with pates stripped of the vanity and diversity of hairstyles have become a
symbol for masculinity. The shape of the skull is exposed and there is
nothing to impede the vision; this is man ready for war as the shearing of
locks increases rather than diminishes the illusion of strength and, unlike
Samson, the contemporary reading of this minimal personal presentation is
one that comes with an almost obligatory (if you know what's good for you!)
sense of respect. Angus Bungay takes this 'soldier style' as a blank page
and on the divested heads superimposes characters that are in support of, or
at odds with, the original severity.
Trussed and leathered, spiked and tattooed, the heads remain maleficent.
There is the implied drama of a ritual enacted in defense of an authority
beyond our limited reference, a hierarchy imposing sentence on the skinhead.
Blind folded, eyes and mouth taped shut, features obliterated by a leather
patch - all allude to a discipline that has been metered out by a power
outside of our quotidian, normal understanding. But when the same stern
heads (furrowed brow, thin pinched lips; isn't that a sign that an
individual is untrustworthy?) are colored with the designs following the
contours of the head like face paint - they lose the commanding edge. The
status quo shifts and the viewer is the dictator. Ridicule creeps in. There
is a ducky quite obviously perched on the skinhead's pate and all that's
missing is the squirt gun in hand to blow the bully away.
The traditional role of the clown, to poke fun at that which is sometimes
too heavy to comprehend except through humor, comes into play and the fire
becomes a friendly round of rubber bullets. The humor is hip. The ground is
level and the draftsmanship admirable and because there is sufficient menace
remaining in the imagery to command respect, the rights of individuality
remain undisputed. Masculine imagery is balanced by a healthy attack of
silliness - a yellow rubber ducky perched on the head of the immutable
Copyright © 2006, Headbones Gallery, The Drawers