17-1/2" x 12" x 12-1/2" H    2007

A beautiful young girl in a mental institution sleeps with an ax handy while her closet monster awaits its chance.

Composition: Jack Daniel's box, buck tail, styrofoam, plastic tubing, fabric, toy ax, watch, poster board, shellac, fake fur, red jewels.

It is a dark room and a Spartan one. The floor is gray and yellowish linoleum in a checkerboard pattern.  Walls are institutional green with two doors, one (a closet) open. A clock high on the wall says 2:20.  A little blonde girl sleeps, knees drawn up under a gray wool blanket upon a white iron bed.  In the closet, barely visible, is a hairy black amorphous shape with glowing red eyes, one barely visible appendage sneaking into the room.  Back at the iron bed, the girl has one arm outside the blanket, her hand on the wooden handle of an axe. The only view of the scene is through a 4" window opposite the bed.

I showed the piece to one of my bartenders (married, with children). She looked through the window for a good long time, saying nothing, took a break and then returned to the window.  More staring. I was thinking:  Either she doesn't get this at all or she gets it way too much. After a little prompting she confessed that "not that many years ago" she stopped keeping a baseball bat in her bed and to this day will not dangle her feet over the edge of the mattress (she's also afraid of her attic but she is a good bartender).

I pointed out that it isn't all that clear who the aggressor is in the box.  The thing in the closet is biding its time, but for what?  Maybe it is fixing to tiptoe (if it has toes) across the room and escape through the other door.  Maybe the sleeping girl is only pretending.

Who knows? Not me.  Whatever we take away depends on what we bring. This is the most arty piece in my collection and it's terribly unfortunate (for you) that it won't photograph but I've been cultivating a mean streak and teasing is a good outlet for that.


Copyright ©2007-2013 Gary Carlson,, All Rights Reserved.
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found object art
by gary carlson
geneva, ny

all you can eat
ant farm
babies in peril
bat boy
black lagoon
born to be green
contrary (hammerhead)
crossed signals
expanding foam
ima sturnbich
in the box
judgment day
low maint pet
man bites dog
nell's nightmare
roundheads and flatheads
shamrock theater
terror from the deep
triptych in walnuts
voodoo quadruped pelvises
wait a minute - where's the baby?
untitled (enigmatic figure)
untitled (galloping figure)

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