Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Harry Wilkins as a Prelude to Marilyn Monroe

Once upon a time, I created an artist's book entitled The Two Lives of Harry Wilkins. It was not a very successful artwork because the object itself was infinitely more interesting than what I did with it. Sadly, I no longer have the original object but I scanned slides today of the ratty pieces of paper that were stapled together that I individually photographed for the book in 2002. My father found this artifact that held my fascination because it was so bizarre. I still feel odd when looking at these images (maybe because of the combination of religion, race, and sex = topics I never deal with in my work). Lately, I have thought about this project A LOT because it elicits the same emotions I have about the Marilyn Monroe photographs that I am currently working on. Both involve obsessions (and busty blonds). "Harry Wilkins" is the name I created for the man I thought might own this object - a man using religion to hide his lust for naked women but ultimately returning to a pious lifestyle. Incidentally in the original object, there are identical versions of the last image stapled together - the repetition driving that point home.

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