S. Nesbit
Found 02/2012, Goodwill (2222 and Lamar)

Ringbearer3The three stages of the artistic expression of grief are the shadowed background, annihilation of the self by an excess of gloom (or, possibly, incineration), and of course the wearing of the toilet seat. In this, Ringbearer has come full circle, with the color leached out and replaced with the grim palette of a charnel house or crematorium, and the toilet seat, usually represented in a token form, dominating the image like a halo of sorrow. The subject looks through and out of the toilet seat, his point of view restricted to the bleak window of the lavatory.

A more positive interpretation of the toilet seat, espoused by Robert Hughes in his short essay, Gates of the Fundament, is that of a doorway or passage, a transformative gate. When we emerge from the toilet seat, Hughes suggests, truly, the worst is behind us. In this way, both Hughes and Nesbit reclaim the symbol, for after we emerge from grief (allegorically, the toilet seat) we are not the person that began the journey so many tears before.

Note: Ringbearer was found together with Face In The Window by the same artist, which is displayed the Dayle Therapeutic Art Archive. The Museum’s current curator has expressed frustration with the staffers that alternately place the two pieces together or spread them apart, but as long as it doesn’t scare the horses…

Additional Note: Ringbearer does, in fact, scare the horses.

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