Is This Thing On?

A work by Darrell Luce, Painting with Balls, for Maurice de Vlaminck, Jasper Johns, and Murakami Saburo (encaustic and oil on canvas, with collaged elements, 42 x 18 inches, 2000), is included in the group show Is This Thing On: The Art of Comedy, curated by Miguel Cortez.

For Painting with Balls Luce “appropriated” a computer print from fellow ignoStudio member Paul Hertz and threw paint-loaded balls at it. He combined the results with a painting in encaustic loosely inspired by Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Italian Renaissance cartoons. The work cites Work Painted by Throwing a Ball (1954) by Murakami Saburo, a member of the Japanese avant-garde group Gutai, Jasper Johns’s Painting with Two Balls (1960), and Fauvist Maurice de Vlaminck, who winningly declared: “I try to paint with my heart and loins, not bothering with style.” The senior member of ignoStudio, the former carnival mentalist J.T. Pescador (stagename, “Ignotus the Mage”) interpreted Luce’s painting as a sendup of the macho challenge: “Hay que poner los huevos sobre la mesa a ver si alguiĆ©n te los corta. (You’ve got to put your balls on the table to see if anyone cuts them off.)”