Found 12/2015, Goodwill Blue Hanger (Burleson near Ben White)

In many cases, thrift store art is sadly bereft of context, and we cannot understand the artist’s intent in building the image that he or she did.

That is absolutely the case here.

(Face?) is an explosion of color that would be easily understood in the context of an abstract school like color-field art. But as this is a portrait, it edges into the mysterious. CFW seems to be showing a face being spattered by liquid, as if under a faucet or hose. The water on the subject’s cheek pools as if she were two-dimensional, a flat photograph on the floor, and the suggestion of concentric rings adds to the sense that she is perhaps rising from the bottom of a fountain.

As the subject’s mouth is open and she may be moving toward the water source, this may be the exact moment where  the subject has misjudged her approach to a water fountain.  Yet her face, itself, is liquid, with suggestions of the amorphous—the wavy lines of hair merge into the wavy ripples of water. This is the least unsettling of her facial distortions; the trope of a single eye drifting away from its sister is common enough in thrift store art, but here the foreshortening of the smaller eye creates the sense that the left side of the subject is drifting away in space. The strange double-mouth is just weird.



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