Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Heroes 5- Uncle Ernie
Over the course of this "Heroes" project, I've really been pushed hard to consider what the idea of a "hero" really means. Sure, people like David Bowie and Edward Gorey have/had a huge dose of talent, but is that really the prime criteria for herodom? I will always have an inherent respect for people who are good at what they do, and being an artist myself, I'm definitely skewed in my attentions to people of a creative persuasion. Note the series' lack of presidents or generals. But like the first entry in my Mt. Rushmore of sandwich-eaters, my father, this next figure is someone that I know personally and have always admired for their innate goodness and generous spirit. My uncle Ernie is an unselfish and truly spiritual man- a priest for the past 50 years. My difficulty with this print is manyfold: it does appear somehow perverse to juxtapose a sandwich with a priest giving a man the last rites and grieving women. A sandwich is something with connotations of frivolity. What message are we meant to glean from this pairing of a man of the cloth and a turkey sandwich? This odd couple then meets head-on with the current public prejudice against priests, thus predisposing my audience to interpret the image in an untoward fashion. In my personal admiration of my uncle, I fear I did not take the necessary steps in the composition to counteract these forces and am left with with what may be a weirdly inappropriate print. I include it here, however, so that you may judge for yourself.