Bunny and Rabbit ears
First let me say that this post is not entirely original as I have re-drawn the core image from an earlier drawing of mine. It’s in the “juvenilia” gallery to your right. I don’t include it here as a thumbnail because it has full frontal nudity and these days I prefer to keep the postings visually PG-13 in spite of the overall content being “for mature audiences only” if only for the arcane vocabulary and obscure references.
There are some things that most people looking at this–all three of you– might not recognize. They are a dial-tuned, black and white TV with a set-top antenna, a “men’s” magazine center-spread gate-fold and a fountain pen. I hesitate to mention the fountain pen because although they, like the other stuff mentioned, were killed off by technology; they are still around in a niche-market sort of way.
It’s not like the thing is nostalgic, life was hard back then. Image having to watch a show the single time it was on; either that or miss it forever– for at the time it was thought to be that. Also to watch anything back then you had to first tune the TV. You’d begin by clicking the dial to the one of the four or so channels available. Then simultaneously turn the other dial while moving the metal rods of the set-top antenna to get the best picture. Best is not a good term as the picture was never good, it was fuzzy, shaky and shades of gray no matter what you did.
This way, way before the internet so see a titillating picture of an attractive woman in a cleverly concealing pose, one had to buy a man’s magazine. These magazines preached that sex, and possessions made one happy; and these women were portrayed therein as both. The target market for these magazines was single males 18 -35. These days those guys have a lot more options if indeed this is what they still believe.
Both drawings show a prescient mash up, the multiplication of media we have today. The older of the two, from 1981, as it is a modernist history piece–a peek of a suffering artist’s garret circa 1977–it is nostalgic as well as prescient. That in itself makes it postmodern! The current post is even more a Po-Mo work in that it “borrows” the former, as well as mounting it in a series of self-conscious frames. There you can look at the modernist work inside a Po-Mo one and both from multiple positions. First from the original’s creator’s point of view, now made literal with a trendy FPS trope, or you can step back a bit and look at it as a web-surfing, ironically neutral beholder’s point of view. You can also suspend disbelief and walk through the fourth wall to scope out the trompe l’oeil gate-fold as your own.
NOTE: Bunny ears are part of the uniform of some employees of the clubs associated with the largest circulation woman-naked-on-gatefold magazine and rabbit ears are the vernacular for the previously mentioned set-top antenna. So there is visual pun that has rabbit ears on the TV approximating the bunny ears of the woman on the TV and in the center-spread. OK, she on the center-spread would be a “Playmate” not a “Playboy Bunny,” but some of the latter were also among the former. I don’t remember making this pun on purpose back then; I only saw it when I looked the old piece write these comments.