there and discovered the reality did not match the ideal.  Raymond was smarter still.  He knew he could not depict what that Eden really was,  so all he could touch, in his work and performance, was the act of destruction before him, which seemingly promised to make way for the new. 

That is something I so identify with, his stubborn, restless, yearning, reaching spirit.  Raymond had a sort of blue collar approach to art that I admire and identify with, which is why I abhor and respond to that much bandied about label of “pretentiousness” from non-artists.  That label is a lame excuse to justify one’s dumbing-down.  No, I have quite an earnest passion and there is no pretense at all in that.  I bond with Raymond’s tool box and the blue collar world that permeates his life and work.  I want to say to critics “take your dissonance and weirdness like a man.”

Years ago, I discovered the late music of Luigi Nono and his struggle was similar to Raymond’s.  Of course, on the surface this is a case of apples and oranges, but underneath it’s  a natural linking of things things that seem totally disparate.  Nono read an inscription on a monastery wall in Toledo which read “Traveler, there may be no destination, but you must travel the road anyway.” 

The brief exposure to that inscription changed Nono’s music and life for the next ten years, until he died.  Nono became obsessed and obsession in art is usually a good thing.  Raymond had that obsession.  So, again I find identification, which is possibly why I am oh so fitfully working towards an MTS (“Masters of Theological Studies”) at seminary.  I don’t even know if there is a destination from this endeavor, but for now it is informing my art.  That is certainly not how my professors want me to approach studies there.  They want something academic from me, but it is not flowing, so …

Alfred Eaker as BlueMahler

Then there is the performance part of Raymond.  Raymond was Native American, passionately loved the circus, construction sites, and White Castles.  These seemingly disparate qualities in Raymond made him the misfit to many but the combination of all these made perfect sense to him, just like operas, western movies, silent film clowns, Tod Browning and the Virgin Mary all make sense coming together for me.  Naturally, I filter all that through my own sensibilities.  In performance, I become BlueMahler who is normally an esoteric, western clown.

A few years after Raymond passed away, Keith, Bill, and myself did a couple of gallery shows with artists inspired by Raymond.  James Mannan , who I have worked with before, accompanied me to one of those showings and we filmed part of it.  I started desperately wanting to do something more with it and it sat with me for a couple of years, brewing. Finally, I got the footage, looked at it, grabbed Ross and James and we filmed more of what Keith and Bill were doing with Raymond’s legacy… 

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

THUNDER-SKY promo video for documentary

This is an 8 minute promotional video for a featured documentary

An art gallery and organization, inspired by Raymond Thunder-Sky — an unconventional artist whose works and life transcend notions of “outsider” and “insider” art, breaks barriers, demolishes stereotypes, and empowers artists (both self-taught and formally educated) through showcasing their works and stories side by side.

  • A documentary film directed and produced by Alfred Eaker & J. Ross Eaker.
  • Keith Banner and Bill Ross producers.
  • James Mannan and Patrick Greathouse Associate Producers Eaker Productions, LLC in association with Thunder-Sky, Inc.
  • Liberty or Death Productions, LLC Asylum House Productions, LLC
  • Asylum House Productions, LLC