Woman Eating
Average: 5 (1 vote)
ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

Duane Hanson really had his finger on the American pulse...slowed with hamburger grease as it may be.

In the 1960's, his hyper realistic sculptures depicted police violence against African Americans, race riots, and the mayhem of the Vietnam War. In the 1970's though, he turned to less political subjects that nonetheless speak volumes about the artists’ view on the American populace. He sculpts homely people in mundane environments with freakish accuracy.  Made of fiberglass and vinyl, his sculptures almost seem real…except for a lingering touch of the grotesque that haunted his earlier work.

Take this lady, for example.  A woman who should perhaps be watching her diet, she gorges on ice cream and cake at a table in a diner.  What’s more American than fast food and gluttony?  At her feet is a shopping bag, furthering the point that our country overindulges in every meaning of the word.  Add pallid, waxy skin, a sad housecoat, bad perm and a few carefully placed facial moles, and well…she’s pretty far from the ideal visions you’d see in Greek or Roman sculpture.

Instead, Hanson provides a more realistic rendering of the American archetype: a fat consumer with a vacant stare.