THE STORY OF SONNY BOY
Friends, its hard to believe that it was twenty-five years ago, July of 1986, that “Sonny Boy” burst onto the Santa Fe art scene and became an overnight sensation throughout the Southwest. So, to honor him, I have decided to create a special limited edition of five commemorative sculptures two of which have already been sold. Sonny Boy is a real beauty; a real lady killer if you will! He is 60” tall and his base is 16 x 7.5 x 38. He has the famous rainbow colored stripes on one side and black and white stripes on the other. A full moon surrounds his muzzle. The middle layer of his three layered base picks up the colors and design of his bandana, which is a first! You are welcome to pick your favorite colors as each sculpture is created upon ordering. I will also include your choice of one of the two, classic signed artist’s proof serigraphs all for only $25,000.00!
For those of you who don’t know how I came to create “Sonny Boy,” here is his story. My wife Sharon died of a brain tumor that she battled and fought valiantly for five long years. Mourning her, I did not paint for two years and really did not know if I would ever paint again. My studio/home was at the end of Tano Road, which at that time was not as densely populated as it is today. One night I was watching one of those fantastic/magical Santa Fe sunsets. The beauty of the emerging night sky was pierced by the sad lonesome howl of a coyote. It felt so incredibly sad and I could certainly identify with his pain. After some time, more coyotes joined in and the night was filled with their sorrowful howls. Suddenly, their sorrowful howls gave way to what seemed to be shrieking, joyful sounds, as if they were drunk with laughter. Sitting there, I felt like I had been hit on the head with a baseball bat: BANG! Right then I rushed into the studio and began drawing the first coyotes, thus realizing that my period of mourning and self pity was finally over at least as much as it could be. Several days later I traveled to Hopiland in northern Arizona to watch their Kachina Dances. One of the greatest spectacles on the planet if you’ve never seen one! During the dance many black and white striped Koshares/clowns would burst onto the scene causing mayhem and laughter. Their leader was called, what else, “Sonny Boy!” Throughout the afternoon Koshares appeared. The traditional black and white Koshares were then followed by striped combinations of turquoise/black, pink/black, red/black, blue/black all of which I had never seen before. All of the inspired my famous rainbow striped Koshari coyote “Sonny Boy.”
Friends, my creation of “Sunny Boy” changed my life in so many ways. I t provided me an opportunity for happiness, financial stability and artistic acknowledgement for which I am eternally grateful.
I have learned a very valuable life lesson. After something tragic occurs it will always, in time, be followed by something good. So, dear friends, when the going gets tough you hang in there, keep thinking positively and you will see your life change for the better.
So, you see “Sonny Boy” and I go way back in time, we’ve been through it all together. We have moved to Chicago, where I have found my new happiness, once again. At least three or four times a year, you will see on the evening news a coyote running through the streets of downtown Chicago! Sorry, friends, I just can’t keep “Sonny Boy” in the studio 24/7!
So, Happy 25th Birthday “Sonny Boy!” Thank you to all of his fans, admires and collectors who have made him such a success!
Happy trails always,
Sonny Boy and Tavlos