Okay, more fangirlism. I'm sorry.
No, I'm not.
Okay, so here's (probably) the last and most intricate piece I'll be displaying that has to do with Jeff the Killer. After viewing thousands of images of him and his supposed likeness on sites like deviantART, I found myself becoming irritated with many of the images because they seemed totally unrealistic, and I think I'm a hardcore realist at heart. So I decided, as I usually do when something pisses me off artistically, to take matters into my own hands.
This is the result. I first started off thinking about what would happen, after some time, to someone's face after they'd given themselves a Chelsea grin, and figured there would be a lot of scar tissue involved, as well as a considerable amount of regrowth. With a portion of the cheeks open past the natural boundaries of the mouth, someone like Jeff would also probably have something of a drooling problem. Ew. The eyes, of course, which are often portrayed as ringed in soot (the eyelids were, according to the Pasta, burned off with a lighter, though I still think that would cause irreparable damage to the eyeball itself), though after time they would only be surrounded by more scar tissue. I've seriously never thought about facial mutilation quite this much before.
The face itself is modeled after my own. One of the reasons why I like this character so much is because one of the core themes of his story is the concept of beauty, of finding one's own definition of beauty against societal odds, and relentlessly pursuing that idea. Thanks to my own body modifications, I've experienced the OH MY GOD WHAT DID YOU DO TO YOURSELF quite a number of times. It's hard to explain to someone who has a very fixed idea of what is and is not beautiful you idea of beauty, that beauty is subjective, not objective, and that one idea of beauty is no more or less valid than another. I also know how it is to feel as though the physicality you have is a liability, and how it feels to want to confront peoples' shitty and exploitative concepts of (female) beauty in an aggressive manner. There was one time, a long time ago now, when I had a passing fantasy about cutting my face open like that. I really did--I even wrote about it when I used to keep a journal. I'm not proud of it, but it's true. Nothing ever came of it because I have better self-control than that, but it's still part of my history.
If you don't know, a very distilled version of the Jeff story is that Jeff mutilated his own face and subsequently thought of himself as beautiful. This concept of challenging the commonly-held ideas of beauty, of forcing people to look at something they've been trained to see as ugly as something beautiful is interesting to me, because I do believe that the truly beautiful things are the things that make you think and feel deeply--and often, the truly beautiful things are going to make you uncomfortable, make you afraid, and make you hurt. You don't escape from real beauty unscathed. As I've said before, when it comes to creating art, I find it much more fulfilling for everyone to create something that is uncomfortable but stirring than pleasant but superficial. Beauty and terror and ugliness and transcendence, to me, are all wrapped up in another as facets of the human experience.
I also should tell you that I am way over-analytical and make a big philosophical deal out of things like Creepypastas.
And because of all that, Jeff looks something like me, with big lips, freckles, unkempt black hair, and dark circles under the eyes. I gave him light eyes, though, as it fit better with the original image. He's also got a tattoo for some reason, I couldn't tell you why, but I think it stemmed from needing something dark at the base of the image to balance out the hair.
From a technical standpoint, this is the first time I've used gloss medium (clear) on wood, which allowed me to work with the natural forms of the wood, which was nice. Besides, wood knots, like the one seen here, have a way of insinuating itself through many layers of paint, and so I figured I would work with it rather than fight it. I chose a pink scheme because it seemed natural, plus I really like what pink glazes do for skin tones. Because of the pink and the sort of low-brow inspiration for this piece, it's being categorized in the Trash body.
Today I bought another one of these wooden ovals so that Jeff can have a companion.