Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Meme Heads

Proposal Sketch
I am making sculptures for a show probably in the fall of 2015 that will consist of a series of heads based on pop culture characters and internet memes, somewhat larger than "life-size," painted in full color and suspended at roughly eye level.

These will be characters that are somewhat monstrous- though perhaps in an insipidly cute way, and have reached a significant level of cultural saturation, perhaps because they are associated with or derived from a movie or a video game.

I am not interested in attentively illustrating them so much as using them as a scaffold or point of departure for trying to make an interesting piece of sculpture.

In format, this would be fairly similar to other projects that I have done in years past, including an installation at the National Portrait Gallery and Metaphor Gallery.  Of course, these  installations were collections of more or less life size portraits of actual people in the art world.

Following is a list of the some of the character possibilities with some notes:

From the lol cats: Grumpy Cat and/or Trash Cat, Lil Bub, cats wearing helmets made of grapefruit rinds.

Slenderman: an intentionally constructed horror character who supposedly abducts children.  Recently blamed for stabbings perpetrated by 6th graders. (A particular favorite of my sons.)

The Slow Loris: a mammal that seems too cute to not have been manufactured as pokemon or an anime character, the loris is endangered, exploited and being tickled by humans in widely viewed online videos.

Dragon/Dinosaur/Kaiju/Godzilla:  the fan bases for these various franchises can certainly be quite disparate, but the oversized, overpowered and implausible reptiles seem very compelling for both adults and children

Masked Men (Power Rangers/Storm Troopers/Ninjas): both superheroes and villains, often with cyborg parts, they all seem empowered by masks that cover all or at least the majority of their faces...though practically speaking, it seems unlikely that they can see anything.

Humanoid robots (Terminator, Transformers)

Skull/death's head/sugar skull. Skulls as decoration or symbol are ubiquitous. Formerly a symbol of poison, pirates or bikers, they now appear on children's clothing.

Creepy dolls: from Chucky to Annabelle 



Other insipidly cute artificial animals: like "Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows"

Other scary animals, supernatural creatures and aliens: werewolves, vampires, xenomorphs, "Predators"


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