Found 04/2011, Goodwill (Metric and 183)

A curiously-placed pricetag sets off this strange anti-portrait. Like the swaths of fabric and gauzy loincloths placed over classical paintings in the 16th Century, the sticky added after the image was composed conceals the subject’s pierced ear, yet serves only to draws the viewer’s full attention.

Even before the Goodwill artist’s aftermarket additions, (Ear) is an exercise in misdirection. The piece’s composition suggests a portrait, with┬ánone of the details of a traditional portrait. We supply our own features: a smiling face, tears, indifference. We look through the stacks of photographs, assuming the left side of the face is missing, until the staff asks us to leave and puts a small picture of us beside the front register saying “Watch For This Collective Plural.”

Art is ultimately subjective.

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