The frame’s tale
A frame tale is a story inside a story, a picture in a picture. There is nothing new about them, Chaucer and Shakespeare used them before Escher and Magritte.
This drawing is almost literally a frame tale. I say “almost literally” because instead of a frame, I use an easel which is a metaphor of the frame which is a metaphor of context—the langue [rules] regarding both form and content that confine the painting’s parole [creation]—a meta-metaphor. Ouch!
Derrida weighs in on frames…“so many veils, one would try to see and to restore the full, originary meaning: one, naked.” Inside this frame are several such veils. Let’s begin with the suit which represents society—one of our veils—and in it, controlling it is a body (the Id, instincts), that can either be Derrida’s “originary meaning”—she is naked—or just another veil to our Self which stands between these representations, aloof yet tied to each.
The right hand of the suit is a puppet, a metaphor made metonymic as it is more contiguous to the suit than congruent. The puppet is an illusion of an independent Self, one clothing a servile social appendage. Yet it appears to be able to creating an art object—an equally illusionary body—that in turn attempts to seduce (rule) the suit.
By using this literary device, “almost literally,” does the artist willingly step back from this maelstrom, wisely separating himself from its danger? Or does it show he’s acknowledging being distanced from others in society, where he would wear a suit and in bed, where he’d wear a body? Either way he uses art to defer reality with illusion.