Funhouse apes with Freudian cigars, swamp creatures with not-so-Freudian phalluses, Lolitas and lollygags, devils and dumbasses…the cast of characters is long and, if not illustrious, then at least illustrated.
John and Charles Hancock are back for their annual Croft gallery show with “Slop Bucket”. As usual, an Amazing Hancock Brothers show is all about the character. As I wandered through the show, I couldn’t suppress the impression that each piece is like a post-office wanted poster for some notorious member of the Surreal Street gang. They grin and gesture at us, kooky and cocky: “Catch me if you can. Ha, no…if you dare….”
I wish they could talk. Take the devil girl with her devil curls here. Why so taciturn? Why the big sad eyes? What’s your story, sweetheart?
Or the mad drooling giant with the lazy eye. What’s that you’re wanting soooo badly? A nymph playing hard to get, maybe?
This year The Amazing Hancock Brothers are joined by Pat and Herschel Seals, who offer us another breed of characters entirely.
Where the Hancock gang characters are specific, particular, and highly individual, the Seals Gang recruits members that are mythical, nebulous, and highly symbolic. “Catch me? You’ll be lucky to pin me to one dimension in spacetime, let alone one location. Do you have any idea who I am??”
The combination of the sacred and the mundane evokes characters who shed mere personality like an old skin.
Pat Seals’ Osiris-On-A-Bedsheet booms: “I Was Here. Dead, Resurrected, Alive, Dying. My Shroud Is Everything, and I Will Return.”
Hershall Seals’ mythopoeic assemblage deer haunts: “Even From Rubbish, Even From Ruin and Trash, I Emerge. I Am.”
And what happens when these two gangs—the Hancock creations and the Seals’—show up to the same party?
The stories will be the stuff of legend….