THE DARKER SIDE OF PLAYLANDCHILDHOOD IMAGERY FROM THE LOGAN COLLECTION' AT SFMOMA
Heather Whitmore Jain (Curatorial Associate, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Catalogue)
01. September 2000
|Gottfried Helnwein, "Mickey", oil and acrylic on canvas,210cm x 310cm|
|CHILDHOOD IMAGERY FROM THE LOGAN COLLECTION 2000
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
THE DARKER SIDE OF PLAYLAND , CHILDHOOD IMAGERY FROM THE LOGAN COLLECTION' AT SFMOMAHeather Whitmore Jain
Curatorial Associate, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
|(excerpt) Other works in the exhibition present the dark side of cartoon characters. The prevailing narrative structure of many cartoons is a cycle of one's character's unrelenting attacks on another. Yet the violence of these scenarios is subverted and humor achieved by the lack of any permanent injury to the victim and the gleeful nonchalance of the adversary even during the most aggressive assault. Static representations of wounded or menacing cartoon characters can expose the violence and eliminate the humorous punch line. In Gottfried Helnwein's painting Mickey (plate 24), Mickey Mouse's physical features, which usually contribute to his appeal become a thin veneer of looming attack. Blown up to a monster scale and rendered in an austere gray palette, Mickey's smile is deceptive.|
|SFMOMA San Francisco Museum of Modern Art 2000
The Darker Side of Playland: Childhood Imagery from the Logan Collection
The Vicki and Kent Logan Collection
'THE DARKER SIDE OF PLAYLAND: CHILDHOOD IMAGERY FROM THE LOGAN COLLECTION' AT SFMOMA
San Fracisco Museum of Modern Art
In 'The Darker Side of Playland', the endearing cuteness of beloved toys and cartoon characters turns menacing and monstrous.
Much of the work has the quality of childhood nightmares. In those dreams, long before any adult understanding of the specific pains and evils that live holds, the familiar and comforting objects and images of a child's world are rent with something untoward.
For children, not understanding what really to be afraid of, these dreams portend some pain and disturbance lurking into the landscape.
Perhaps nothing in the exhibition exemplifies this better than Gottfried Helnwein's 'Mickey'.
His portrait of Disney's favotite mouse occupies an entire wall of the gallery;
rendered from an oblique angle, his jaunty, ingenuous visage looks somehow sneaky and suspicious.
His broad smile, encasing a row of gleaming teeth, seems more a snarl or leer.
This is Mickey as Mr. Hyde, his hidden other self now disturbingly revealed.
Helnwein's Mickey is painted in shades of gray,
as if pictured on an old black-and-white TV set. We are meant to be transported to the flickering edges of our own childhood memories in a time imaginably more blameless, crime-less and guiltless.
But Mickey's terrifying demeanor hints of things to come. ...
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Pittsburg Museum of Art
The Carnegy - Mellon Foundation
museums-tour starting at the Pittsburg Museum of Art
|American Prayer 2000
213 cm x 187 cm
mixed media (oil and acrylic on canvas)