(Hoof and Claw)
Found 2013, Goodwill (183 and Metric)
The Museum originally purchased (Hoof and Claw) for our Halloween 2013 exhibit. However, the picture soon gained a reputation as being a dark, even haunted, work. When the piece was first hung the museum’s director, Holly Finch, heard the sound of footsteps in the museum light at night, when only the cleaning crew should have been on duty. And frequently the picture was found behind the garbage bins on the south side of the house. This is not exactly proof of the paranormal, but usually when the cleaning crew disapproves of a painting it ends up in the second floor men’s room, so it is at least a little unusual.
In (Hoof and Claw) the subject is hidden off camera, the image only suggests its diabolical presence: a cloven hoof and clawed hand, signifiers of an evil presence (the devil, perhaps, or the Krampus) descend from the top of the canvas, a strange glow surrounding both in tendrils of red mist. It is as if this dark creature is carefully entering our reality from its own.
Little more can be said about (Hoof and Claw), its depicture of its dark subject matter is so spare that it becomes a strange exercise in darkness out of context.