Self-Portrait, Jasper Johns
“No pictures!” the guard at the gallery said,
“Not these three…”
All Jasper Johns. Curious, I asked “Why?”
“Copyright issues I guess”, or “you know,
The red neon “R” got me--
and the mirror image,
letters down the middle. Rectangular
canvas split in two.
Colour splotches on the left,
gray-blue on the right.
Savarin tin, Ballantine beer can, both
affixed, typical Pop--
Flick the switch, the letters stand up,
then lie down, like puppet people
I hear Jasper speaking, “Turn me
on, turn me off.”
The cityscape blinks on and off, while he
stays dark, referential
No face, no arms no torso, no legs--
no disguise needed,
The artist is revealed.
Lee Woodman is a longtime artist and media producer, whose radio and film awards include five CINEs, two NY International Film Blue Ribbons, and three Gracies from American Women in Radio and Television. She worked for 20 years in leadership roles at the Smithsonian, was Vice-President of Media and Editorial at K12, Inc., and Executive Producer at Lee Woodman Media, Inc. Her essays and poems have been published in Tiferet Journal, Zócalo Public Square, and (forthcoming), The New Guard. www.poetleewoodman.com
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