35.5 x 35.5″
Oil on canvas.
The title of this painting is taken from the novel ‘Slapstick’ by Kurt Vonnegut.
It focuses on twins Wilbur and Eliza Swain, who are so hideous that their parents cut them off from the rest of society.
The siblings came to realise that, when in close physical contact, they form a vastly powerful and creative intelligence. Through reading and philosophising together, Wilbur and Eliza combated the feelings of loneliness and isolation that would otherwise have ruined their childhood.
The siblings created, among other things, a plan to end loneliness in America through vast extended families. Under the plan, all citizens would be provided with new middle names, made of the name of a random natural object paired with a random number between 1 and 20. Everyone with the same name would be cousins, and everyone with the same name and number would be siblings.
Melody Oriole-2 von Peterswald is Swain’s granddaughter, pregnant with the child of Isadore Raspberry-19 Cohen.
A fascinating read and the naming system is inspired.