Unfinished Clown Portrait

(Unfinished Clown Portrait)
Found 07/2006

One of the fundamental paradoxes of the clown is that the joyful exterior does not necessarily reflect his or her internal life. In this, the clown becomes a metaphor for all facades; what we project to the world conceals, rather than reflects, our true selves. In (Unfinished Clown Portrait) the subject has begun the transformation from human to clown, but arrested it at an early stage. We do not know what mask he will ultimately create—sad hobo, happy jester?—and, in truth, it may not be relevant. All masks conceal the same person, and the emotional truth is that any facade conceals a wounded soul.

The frame and matting of (Unfinished Clown Portrait) emphasize the picture itself, the mat itself broken and incomplete, creating a slender window beyond the facade and calling attention to the flaw in all masks: no facade can hide the fact of its own existence.

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