Monday, March 26, 2012

BEAUTY: Painting--Timothy Cummings

The disturbing work of Timothy Cummings blends a lot of nuances, styles, and influences into seemingly simple portraits. Infused with the themes of the loss of innocence and childhood, his adults have the faces (and often the infantilized bodies) of children, while his large-headed and large-eyed children behave, distressingly, like adults. We are witness to children exploring sexuality, and young boys behaving in sensual, erotic, almost feminine ways. It is uncomfortable for many people to see young boys in this light. Meanwhile, the style in which they are presented brings to mind the flatness of naïve art such as Latin church votive images (traditionally painted on tin panels) or the slightly distorted images of sideshow attractions and "freak" shows on carnival banners from the early to mid part of the last century. I am also reminded of the naïve paintings of Henri Rousseau.

Top to bottom: Prettiest Star; Drool; Cisco Sweety; Cherry Tree; Sebastian; Spot Portrait; Tattooed Hybrid; Night Crawler

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