UPDATED NOV 2016
SETTING THE SCENE — THE GUIDANCE OF GROTESQUE
This self-portrait was based on a drawing made by Arneson’s son Kregg when the artist and his first wife was in the midst of a marital crisis. Although the representation echoes Renaissance bust of mortally wounded martyred saints, the wildly exaggerated grotesque details—such as the exploding gun, bloody knife and arrow, and globs of blood and snot—recall the style of cartoon and comic strips.
The sculpture is one of Arneson’s most emotionally expressive self-portrait. He was prolific in creating self-portraits using photographs, mirrors, and drawings. Each expression seemed to reveal a different emotion. His self-referential portraits, that are iconic and humorous, sends us on a mission to explore universal concepts of feeling, sentiments, reaction and response.