Joseph Merrick died in 1890, but he was better known as The Elephant Man because he had a rare condition that gradually disfigured his bones and skin. His head eventually became so heavy that he had to sleep sitting up, but when his body was found he was lying on a bed and the official cause of death was asphyxia from the weight of his head. The doctor who performed the autopsy concluded that Merrick must have tried to sleep lying down because he wanted to sleep like other people. Joseph Merrick never got to sleep in a bed with another person his entire adult life, so this body pillow is designed to mimic the experience of cuddling him since that’s something he never got to experience.
The fabric of the body pillow cover was produced using a hacked domestic electronic knitting machine, which can knit digital image files. Although the digital technology used to create the design did not exist in Merrick’s time, the type of fabric created with the machine did exist, so this pillow also mimics the type of bedding one would have experienced in his time.
Thanks to Matt Corey, Loren Edrich, and Jess Marvin for helping me out with this project.
I’ll be giving a little presentation and chatting with some other artists at an event organized by artist Alyson Pou called Concept and Craft – Hand Made in the 21st Century this Saturday from 2-4 @ Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art
Fountain Jumper, Knitted text on found sweater, 2013
I couldn’t make it to the opening in Ireland last week, so I sent this sweater for Jim Ricks to wear in my absence (the text is partially a reference to an exhibition Jim had a few years ago called “Jim Ricks Woz ‘Ere”)
My exhibition in Ireland opened last weekend and I tweeted a picture of my knitted tapestry of The Rubberbandits’ tweet (wearing the balaclavas that I knitted for them) to them, which they graciously retweeted.
I’m super pleased to be exhibiting in Ireland with my friend Jim Ricks in an exhibition featuring The Simpsons, The Rubberbandits, various bootlegs of our own works, and pizza at The Courthouse Gallery in charming, windswept Co. Clare (more soon!).
Sometimes people ask me if I’d be willing to sell things, which is nice because sometimes I make things that I am happy to sell, but now we can skip all the pleasantries because I’ll be posting things for sale right here from now on.
Here’s a classic moment from Total Recall, which Arnold describes as “a wonderful scene” in his magnificent DVD commentary, applied to an L.L. Bean sweater.
I woke up this morning to a flurry of tweets and facebook tags from Ireland where The Rubberbandits posted this image of themselves wearing the balaclavas that I made for them. I shipped the balaclavas well over 2 months ago, but they were presumed to be lost in the post, so I’m delighted that these finally made it to the boys.
FINALLY DID THIS!
based on this Iron Maiden T-shirt design: