In Ben Shahn’s grisly painting The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti (1931–32), a trio of stone-faced Massachusetts bureaucrats stands over the corpses of two Italian-American anarchists recently executed on dubious murder charges. For a friend of mine, the deathly history painting suggested the opportunity for some lively quarantine family fun. She restaged the composition as a tableau vivant. In an image of the result she posted online, she and her young daughter (joined by their cat in the tell-tale red collar of Shahn’s central figure) don mustaches and dark clothes while presiding over stuffed animals–cum–martyred radicals in storage boxes repurposed as coffins.
May 11, 2020 (updated May 11, 2020) Published by artistvenu