Also at the Denver Art Museum, I ran across this installation of meditating Buddhas topped with various doll heads. Heads include Ken, Howdy Doody, Wolverine, and Doc, of Seven Dwarves fame. For some reason, I thought the creepy rubbery foam bodies were even more strange than the suspended doll heads. (Headless, Michael Joo)
In the same exhibit, there was an mesmerizing interpretation of Adoration of the Magi (Epiphany 1, Gottfried Helnwein). The baby is an infant Hitler, surrounded by reverent SS officers and on the lap of a beautiful, Aryan Virgin. Something that particularly interested to me was how clearly conveyed the setting and players are, without it actually being that obvious. (I tried to snap a photo, not knowing photography was not allowed for this exhibit, and a security guard sprinted across the room to stop me. However, the painting is easily found online and it’s worth a look.)
My vacation photos suffer from my obsession with details, especially doors and windows. This wouldn’t be a problem except I forget to get the long shots as well, so I end up with a lot of frames but no story.
This door handle, reminiscent of a Zuni clown with his weird striped sock feet on his head, is on the front door of a Native American gallery/shop in St. Philip’s Plaza in Tucson.
At the Denver Art Museum I found this amazing (and gigantic) piece, Pater Noster by Sean Landers. It is more of a journal than a painting, chronicling the artist’s life while he prepares for a show — a time that also includes his partner’s pregnancy, the birth of his child, and the sudden death of his father. It is rare for people stop and stay with any one piece for longer than a few seconds, but this one had such a large crowd we were jockeying for position to continue reading his funny, poignant story. After thinking about it, this piece’s popularity should not be a surprise. A common art museum comment is “What in the world is that supposed to be?” Here, we know exactly what the artist is trying to say because he is saying it, literally.