Thursday, September 4, 2008

wonder watch three: heads up

Today there is a strange chill in the air. The gloominess along with the damp air is the tell-tale sign that fall is certainly around the corner. I will be looking forward to the vibrant colors, soup, and cooler air, but there is much more to see. I learned that more than ever today while walking on Market Street.

Nearby my house there is a beauty school in which students come and go from curling, straightening, dying, waxing and who knows what else. As a perfume of hairspray follows each student they are easy to pick out as they are usually all dressed in black with a logo of the school on their lapel. Today I was walking behind two students and not thinking twice, until I noticed a unique silhouette creeping away from their arms. At first I thought they both had identical, brown, curly mini-shitsus, but as I looked closer, my eyes squinted and my mouth ajar I realized that the two women were each carrying a head as a companion. For a millisecond it appeared as some sadistic oddity on the neighborhood street, but breathing a sigh of relief, I rationally realized the heads were homework. So while smiling to myself and watching the women walk and chatting together I thought it was a giggle-worthy moment. What kept me chuckling though is the thought of how these heads were practice for the real deal - women and men who want to make themselves up, cut their hair, get a perm, and color a new self.

Practicing on a mannequin is logical, but it also demonstrates how replaceable humans' heads and bodies can inevitably become. What does remain is the influence a head or body makes. Even the fake heads hold an influence as they are practice that affects the performance on the actual person. It also speaks a sacredness of the human image. We see it everyday, it has been depicted for in art for centuries, and although at times absurd, the representation is always meaningful.

The image below is "Q-tip head" and is made with charcoal, gesso, and pastel.

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