This anonymous man wears himself as both mask and self-canceling foil. He is a sneaky protagonist from another era, brought to life through the act of screenprinting, replicating himself in a vain attempt to fill an unknown, minty void. But there also is a Zen here, which our hero may find, if we, the viewer, gaze upon him long enough. Either way, he’ll be here for us.
“Heady” represents a phantom limb from the ongoing body of work, “The Case Studies.” The series, begun in 2010, sources imagery from a single American publication that was popular during the post-World War II economic boom. The collages typically consist of middle and upper-middle class people in various states of dress, meticulously cut from their pages, whose heads have been replaced with suitcases. These anthropomorphized characters retain an eccentric earnestness in their suspended animation that is at once both sincere and absurd. Examples of collages from “The Case Studies” series can be find on the artist’s website here: http://www.manbartlett.com/collage/
About the artist:
Man Bartlett (b.1981) is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in New York. His diverse practice includes drawing, collage and online projects that often use social media platforms as outlets for playful yet subversive social critique.
Bartlett has exhibited or performed in a variety of venues including: The V&A Museum, his tiny windowless bedroom, The Brooklyn Museum, a Best Buy store, Freies Museum, Eyebeam, Flux Factory, iMOCA, Port Authority Bus Terminal, Winkleman Gallery, Skydive Art Space, Platform Gallery, Hinge Gallery and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.