My faux coverage: (click for larger image)Me on the cover of ArtNews

Some of the dates are funny.

Me on the Christies catalog

Me on Lab Safety

In thinking about the conceptual intent of this show I kept coming back to the myth of Narcissus which I explored in my pieces, The Truth Bidet and Narcissivision.

I think the irony of Narcissism is relevant to why we crave coverage. Because Narcissus did not gaze endlessly in the pond to adore his own reflection. In fact, according to my research about the original myth, he was insecure and paranoid and had a neurotic and obsessive need to see his reflection in order to assure himself that he actually existed. Perhaps as artists we are aware of our insignificance and thus need coverage here and there to feel that we exist as artists and aren’t just exhibitional trees falling unnoticed in gallery forests. It goes along with the whole thing of being an artist which entails putting yourself out there in a very vulnerable manner and wondering if anyone notices. To have such hopeful vulnerability be unnoticed perhaps feeds unto itself.

I decided to take the 70s hair dryer chair which is an instrument of narcissism and which is also symbolic of a beauty shop setting in which gossip and small talk abound, and news of a sort is disseminated. Rather than throw some old People Magazines and National Enquirers on the chair, I made my own coverage, of the sort transcending newspaper coverage, in the form of recreating issues of ArtNews Magazine with my urinal as cover shot and myself as listed in the articles; a Christies Auction House Catalog with an image of my vacuum cleaner on the cover as if it were a featured auction piece thus insinuating that it is art collector-worthy; and the more absurd, Lab Safety Supply Catalog, with an image of me on the cover sitting in a fridge wearing my double-barreled respirator and the tag line, “Mo Ringey Practices safe Art.”. The combination of the three coverage pieces suggests a ubiquity as an artist that I don’t actually have.

It asks where do we get coverage, mention or attention? And plays on the old, “heard it at the barber shop”, or beauty shop, cliche. The hairdryer chair is the vehicle and the setting for my imaginary and self-created coverage. The head piece is covered inside with clear shattered glass with jagged edges facing outward where a person’s head, wrapped in curlers, might go. It suggests the pain of getting beautiful; the pain of narcissistic pursuits.

The shattered glass fragments in the head piece also resemble ice crystals and, for me, calls to mind the old, “cool your heels” phrase which suggests a necessary patience or reticence. This show is not about reticence but rather is about artists addressing issue which they feel less than reticent about and one in which they wish the papers and the masses who read them were more interested in the art happening in their backyard.

One Response to “IMAGES FROM COVER ME”

  1. wish i’d been there. Particularly like your rectifying the Narcissus myth. In our current post-modern narcissistically driven world and the obsession with fame and celebrity this puts a particularly poignant spin on it all. Wonder where & when we began seeing Narcissus as a youth egoically fixated? Is it perhaps our knee-jerk tendency to see the worst in the other, so Narcissus is selfishly self loving instead of suffering the agonies of being inconsequential perhaps even non-existent? Thanks for that Mo.

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