Saturday, August 1, 2009

looking through the eyes of...

or: how to take one Santa Fe tourist cliche - the Horned Cattle Skull - and try and turn it into something else.   The skull, of course, has been immortalized by Georgia O'Keeffe, above all: one can buy them on line (I should know - I have one, painted in geometric pueblo-style black and white patterns, with feathers where once were horns, and it's stuck in a closet in my office, because I'm rather bereft of ideas about where else to put it.   So much for late-night e-Bay).   Or, indeed, one can purchase them bleached and hanging on trees at Jackalope, a perennially tempting respository of south-western and other forms of folk art.  

I'd actually gone there to buy a glazed plant pot, but found myself taking pictures of skulls: how not, though, make them look like the cliches that they are?   Luckily, after the last two days, I was hell-bent on getting them - on getting anything - in focus, and especially wanted a sense of their rough texture - the orange twine holding them in place was a bonus.   In case you're wondering, a skull would set you back just $40.


  1. I was obsessed with G O'K when I was 13 and desperately wanted a nice, weathered cow skull. But where to get one, being from New England? As I pondered this problem and dreamily flipped through my G O'K book, my Dad, a farmer's son, simply drove to some farm somewhere and got me a horribly fresh HEAD. Thanks, Dad.

  2. Your comment prompted me to go off and Google how, exactly, one *would* strip a cow's head... suffice it to say that the details were enough to make me pretty confident that I wouldn't be trying it at home in the near future...