Turn Jesse - Federally Funded Health Care for Senators
Linoleum block print
21½" x 31" on mulberry paper edition: 40
Cut Lineolum Block
Undoing of Jesse Helms
Something about Robert Mapplethorpe's "Self Portrait, 1979", the one with the whip, touched Jesse helms very deeply. In psychoanalytic theory, fears are considered to be disguised wishes. Without a complete psychoanalysis of Senator Helms, it's only worth noting that maladaptive character traits such as orderliness, obstinacy, stubbornness, willfulness, frugality and parsimony (stinginess) are seen in anal characters. When this character is undone, messiness, defiance, rage and sadomasochistic tendencies emerge. So now you know.
Senator Helms actions in Congress set off a firestorm national debate about values of art, pornography, freedom, expression, money, sex, government, homosexuality and religion. I made my print as part of that debate about values. It's pro health, physical and mental. Older men should have a proctoscopic exam as part of their complete physical. That's how Reagan's polyps were found. Lucky are those who work for the government and have their health care provided.
It's also mentally healthy for artists to let themselves be seen in their works, especially in their self-portraits. In my print, I'm the doctor holding the proctoscope. Historically, in prints, the clyster was used in political satire. In the pocket of my coat is a part of the Robert Mapplethorpe "Self Portrait, 1986".
Eric Avery, M.D.
In "Reimaging America
- A Voices of Dissent Project " Momenta Art, Philidelphia, Pa. 1/3-2/2/91
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