Self Portrait in Profile
Thomas Brodhead – American, born 1968 – Self Portrait in Profile –2014 – acrylic on canvas – 48" x 36" x 1.5" (121.92cm x 91.44cm x 3.81cm)
A leftward-facing profile composed of bold and garishly-colored angular forms belies the true sense of forlorn, anhedonia, and ennui plaguing the artist emerging from the winter of his despondency. Movement or orientation that contradicts the pen direction of the predominant written language within a culture conveys a backward-looking or sinister stance; Western viewers may therefore leave this jarring color essay with a sense of unease, while those who employ boustrophedonic scripts for their language may feel unbalanced or simply cheated. Spike-like projections on the head may suggest a Punk Rock musical predilection of the artist, although they would more accurately reflect his confusion over the generic product name personal lubricant: he has never once seen impersonal lubricant for sale at a grocery store, and so genital lubricant would seem more fitting, as no one—to his knowledge, at least—has ever expressed the desire simply to lubricate themselves and do so over acceptable parts of their body in public. Diverse discussion is engendered by this self-portrait, Q.E.D. Therefore, it would befit a home kitchen area where coffee and other morning stimulants are being consumed, as it would surely motivate onlookers to leave the house and get on with their day faster than otherwise.