Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Herring's Hairdo

On April 4 my next (shared) show will open. It will be called 'The Herring's Hairdo' and will feature various paintings and graphite drawings. The title is a personal interpretation of the expression 'the bee's knees'. This phrase was coined in 1920 by cartoonist Tad Dorgan and it's used to describe someone or something remarkable. Tad Dorgan's also the creator of similar expressions such as 'the flea's eyebrows' or 'the canary's tusks'.
(Similar phrases of the times included: the duck's quack, the clam's garter, the elephant's wrist, the eel's ankle, the gnat's elbow, the elephant's arches, the sardine's whiskers, the bullfrog's beard, the cuckoo's chin, the leopard's stripes, the pig's wings, the snake's hips, and the tiger's spots).
I could have used one of the existing phrases but I wanted the title to have a personal (and Dutch) touch so I thought of the Herring (the fish us cheese heads eat raw). Hairdo alliterates nicely with Herring and together those words have the right Dorgan-ish 'hep'ness. (Plus, by creating my own, I take off the 'cocky' edges of the expression's meaning a bit).

I'll share the walls with Keith Weesner at the Copro Nason Gallery in Santa Monica. Right now I'm working on the last pieces. Above a detail from one of the painted book covers that will be in the show. All the works will be online on the Copro website before the opening. I'll keep you posted.
Detail: 'Un Amigo Mio', mixed media on book cover, 2009

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