Thomas Brodhead – American, born 1968 – Kinderdämmerung –2013 – acrylic on canvas – 24" x 24" x 0.75" (60.96cm x 60.96cm x 1.91cm)
When the artist was asked to design sets for a bold, modernist production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in Bayreuth, he confused the director’s intention for Gotterdämerung with something in between Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges and a bad episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants. The miscalculation proved an overwhelming success for the artist, whose primary objective—realized only after months of careful planning and forethought—was to depict the god Wotan as a hapless infant in a gravitationally-challenged living room of doom. But is Siegfried the mouse? Is the cuckoo a Walküre, poised to take flight? What in the hell is a pig doing there? An intriguing painting best viewed while being cleansed on a bidet, this depiction of the twilight of humanity is certain to exercise your internal synapses while external society goes tits-up.