Using the composition from Walter Kuhn’s 1931, “Clown with Red Wig,” this painting aims to appropriate and create a closer relationship with aesthetic nuances. In this instance, the original clown face is considered and re-imagined to the masks referenced in the 1995 film, ‘Dead Presidents”. To engage and confront, an audio component is added. The audio was originally recorded on the Metro Transit in Los Angeles.
I visited the Dallas Museum of Art, and although I enjoyed all of the artwork, a piece that I have continued to visit is “Clown with Red Wig. The lighting, the spotlight on the clown- its illusion is believable. The texture of the painting is consistent and translates to this monochromatic feeling of a sadness further strengthened by the burrowed frown in the clown’s eyebrows. I wanted to input a version of myself into the same composition- I did not feel that the clown was representative of a mutual experience and so I considered the faces created for Dead Presidents. More relatable and relevant to my experience of being a woman, Black, and living in America.
The idea is presented with audio captured while on public transit. A written-audio-physical triptych, the audio is experienced through energized enunciation and narrative. A man speaks boldly in a public space- the reduction of original video content prompts the listener to think about their assumptions, biases, and prejudiced perspectives in addition to the audio's relationship to the artwork.
In many ways I am questioning, in what ways do I relate to Kuhn’s painting. Or, how can I apply this work to my personal self; how can my identity be captured using this composition (?).