Saturday, July 16, 2011


Driving back from the Challenging 1945 symposium, I stopped at Artesanos on Cerrillos Road to buy a couple of drawing pens and some paper, and found this image on a lamppost outside.   I reproduce it in respectful acknowledgement of the argument that Richard Meyer made in his excellent paper about needing to pay attention to the unnamed artists and artesans and copyists and technicians of various kinds (from, in his case, prehistoric cavepainters to those who made more or less lifesize facsimiles of them for the 1937 NY MoMa exhibition, "Prehistoric Rock Pictures of Europe and Africa."   This guy, too, is the product of - so far as I know - an anonymous artist (working on a much smaller scale ...).   What's more, the image seems to me to be of an unknown individual.   In other words, it's a perfect example of how noticing, acknowledging, thinking about visual culture is by no means about examining the work of "known," identifiable artists.

Although ... this may just be my ignorance talking.   Does anyone recognise the subject, at least?   I tried him out on Alice, and he rang no iconic bells.   Perhaps this will prove to be nothing other than an example of the way in which we can be held captive by a need for naming and for labels, which were curiously lacking on the lamppost.   Let me know if this is one of those embarrassing occasions when in fact this is an instantly identifiable head to everyone other than this household.

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