On May 23rd, 1994, my installations and performances were featured in Assorted Cracker Jack Prizes, a group exhibition that explored space, scale, and interactivity with pieces that ranged from smaller art in boxes to larger room sized installations.
Portrait of the Artist’s Mother
Portrait of the Artist’s Mother is a box collage portait of my mother sitting in her favorite rocking chair watching television, accompanied by the family dog. The mundane tableux contrasts with fluorescent pinks and copper. Jail bars make this scene of domesticity almost appear like a circus attraction. Portrait of the Artist’s Mother was a homage to James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s, Whistler’s Mother.
Metrics: 15″ wide x 9″ high x 6″ deep
Materials: cardboard, photographic prints, acrylics, wire
Family Values was a box art diptych with black and white photographic images of participants and their signs from the first Pride I attended in Hyannis, MA. On one side, a protester in a Jesus T-shirt holds a placard that says, “No special rights”. On the other, a man in a wedding dress holds signage that reads “Not every boy wants to be a soldier”.
Metrics: 10″ wide x ” 12 high x 1.75″ deep
Materials: black and white photographic prints, cigar box, lace, cardboard, hair, acrylic paint
Hair Club for Men
Hair Club for Men was a mixed-media surrealist representation of before and after images of hair restoration from Hair Club for Men commercials popular in the early 90’s. Two television-like boxes with antennas hang from another antenna. Unfurling from the bottom are scrolls of claims of youthfulness and money back garuntees. I used a mixture of primitive and modern styles and was interested in the tribal, primitivism of modern day gender codes and male pattern baldness. The source material, Hair Club for Men, was an American hair restoration and replacement company founded in the late 70’s by Sy Sperling. For decades, Hair Club advertised on television, airing commercials and infomercials.
Metrics: 23″ wide x 35″ high x 2″ deep
Materials: Altoids boxes, paper mache, aluminum, acrylic
Susan Powder Times Six
Susan Powter Tiimes Six was a box containing a repetition of 6 photographic images of exercise guru, Susan Powters. The inverted images were individually mounted on irregular panels, hanging in the box. Known for her signature bleached cropped hair, Susan Powter was an Australian-born American weight loss guru, who rose to fame in the 1990s with her catchphrase “Stop the Insanity!” at centerpiece of her infomercials.
Metrics: 30″ wide x 20″ high x 9″ deep
Materials: paper mache, cardboard, wood panels, acrylic paint, photographic prints
Untitled Hair Paintings
Untitled Hair Paintings were a series of 11 mixed media oil paintings made with human hair, broken glass, and rubble that undulated in scale from very large to the size of a Tic Tac box.
Metrics: 87″ wide x 40″ high x 2.5″ deep
Materials: glass, hair, pubic hair, oil paint, repurposed window frames, canvas
Vigil was a site-specific installation that explored mortality, in which I constructed a wake-like alter in the proscenium of a repurposed a fireplace. The fireplace became a viewing area for a human body that I presented as a living corpse. In Vigil, I was interested in the theatricality and surreality of seeing an actual dead body of someone you know and loved but that no longer contains a kinetic life force in it. The living corpse, performed by Dan Millman, made subtle seemingly involuntary bodily movements: such as breathing, twitching, blinking, and occasional tossing and turning while sleeping. The performer was powdered white and wearing a ceremonial suit. For Vigil, I was interested in staged deaths and the common fantasy of being present at your own funeral. I was also inspired by Joel-Peter Witkin’s macbre photos of corpses and Lenin’s Tomb.
Metrics: 54″ wide x 40″ high x 36 “deep
Materials: human being, flowers, candles, canvas, found materials, performer’s body
UFO Crash Site
UFO Crash Site was an assemblage of space ship debris, lights, and sound art. The audio track included my ruminations on contact with extra terrestrials, time, space and our limited comprehension of the infinity. UFO Crash Site was part of Assorted Crackerjack Prizes, a group exhibition that explored space, scale, and interactivity with pieces that ranged from smaller art in boxes to larger room sized installations.
Metrics: 50″ wide x 144″ high x 50″ deep
Materials: repurposed umbrellas, candles, Christmas lights, aluminum foil, aluminum trays, curtain material, found metal pieces, bottles
Right Wingback Chair 1994
In Right Wingback Chair I invited viewers to sit in a wingback chair into which I had embedded speakers with the rantings of a fictitious right wing character who quoting passages from the Bible to justify his bigotry. Right Wingback Chair was part of Assorted Crackerjack Prizes, a group exhibition that explored space, scale, and interactivity with pieces that ranged from smaller art in boxes to larger room sized installations
Metrics: 62″ wide x 144″ high x 62″ deep
Materials: wingback chair, mirror, end table, bible, repurposed comforter, pillow speaker, cigar, ashtray, black light, wood, oriental carpet, Christmas lights
In Confessional Bed I invited the viewer to recline on a cosy bed with a stuffed animal and homemade afghan and to listen to a portable cassette player. The audio track was an interview with an anonymous survivor who recounted her memories of childhood abuse. At the time an inordinate amount of my friends were coming out to me as sexual abuse survivors. While I was vowed to secrecy, I felt like I had to make an installation memorializing their experiences.
Metrics: 38″ wide x 75″ long x 6″ high
Materials: Twin size mattress, sheets, found teddy bear, cassette recorder, headphones, handmade afghan
Assorted Cracker Jack Prizes was curated by Maureen Cozgrov-Metzger and featured work by Marsian De Lellis, Gregg Einhorn, Rebecca Eppenstein, Sheila Hoyt, Signe Kaleel, Maxwell Kullaway, Lauren Petty, and Margo Slattery