(Deb the Unicorn)
found 11/2013, Goodwill (183 near Anderson Mill)
The delicate linework of the vines and flowers of (Deb) collide with the raw nature of the unicorn herself. We know little about the artist or her intent: “Deb” is noted in pencil on the reverse side of the piece, and our current docent titled the piece after that cryptic note so that he had something, anything, to say about this item in our collection. The primary subject is rough and flat, relatively unornamented. Its horn extends beyond the edge of the canvas, as if to say “I cannot be constrained” or “(Dimensions are approximate.”) The original tapestry may have been cropped to fit on the embroidery-style ring. That a portion of this creature may have been destroyed by time, practicality, or pinking shears is an incalculable loss.
At the time of this writing, (Deb) is one of a very few pieces of the 1992 school of faux-broderi known to exist in the south-central Austin area, certainly the cleanest and best-maintained of that school. Traditionally its artists use paint pens in a sort of trompe-l’œil, replicating the homespun look of embroidery with the clean lines of modern illustration. Many pieces of the High Faux-broderi period (June 17-19, 2013, around 4:30) go so far as to use fine-point marker to replicate crosshatch stitching. (Deb) seems to have been created before the full flowering of this school.