Untitled (Faceless Series) 2014 departs from my research connecting the Los Angeles Zoot Suit Riots in 1943 and subcultural codes reflected in the fashion of the popular zoot suit originally worn by jazz musician Cab Calloway, later by Black, Chicano and Asian youth of the city. The image of this silk-screen print is removed from its context stemming from the 1990 feature film Dick Tracy directed by Warren Beatty. The character Breathless Moahoney aka The Blank was portrayed as a villainous nightclub singer by singer/actress Madonna. She altered her voice as The Blankto be raspy and hoarse. Playing both hero and villain in this Hollywood film.
The Blank first appeared in a October 21st, 1937 comic book #1 Dick Tracy. Entitled Dick Tracy Meets the Blank, who was drawn by American cartoonist Chester Gould. The Blank (sometimes referred to as The Man Without a Face was a criminal named Frank Redrum (Murder spelt backwards). The Blank was a disguise made out of cheesecloth, used by his alias Breathless Mahoney.
These prints as a whole create a narrative concerning the psychological structures of identity, while highlighting the discourse it has mapped over the course of centuries. It aims to unveil the unconscious influence within subcultural codes, and the violent repression of historical narratives of violence like 1940’s Zoot Suit Riots, and 1942 Sleepy Lagoon murder. Untitled (Faceless Series) also uncovers the relationship about the actions of erasure by popular culture and the discourse surrounding identity.
Untitled (Faceless Series) is an evolving series and was commissioned by SOMA, Mexico City for their 2017 benefit auction.
Medium: Silk Screen
Silk screen print on arches paper, 26" x 36"