Friday, October 28, 2011
Surprise!, by G, Richmond, VA, Etch-A-Sketch mural
I never liked Russian nesting dolls. Somehow, the “joy” of discovering smaller and smaller versions of a gift I’d already received and didn’t care for always struck me as insulting – as if I’d grow increasingly fond of the ridiculous bauble as I discovered cuter miniature versions. “But just look at the detail on this tiny one!” To quote the great Miro: “Who gives a flying shit?” Which is why I’m so fond of this new etching from little-known satirist, G. He offers us an X-ray glimpse (heightened by the pixilated texture of the Etch-a-Sketch screen) inside his creature to save us the toil and unrewarding trouble of uncapping one after another. What we find is exactly what we expected – increasingly smaller exact replicas -- each bringing considerably less to the party than the previous. To some, nesting dolls are a study in consistency, a social commentary on the triumph of detail over scale. To me, and thankfully to G as well, they’re nothing more than a bad joke repeated ad-nauseum. Which reminds me -- how many Russian nesting dolls does it take to change a light bulb? As many as you can shove in the live socket.