September 1, 2008

Fresh Works Response

Because I could not locate the name of this artwork while I viewed it, I have temporarily entitled it Creepy Robotic Zombie Monkey Baby in Highchair.
I must say, that it stood out to me from the first time I saw it; or rather, heard it. I heard a creaking, chinking sound while I was walking through the fresh Works gallery, and just had to investigate. I was not disappointed to find a wooden highchair holding a porcelain monkey baby, who was moving and rattling. It looked like something out of a Frankenstein movie; the only real colors to the image were the red rosettes and rattle decorating the baby 9there was thread sewing up the baby that I think was red as well), along with the sickly yellow tubes that spiraled up around the highchair from an ominous contraption to attach to the baby's neck with metal clamps. The baby itself was chained to the highchair with little metal manacles, which would rattle every time the baby moved. The piece held gruesome and unsettling combination of innocence and horror, and I loved it. The fact that the baby, the human universal symbol of innocence and hope, was also a monkey, seemed like a mockery of our world's (or at least, our society's) idealized view of babies. They can be cute and innocent, true, but they're also just little monkeys that crawl and eat and poop and spit and burp. The clothes of the monkey baby, I would like to note, were very innocent in design; cute stripes and lace on the outfit and bonnet plus little rosettes, but the color palette was just as gothic as the rest of the piece, using only a dark dull blue-grey, white and scarlet.