26/5/12 – Pink Skull Monkey, 2004
I continued to read the Cute & Creepy catalogue from the Florida State University: Museum of Fine Arts. The catalogue also mentions an artist known as Laurie Hogin and Carrie Baade also highlights the bold and vibrant creature within the middle of the image, which contrasts with the skull on the left hand side.
Baade argues that the bright pink creature and the skull become a “deathly kitsch”, which also questions capitalism and commercialisation within the contemporary culture. One could argue that the creature’s lively gestures and the skull’s animated grin creates a very dynamic juxtaposition, which allows the viewer’s gaze to gravitate from one subject to the other.
According to the Cute & Creepy website, Laurie Hogin emphasises the use of colour in her work, which are evident within mass production and the consumer culture. One could argue that products such as Barbie and soft toys feature similar colours to Hogin’s image.
One could relate Hogin’s Pink Monkey with ‘the uncanny’, which Nicholas Royle describes as an strange and unfamiliar experience with a particular subject or scenario.
According to Nicholas Royle in The Uncanny: An Introduction “The Uncanny is ghostly. It is concerned with the strange, weird and mysterious with a flickering sense (but not a conviction) of something supernatural” (N. Royle, 2003 p.1)
It could be argued that the creature’s bright pink fur and unusual facial features enters the realm of the ‘Uncanny’, which delivers a sense of uncertainty to the viewer who attempt to define the subject’s bizarre appearances.
Royle also associates the ‘Uncanny’ with the subject of death and the cadaver, although one cold argue that death is a familiar subject that regularly occurs on a daily basis. Can death relate to the Uncanny? Perhaps Popular Culture is removing the actual image of death, which also questions where reproductions of the skull or the corpse actually deliver a sense of the ‘Uncanny’ within the Postmodern culture.
Baade, Carrie. “Cute & Creepy.” Florida: Florida State University of Fine Arts 2011 p. 12
Cute & Creepy. “Laurie Hogin.” Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, 2010 http://www.carrieannbaade.com/cuteandcreepy/artists/lauriehogin.html. (Accessed 26/5/12)
Royle, Nicholas. The Uncanny: An Introduction. UK: Manchester University Press, 2003 p. 1-2