Kent State Fashions
Thomas Brodhead – American, born 1968 – Kent State Fashions –2013 – acrylic on canvas – 30" x 40" x 0.75" (76.2cm x 101.6cm x 1.91cm)
To inaugurate their retro-based 2013 fall fashions, Prada chose for its ad campaign a rendering of the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of Mary Ann Vecchio kneeling over the slain body of Jeffrey Miller moments after he was shot by the Ohio National Guard during the Kent State Massacre of 4 May 1970. Provided that modern-day atrocities (college drop-outs gunning down midnight theater audiences, army psychiatrists shooting their cohorts, psychopaths at home and abroad holding their victims hostage in homemade dungeons for decades, etc.) are routinely erased from the mind’s eye by a mere change of the cable channel or by clicking on a different URL link, first world citizens are now perfectly inured to the surreal society of dread they have created, and thus may be influenced to make designer clothing choices against any backdrop. With 1960’s activism a true thing of the past, the world is now free to accept the true horror of humanity for what it is and instead focus on what really matters: superficial appeal. By reintroducing form-fitting pantaloons and gender-bending neckties, the fashion dirigente hopes the haute couture of the early 1970s will prove visually seductive to the type-2-diabetes set (the expanding majority in our overweight McAmerica/McWorld), thereby providing an incentive for weight loss to accelerate the expense of disposable income on slave-labor-produced textiles to cover our mortifyingly natural (and increasingly taken-for-granted) flesh.