Super Size Me: Manatee Woman and Enabler
Thomas Brodhead – American, born 1968 – Super Size Me: Manatee Woman and Enabler –2013 – acrylic on canvas – 24" x 48" x 0.75" (60.96cm x 121.92cm x 1.91cm)
Reality T.V. and the American diet come head-to-head in this exploration of the dark side of comfort foods. When Tiffany became immobilized on a mattress on her bedroom floor, her good friend Twinkles continued to bring her wheelbarrows full of good-tasting, GMO-laden fast foods, allowing her to continue to enlarge and ensuring that they’d together make a healthy sum off of an inevitable cable television special covering her eventual rescue. Here the artist recreates the tender, affecting moment where documentary cameras capture a love-drenched feeding period of the manatee woman by her enabler, all the while avoiding images supporting the inescapable truth that what goes in one end must come out the other; obviously the enabler is assisting in that activity, something no cable special would dare cover except with toilet tissue.
Following the trajectory of an outside-wall-destroying wrecking ball—sorely needed to remove Tiffany from her bedroom prison—rescue workers trample a caduceus with a gurney while rushing in to fill the coffers of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, not to mention to fill the pockets of the untold legions of doctors and hospital workers who will undoubtedly enjoy helping Tiffany attain a more manageable body size and dietary regimen. A thought-provoking painting rife with Naziesque symbolism, this visual depiction of a codependent relationship would make for a stunning addition above the headboard in a master bedroom.