Same photos as last week, but this time with commentary:
This is the full piece, with a wide border to balance out all the intensity in the center.
The characters in the center have all been copied from illustrations and dolls, mostly from the 1950s. A Shirley Temple paper doll, the Morton Salt girl, a Tiny Tears doll and kids taken from old Dick and Jane books. The figures on the outside are all photos of people in traditional costume (except the dragon and Baba Yaga). These picture were taken at festivals in Africa, Europe, India, Japan and Mexico, and copied from many online sites.
The figures in the center have been softly ‘airbrushed’ to a pretty uniform beige-ness. A diaphanous banner announces that many of these babies came from ‘Rock a Bye Baby’ illustrations.
The Campbell’s Soup girl is peaking out from behind a baby hanging in a cradle (hung not from a tree top but from the dragon).
Meanwhile, on the outside, the bright reality of the actual world is seen as richly colored, sharply contrasted photos of actual people wearing their traditional costumes today. Now. In reality. With real children from around the world.
There’s a LOT going on here. The man in the devil costume, in Spain, is flanked by a Flamenco doll on the inside, and an actual girl in a Flamenco costume on the outside. The All-American Dad, the man in the gray suit, is pulling back in fear from a Chinese dragon and a man in a Mexican Day of the Dead costume. His children are delighted, and the one nearest the edge is a real girl, not an illustration.
If you look closely, you’ll see that (almost) all of the costumed figures are looking directly at you.
The two demonic masks (above) are from the Fastnacht festival in Germany. The little boy, in Bavarian costume, is walking out, leaving the center, while still holding the hand of his blond-doll sister.
At the bottom, Rock a Bye Baby reaches the conclusion - baby falls, out of his/her crib, out of a doll-like image, out of a beige make-believe world and through a black-and-white photo, to land safely in the reality of OUTSIDE. The Russian figure of Baba Yaga reaches out happily.
The current plan is to print and sew all three versions, and display them as a triptych. Next week, you’ll see the original images and how they evolved into this. As always, comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org