Daily Archives: September 29, 2016

Timeout for Art: Unintended Images


plates 001

This plate was one of a series I made using a long triangle centered in a rectangle. I was keeping those elements similar so that the prints would all work together as a series, but using the simple format to go wild with experiments in texture. This plate has textured and shiny papers, photo paper, stencils, string, aluminum foil pressed into wood glue, drizzles of wood glue, tea leaves, and gouges and cuts made with various sharp tools. The plate prints well, and has a lot of interesting features.

When I look at it, I see the face of a one-eyed, evil clown. No matter what soft colors I use to print the image, no matter how hard I try to subvert it, that is what I see. Customers have often chosen these simple prints in bright colors to decorate a child’s room. I would always discourage them from this one. What is an infant saw the same thing that I see?!

Of the twelve plates I made using this same basic imagery, this is the only one that seems to have human features, at all. Of all types of human or animal characteristics, why this? I was never afraid of clowns (though after this, I don’t know!), nor even had much history with them. I have never seen religious icons peeking from my abstract work. Usually, they are all quite benign. But then, when least expected, something like this appears. Unplanned and unexpected.