Hair Crimes

I feel bad about all the ladies who are swept up in this FLDS thing, but when you have glorious, unashamedly, monumental HAIR and a mono-brow, you are going to be slapped into a breen, slam-dunk, case closed. Actually, anything with a mono-brow necessitates breening, regardless of the subject or meaning. This is a deeply embedded law of art, going back through the fibers of millions of children and teenagers,who recklessly scribble into public library magazine photos on a daily basis.

But these women are really stuck between a rock and a hard place. It sucks to have a God who makes you marry a smelly old man and submit your kids to statutory rape, doesn’t seem fair. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

Like most people, when I first heard about the FLDS issues, the underage girls being married off in gaggles to old men, I was cheered by the raids on their weird compounds. But as I learned more, and saw the anguish on the mother’s faces as their children were ripped from them en masse, I was not so sure. The government will have its trophies.

What drama! With pastel prairie dresses and improbably high hair, these ladies haunt the courthouse like pioneer Stepford ghosts, wailing for their lost children! The sadness seems deeply specteral! Hairy Dr. Quinn Medicine women, ready to wash Christ’s feet with their tresses! From an art standpoint, the image made me giddy.

But I actually didn’t think of this as a topic for a painting until I glimpsed a polygamist wife sporting a serious mono-brow, very plain and shell-shocked. At that point my arm flung itself across my table, scattering tubes of paint and brushes to make room for my impending breenosity.

This work is clearly influenced by African barbershop sign art. One of my paintings volunteered, begging, me, me, me! So I plucked it out of another project and went to work.
The type is a beauty shop sign for ‘FLDS Coiffeurs, to get him in the mood!” First thing I did was give my subject big hair and a mono-brow. Then I gave her a red dress with a P for polygamy and prisoner(ala the Scarlet Letter). I see her branded by society at large as a kind of reverse adulterer.  In Accra barber shop sign fashion, I’ve made three different hairdos. In the upper right hand corner is a government trophy plaque with a ladies scalp, surrounded by a long braid. Hair falls down onto Christs’ feet, which are poised to be washed. 

To buy this breen, go HERE.

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