Thomas Brodhead – American, born 1968 – Disco Pazuzu –2014 – acrylic on canvas – 40" x 30" x 1.25" (101.6cm x 76.2cm x 3.18cm)
After inhabiting and then being driven from the body of an innocent child in The Exorcist, the Assyrian demon Pazuzu gets his groove on before taking on a new host! Tsk-tsk, author William Peter Blatty failed to perform due diligence in researching poor Pazuzu: yes, as a demon of the southwest wind, he brings drought to kill off crops as well as locusts to devour them when rains are abundant, but he also drives off other demons and therefore expectant Assyrian mothers would wear small amulets bearing his image around their necks during pregnancy to protect their unborn children. It’s therefore a bit of a miscalculation that Blatty would have chosen this spirit to attack a young girl in his novel. Mediating that a bit, when it was recast as a horror film, it became one of the most tender and affecting portrayals of a relationship between a demonic spirit and its host ever rendered on celluloid. A colorful painting appropriate for a nursery, Disco Pazuzu may provide protection for your progeny as well as soften the blow when they eventually see Pazuzu’s representation in The Exorcist.