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collage, pajon, print, mythology, antiquarian, victoriana, epic, allegory, vanitas, death, skull, landscape, etymology, natural history, anatomy, danse macabre, memento mori
What Creatures of Mirth are We
Mixed Media Collage on Antique Book Covers
14 x 14in
2015

SOLD
We all seek pleasure laugher and beauty in life, or whatever we need to make ourselves happy, our thoughts and energies often radiating outward attempting to infect others with joy and spontaneity. This gentleman has had the unlucky privilege of having his head mapped by the age-old process of phrenology. Although now regarded as an obsolete amalgamation of primitive neuroanatomy with moral philosophy, phrenological thinking was influential in 19th-century psychiatry. By mapping certain moral attributes and coupling that with a persons thinking and behavior that a judgment could be made about a persons station in life or perhaps what kind of person they could or could not become. His thoughts burst forth worn upon his face for all to see. An amateur etymologist with a fear of spiders, he keeps a pet rat and feeds birds in the park. He recalls dancers illustrated upon a Greek vase that led him to think of his beloved and the rare flower she gave to him that he failed to care for. As a child his sister stabbed him in the skull with a pair of scissors and the Doctors feared permanent brain damage. He wishes to visit the shore in the summer and dreams of someday visiting a coral reef and watch cormorant’s dive into the ocean in search of fish. He hopes to travel in search of a rare caterpillar said to have barbed stingers strong enough to bring a grown man to his knees. By pluck and luck his mirthful spirit grows.