This is the last of 4 posts that looks at some of Mark Mothersbaugh‘s postcards and pairs each of them up with another artist’s work.
This time out the selection twins Mothersbaugh with David Sherry. Much like the previous pairings, it is the images’ quirky humour and the way that they echo each other in oblique ways that pulls me to them. There are other factors too, like the fact that both men are performers and can employ odd costumes.
Mothersbaugh is, of course, famous for his work with the band Devo. who were just one of the several music acts hailing from Ohio (Pere Ubu, The Dead Boys, The Waitresses, Robert Quine, as part of Richard Hell & the Voidoids, The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde and The Cramps)I latched onto when I was young. Various kinds of overalls and headgear, such hard hats, stockings, masks and strange hair, are included in his oeuvre.
Sherry’s performances, on the other hand, bring an awkwardness to the fore. He practices mundane tasks or stays still for long periods of time. A video shows him running for the tram over and over and over again. Does he ever catch it? The answer is: NO! He has sat on a chair with a note stuck to his forehead saying ‘Just popped out. Back in two hours.’, pretended to be a floor lamp and electrified human appliance. In the latter work he lay on a gallery floor with a magnificently large electrical cord and plug attached to his head.
Awkwardness and an interest in the mundane is something the two definitely share. Mothersbaugh has described his younger self as being small and awkward. He has also been inspired by “fears and paranoias, bad dreams and traffic jams, and mortgage payments and things like that.” (Confluence Denver). It has been said that “Sherry’s work presents social awkwardness as an important and often painful part of being human (Generation).
The Mothersbaugh postcards shown in this blog are taken from the collection that forms a companion to the touring exhibition and catalogue Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia. To my knowledge, Sherry’s image has never appeared in postcard form. It would certainly make an excellent postcard. Hell, it would be great to have a collection of his images in the format.
Now it’s your turn to see if you think the two images correlate: