Sphinx-O-Rama at the Fair

July 28, 2023

I contain multitudes – Walt Whitman said, and Bob Dylan sang

"Ever since I was little, I have loved Halloween and dressing up in costumes. With a mask you can be anybody, and with an animal mask you can absorb the properties of that animal. So I have collected animal and bird head masks to draw from, and sometimes set them on the head of my costumed mannequin.”

"A visitor to my studio said I was creating chimeras, which turns out to be so—the Greek mythological chimera is part lion, goat, and serpent, but any creature combining two or more species is a chimera. Children's books often have animals behaving and talking like humans, and fairy tales, sci-fi and fantasy stories have a rich variety pack of chimerical beasts. Not to mention humans who are turned into animals, or animals turning into humans.

Detail, Promenade

And the Sphinx?

"The Egyptian Sphinx at Giza is a massive sculpture with the body of a lion and the head of a man. It stares off into the distance, guarding a king buried in the nearby pyramid. I like its protective nature, this big, worn out creature that keeps going and is thousands of years old."

Detail, Sphinx Study #6

The other works in this show are characters on their way to or already at a carnival.

"I love the enchantment of the colored lights that surround us at a carnival. The characters in Promenade are on their way to the ferris wheel and roller coasters and merry-go-round. We are all on some kind of mystery ride, aren't we? We know how it starts and how it ends but in between are those lights…"

Detail, Carnival Night
Miriam Davis
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