Sunday, July 21, 2013

Haircut and Church Shapes (or, A Weekend Date with a Gum-Chewing Bitch), 1989


Haircut and Church Shapes (or, A Weekend Date with a Gum-Chewing Bitch). 1989. pastel pencil, charcoal, and graphite on paper

Another early interest of mine was the conceptual narrative, or at least storytelling with a certain intended vagueness. Content-wise in relation to the title of the piece here, we are led to a narrative. There is a context-ridden visual juxtaposition: barbershop pole taken from an Edward Hopper painting, a church window, a floor tile, and in the middle a supposed huntress/goddess (Artemis) whose arrow bag has been erased, thus making her look as if she's taking a chewing gum out of her mouth. Context therefore is more a challenge for being elusive. For example, only men and boys go to barbershops, so is she waiting for a boy? Or is she a mere statue outside, a central scene-stealer seen from inside the barbershop? Is it a Sunday? If Christian Sunday, why Artemis?
    Finally, here is a challenge to the framer, particularly the matting-maker who's supposed to follow the curves at the left of the picture. A conceptual (not necessarily Conceptualist) puzzle offering symbols of gender, power, tenderness, relaxation, the mundane, and a possible sexual innuendo. Or so I hope.


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