Tag Archives: Wax

Modern Art Monday Presents: Short Haired Cheese By Robert Gober

short haired cheese photo by robert gober
All Photos By Gail

As with so many of Robert Gober’s classic works of the 1990s, the artist approached Short Haired Cheese (199293)  by researching the archetypal forms of his chosen subject, landing here on an unmistakable, yellow-tinged wedge of Swiss cheese, complete with air bubble holes.

short haired cheese installation view photo by gail worley
The Cheese Stands Alone . . .

The hair that appears to grow out of the rind  (clippings from one of his studio assistants) adds a haunting, anthropomorphic cast. Throughout this artist’s work, impeccably rendered objects  associated with a nostalgic, mid-twentieth century domesticity — comestibles such as butter, gin or donuts, or home-maintenance products like house paint, light bulbs, or rat poison — are made strange, even unsettlingly queasy, through the artist’s distinctive interventions and allusions to a body in pieces.

Photographed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

short haired cheese photo by gail worley

Modern Art Monday Presents: Paul Thek, Hippopotamus Poison

Hippopotamus Poison
All Photos By Gail

Hippopotamus Poison (1965) belongs to a series of Technological Reliquaries, which Paul Thek (1933 – 1988), began in New York after a summer spent in Sicily. The work engages the Roman Catholic tradition of venerating saintly bodies that Thek had observed first-hand in the catacombs near Palermo, and simultaneously offers a critique of the art of the time, Pop and Minimalism in particular.

Hippopotamus Poison Side View

Within a visually seductive display case made from colored Plexiglas sits what appears to be slab of rotten meat, realistically rendered in wax.

paul thek hippopotamus poison photo by gail wortley

Inscribed on the vitrine is a paranoid quote that nods to a generation’s underlying fears. “The world was falling apart, anyone could see it,” Thek has explained. “I was a wreck, the block was a wreck, the city was a wreck; and I’d go into a gallery and there would be a lot fancy people looking at a lot of stuff that didn’t say anything about anything to anyone.”

Hippopotamus Poison Side View Front

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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