Tripper Dungan was born in Santa Barbara, California. At the early age of 4 he got in trouble for coloring in his brothers He-Man coloring book. He hasn’t stopped making art since.
In his early teens Tripper and his family moved regularly, sometimes every week. During this time he started making a comic strip that was heavily inspired by “Calvin and Hobbes” and “the Simpsons”. The comic strip didn’t last but a couple years. After a couple years and 3 times across the country and back, Trippers family settled in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Tripper attend the Las Vegas Academy of Performing and Visual Arts and International Studies. this is where he received the bulk of his art training. For a sort of informal Senior project he and his Friend John Engle AKA the Prof 8o00% made a makeshift carnival they called “The Carnival of the eye”. It featured a plethora of dioramas, 2d art, a black and white strobe hut gallery, a tea bar, and a 7 foot tall mushroom with a light up interior.
After a short stint in SanDiego Tripper hitchhiked up to Eugene to pursue his art. In Eugene Tripper met DIY fashion designers, film makers, fire dancers, amateur circus performers, DJs, musicians, puppeteers, fairies, baristas, and freaks. Needless to say college didn’t hold his attention for long.
Tripper Started having art shows at galleries, coffee shops, salons, lounges and even a piano school. This is also the time he started making shadow puppets and performing puppet shows with live bands. he even had a short stint blowing fire in a makeshift circus put together with his friends and housemates at the Friendly Estates on Friendly Street.
After a couple years in Eugene Tripper moved to a farm outside Corvallis, Oregon to grow vegetable seeds and milk goats. He even helped build a chicken coop and made a gigantic Humpty Dumpty for the side of it.
In 2002, Tripper moved up to Portland Oregon, where he started making sampled music soundtracks for his increasingly elaborate shadow puppet shows. He would perform at clubs, house parties, music venus, tee houses, colleges, and geodesic domes all up and down the northwest coast.
Portland is also where Tripper met a handful of visual artist in the early days of Last thursdays up on Alberta Street. They shared a love of found wood to paint on and had an esthetic that worked well together, and they formed a loose collective they called “Junk Town”. Junk Town would set up their salvaged wood walls at night clubs and bars, and hang art on the cheep. One show at Tripper’s house ended well into the night after a couple beer runs and a gaggle of Brazilians showed up to rock out on the drums to some 70s Italian Bossa nova beats.
Tripper has been a part many local art events such as Portland’s Holocene’s annual mini golf design competition,where he made a 7 foot tall robot head to hit your golfball into. He made a temporary moving mural of a woodsman playing a ukulele at the Goodfoot lounge. Whenever the men’s room door opened the woodsman’s arm strummed the weed wacker strings on the 11 foot ukulele. At a show at screaming sky he hand carved a totem pole as part of show about animal tales. just to name a few.
Greg Pitters of the now defunct Hungry Eyeball and Tripper collaborated on a handful of short films. On a trip to burning man one year they dressed up as live pinatas and battled on the dry lakebed, as shown on the music video Piñata Boom Boom.
Around 2008 Tripper interned at Grass Hut Art Market for Bwana Spoons and Justin “Scrappers” Morrison. He was part of solo and group shows at the Art Market.
Tripper is currently showing in galleries across the country and slinging art at heavily curated craft shows on the west coast. He even sometimes picks up the odd graphic design job for local independent record labels, websites, people that want a design for a tattoo, HUB brewing, and weekly papers like the Portland Mercury. His art has been featured on the cover of the Portland Mercury a handful of times.
As of press time Tripper is working away on one art project or another late into the night as his wife and daughter dream in their beds. Sweat dreams.