October 12, 2007

Here Come the Brides

The saga of the nudes in South Carolina Fairs continues with my figurative mosaic in the State Fair. "Brides," is a mixed media work composed of found objects, stone, glass and ceramic mounted on a hardibacker board. It is so named as an homage to Marcel Duchamp's Dada work of the beginning of the last century, "The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors Even." I thought of Duchamp in making this work because of his similar division of the artwork into two distinct domains - the upper part female and the bottom part male. I was always curious as to why Duchamp would depict a male as a chocolate grinder but I suppose he had his reasons. Click on the link to obtain more information about this early twentieth century work.
Presenting a work such as "Brides" is always a risk - not only because of the nudity but because one can never be certain that the juror has a knowledge of art history that would enable him to "get it." I like to think that the juror for this exhibition, Thomas J. Mew, III. PhD, did get it. He is chairman of the Art Department at Berry College so it is possible that he saw the correlation and the approximate centennial celebration of Duchamp's pivotal work. But one can never be too certain of PhD's. I once had a college professor with a PhD tell me in no uncertain terms and with the utmost authority that "If a chicken can lay an egg without a rooster, then a cow can give milk without having a calf." No, her doctorate was not in animal husbandry. But I digress - yet not too far because this is the South Carolina State Fair we are talking about in this blog, with art in close juxtaposition with bovines and poultry. Moooooove over Duchamp!
While Duchamp's grand work is allusive, mine is literal. I've reversed the male/female order here by placing the male at the top and the females at the bottom. The title of Duchamp's work alludes to a single woman and more than one male. In my work I have reversed this as well with a single reclining male nude in a static pose with two nude women dancing together. How I found these two women is my secret. I have been working steadily for three years on mosaics integrating my hand sculpted earthenware figures and this is one from my 2007 group.
I would like to thank the South Carolina State Fair for allowing the work to be shown and to the juror for awarding the piece second place.

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