Fred Mogubgub Fred Mogubgub

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Fred Mogubgub was among the New York animation scene’s innovative figures of the Sixties and Seventies. One of his most famous artistic statements wasn’t on film, but on the side of a building in Manhattan. It was part of an extended series of stunts that he staged during the 1960s. Richard O’Connor of Ace & Son animation studio wrote on his blog about Mogubgub’s work at the time:

What may be his best-known work was made at this time–a three-story mural painted on the outside of his Sixth Avenue studio. The left side was a beautiful woman, design by Irene Trivas, the right hand side was a word bubble saying “Who Will Give Mogubgub Ltd. Two Million Dollars To Make A Feature?”

Without the two million Mogubgub still made a feature. The Day I Met Zet runs 71 minutes and has 72,000 scenes. Zet consumed Mogubgub for three years. In 1967 a distributor offered him three points of advice after screening a work print- the next day the film was in the trash and he started over. When the New York Film Festival refused Zet, the filmmaker mounted a protest. He marched through Lincoln Center with a sign reading “Fuck the New York Film Festival”. When the police came he threw the film into the trash and ignited it. The newspapers had shown up questioning him -”How many hours of work was he destroying?” “Why this protest against the Festival?” Mogubgub stood by silently as he watched an old 16mm print go up in flames. Meanwhile the whole proceeding was being filmed. He planned to make it into a short called The Day I Burned Zet.

To learn more about Fred Mogubgub’s life and work, read Richard O’Connor’s essential series of blog posts about Mogubgub: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Also, don’t miss this terrific collection of Mogubgub drawings on Michael Sporn’s blog.

  • Degeaffusunuman

    What a torch! Literally! lol Sounds like guy was the ultimate rage quitter.

    • The Gee

      Sounds like he was an artist.

      Obviously, it is tough to think destroying prints was a good way to go. But, maybe he truly felt that strong that he needed “the system” to accept him instead of bucking it completely. At the very least, it is probably good to know about him for a couple of different reasons.

      So, thanks for writing about him, and, thanks for Richard O’ Connor for writing even more about him.