Monday, December 3, 2007
It's a large painting (25" x 27") on paper and cardboard using beads, glitter, acrylics and pen-and-ink. Saint Wiggle is framed with a homemade wooden picture frame, which also has been painted on. The story to this painting is told on the painting itself. Painted 2007.
“Chumanpanzee Considers All 5 Sides of the Question at the Giant's Causeway”
The HYBRID VIGOUR Series, Mixed Media on Paper & Canvas Board. 24" x 34" She's a thoughtful hybrid between homo sapiens sapiens and pan paniscus, isolated on a famous pentagonal rock structure in Northern Ireland. Humans are more closely related to pygmy chimpanzees than a horse is to a donkey (we have 98% genetic compatibility). This means that there's a fair chance not only of offspring, but also that any offspring would be fertile - unlike the sterile mule. Would we exploit animals if we admitted that they are us? This hybrid has human tits (as does the sun that shines down on it). Mammaries are often considered taboo in photographic depictions of the human animal. They look too animal. Genitalia is often played down in photographic depictions of chimpanzees and gorillas. It looks too human. That's part of what the chumanpanzee is thinking about. Her other four thoughts are private.
“Anorexic Werewolf (Hunger) Strikes Again, The”
The HYBRID VIGOUR Series Mixed Media on Cardboard. 24" x 34". Toilet tissue drenched in glue. Turkey. Apple. Becks beer. Pepsi. One fat beady orange. I thought you said I / worse than / ought to have a cosmicstring around my ring / thinking of choking on a / finger and on my own tongue. My dear beloved ventriloquist, O fiancée you reached forth and – I admit it – dragged those / I sat there in my cosmic veil and tried it / dead ringers back fingers I do thee wed gagged a couple times before I remembered with a string around my finger I was an idiot, disgusting / I thought I'd court far more than you. A ring – I choke upon my fingers – a fellow – my food comes up to be swallowed 2wice – a ring-bearer. I planned my ceremony 2 be double ring heading 2rds double trouble dead ringer 2 the deceased. Now who's the stupid doppelganger best man? one it's not me two throwing the bouquet to the side to catch it catch it cosmic ringer-ringer-ringer three catch it on my swallowed finger.
“Rapture: Souls & Spunk Ascend to Heaven”
Spray paint, gold leaf, acrylics, pen & ink on cardboard. 24" x 34", Top of church. Sky above church. Left-hand side of sun. Ultimate meltdown of the sacred and profane, floating up to HEAVEN at the end of the world.
“Licking the Alaska State Highway: Transvestite, Autumn” The HYBRID VIGOUR Series, Pen & Ink and Acrylics on Paper. 8½" x 11", This painting is part of a seasonal set (Alaskan Hybrid Vigour – Summer, Spring, Winter, Autumn) within a larger series – HYBRID VIGOUR.
“Someone Has Left Australopithecus Boisei Behind in the Woods: Nutcracker Man, Winter"
“Captain Michael Healy, of Mixed Race Heritage, Observes with Pleasure the Melting Ice on Some Future Alaskan Beach Year 2005: 1891 Polar Explorer, Spring”
“Summer Bleeding It Happened So Fast: Jesus, Phoenix, Summer”,
“Dolly the Electric Sheep (Ogmore by Sea)” Watercolours, Acrylics, Coloured Glue, Fabric, Pen & Ink on Posterboard. 8½" x 12"
The first incarnation: I was 13 and had just returned from a short trip to Wales when my parents took my brother and I on a month-long trip to Europe. We ran for our Heathrow plane back to Anchorage; we missed it, and so we went to Wales during the three-day wait for the next Alaskan-bound flight (British Airways still had direct flights to Alaska in those days; Prince William was born when we were mid-air and they offered free champagne to all legal adults). I was very impressed by Welsh Nationalism and by Ogmore-by-Sea in particular, where my brother and I went exploring in caves and ruins and found something that looked like a dragon's egg. The site was haunted by a Blue Lady, a type of ghost. I painted this on my return in commemoration for some local children's painting group. I specifically remember trying to put a real silver lining in the cloud. Then I redid the painting during a nightmarish trip down the Alcan highway with my best friend, the second worst month of my life so far. My boyfriend and I had split, badly; my friend and I were squabbling, badly; I was coughing up blood from a cat allergy, badly. Throughout this trip I drew whirly designs in coloured ink on my old painting. Sometimes when I look at my paintings, I can remember every emotion I felt at the time that I sketched, and this is one of them. As I occasionally paint as a method of sorting through my thoughts and opinions, my associations with my paintings are not always happy and often ambivalent. I added a highly decorated frame (with little black sheep saying "one for my master, one for my dame") in 1997 and renamed this Dolly the Electric Sheep to be topical (a comment on the appropriation of bodies human and animal for scientific research), but I later removed the frame and kept the name. The frame was hideous yellow-green and I burnt it in a bonfire one year.
“Sheela-na-gig” The BITCH Series Mixed Media on Cardboard. 30" x 48" Framed under glass.
Mouth. Teeth. Eye. Dream of an infected eye swarming with yellow globules that I couldn't pick off like that old Plath poem. 14th-century carvings on ancient Celtic churches/monuments, which showed female gargoyles holding open their genitalia. Unclear whether these were an admonition against feminine lust or a show of brazen grrl power. Far more likely to be the former. Sheila is a hell of a bitch.
“Exorcism of That 3-breasted, 6-fingered Witch Anne Boleyn, The (II)” [juvenilia – of sorts 1987, 1989, 1997 / The BITCH Series, pen & ink and acrylic paint on paper and board 16" x 20" FRAMED
This painting has been many things: first a scene from Moliere's play Tartuffe done as a high school French project for extra-credit because my grades were low that term; then repainted for a Halloween exhibition on exorcism at the University of Alaska two and a half years later (for which it wasn't accepted, damn it) as the exorcism of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, who was accused of being a witch and rumoured to have had six fingers on one hand and three nipples. If you look closely here, you can see a second cleavage and that sixth digit. The red fuzz above the characters' heads is magic, as Anne works her own reverse exorcism with a hidden book, bell and candle, and begins to reveal her weapons. Then I moved to Seattle and traded the painting, originally rather large, away to my friend Karen's boyfriend in exchange for a hat I never received. Paul, the friend's boyfriend, a very talented and sweet fantasy milliner, was extremely fond of it for reasons that were always a little cloudy, perhaps it was the male character's elaborate plume-feathered hat. Then Karen and Paul broke up and, hatless, I lost track of Paul as I moved to Europe. All I had left was part of a colour copy I'd once had done. I repainted on the colour copy, with some vague idea of depicting the stereotyping in Disney cartoon feature films – "Disney goes wrong" – but I left most of it as it was and just patched up the faded bits where the colour copy had been torn, and changed the background colour. Its truest incarnation and, I believe, its heart, is its second life as the maligned but still rebellious Anne Boleyn.