Recently, while having a conversation with an acquaintance about, among other things, art, I, for what turned out to be the fifth and final time, attempted to steer the conversation to my long standing theories about the double meaning of the lyrics in the theme song from the much loved,but long ago canceled sit-com Diff’rent Strokes. The look of irritation that fell upon my conversational companion’s features let me know, in no uncertain terms, that she would be soon bidding me good night, and, most likely, making no contact with me again for some weeks. Before this incident however, while speaking of art, she had mentioned something, the exact words I cannot recall,about the necessity of having responsibility for the images one makes. By this,I took her to mean, and she verified this upon questioning, that you must know your intent, understand what you are trying to convey, all in order to be taken seriously. Now, of course, I may, even after her countless explanations, have gotten this completely wrong, and so, with this in mind, I do not mention her name, and take this opportunity now to claim, as my fault, any misinterpretation. Yet, even if I be misguided, this idea has taken a hold of me, made me wonder at my ability to tell in words what it is I am attempting to express in any of my countless works, some of which are collected as far afield as Europe, while others languish in the darkness that is my appointed art storage area. So, with this idea in mind I decided to, as an ongoing project, make it my business to explore certain recurring images from my oeuvre. Below is my inaugural examination of an image that I am sure is well familiar to you.
THE FLOATING HEAD
The Floating Head as seen above in two examples, has appeared in my work nearly unchanged for 12 to15 years. It’s distinctive round shape achieved primarily with the use of a Pickett(made in the U.S.A.) Giant circles inking template no. 1201I, though, at times,in a pinch, I have resorted to the use of a coffee can or some other similar object for the making of the circular shape. The two examples above were both produced using the 3 1/2 inch template. The reason for the roundness of the Floating Head is to set it apart from being a ‘normal’ human head, for The Floating Head, while being easily recognizable as such, is actually intended to represent a supernatural being, a god, the maker of all that is or ever will be. As can be seen in the examples above, the Floating Head’s usual countenance is one of anger tinged with what may be taken as a kind of bafflement, not because of what it is seeing, but because of some intrinsic flaw within its character. Why this would be is because of The Floating Head’s inability to exert any kind of control over its creation, or to comprehend, in any satisfying way, the motivations behind its creations behavior.
Though The Floating Head has appeared on its own in both paintings and drawings, at times it is juxtaposed with some object or scene that would appear to only be associated with The Floating Head due to their proximity to one another on the paper. This, of course, would be as it appeared upon first glance. A deeper investigation, with thoughtful viewing and quiet contemplation, would, I believe, cause whoever was to do this to see that, if in fact The Floating Head is an omnipotent creator, then whatever appears with it is, or could be assumed to be, unless from another separate universe,perhaps ruled over by its own Floating Head, a result of The Floating Head’s intention. That is, a product of The Floating Head itself, and therefore, part of the Floating Head, and so, not at all unreasonably appearing with it under any circumstances.
There are some who may assume that The Floating Head is just a simple mockery of the idea of the existence of an interventionist god, and of any of the tales attributed to that god as well as anyone’s belief in any of it,no matter how sincere, but, they would only be partially correct, and confused,as I once was, about The Floating Head’s actual nature. Now, years after The Floating Head’s initial appearance, I have, with much inner searching, and some consultation with various experts, arrived upon, without a doubt, not only what The Floating Head is about, but also, who is actually behind that rounded head,and though I hesitate to write it for others to read, I am sure, as sure as one can be of anything, that The Floating Head is not only about me, it is me.
*from Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary