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Pierrot

Pierrot is most commonly known as "that mime," the white faced sad clown. The character evolved from an Italian acting troupe that gained fame in Paris in the 17th century. Wikipedia offers this: "In short, Pierrot became an alter-ego of the artist, specifically of the famously alienated artist of the 19th and early 20th centuries. His physical insularity; his poignant muteness, the legacy of the great mime Deburau; his white face and costume, suggesting not only innocence but the pallor of the dead; his eternal rejection by Columbine, coupled with his never-to-be vanquished unworldly naiveté-all conspired to lift him out of the circumscribed world of the Commedia dell'Arte and into the larger realm of myth."

In this new series of work I am trying to follow as much as I lead and the result is like getting messages from a Ouija Board. The myth of Pierrot leaked out of the cultural subconscious and began reaching toward this piece as it progressed. Most of the elements in this drawing were in place before "Pierrot" found it and ran it to the finish line. It started out as an investigation into the identity I attach to my face: how much of my "self" really resides in the architecture of my facial features? I decided to remove the connection that eye contact implies and focus on the surface of the skin, and in doing so, I found myself instantly teetering close to a death mask. This vacancy became the most potent element and the piece turned into the mask you see. Without the personality of the eyes the piece felt closer to an expression of humanity than singularity. It is divided down the middle to emphasize this most obvious but easily overlooked element of being human - bilateral symmetry. The neck is inspired by Japanese baskets that make hexagons in their weave, a shape I found when working on Baptism to be present in most cellular bodies.

Pierrot came into the picture as I was mentally spinning about the idea of working in a dark studio, creating a mask of humanity to represent me as a "self portrait." I often go loopy over, "who am I" and "who is asking, anyway?" and who get's to say "ah-ha" when it's all figured out, so I was glad to find companionship when Pierrot arrived. Pierrot was a character who had to act dumb to woo the woman of his fancy. An actor playing an actor. He makes a nice little mockery of this dizzying separation of subconsciousness, ego and id. Suddenly from death mask, i jumped all the way back to clown.

Pierrot is the companion piece to Forgotten Offerings. Pierrot is vacant and shows the interior space as a void whereas Forgotten Offerings is full of light. The poses obviously mirror one another. They are independent, but polar. The gold leaf in both brings focus to the border- an incredibly potent part of the composition as it is the dividing line between the "real world" and this imagined space of illusion and constructed meaning.