Sunday, January 29, 2006

Leah Hayes

Ballpen is dangerous. It's a doer's weapon, a subversion of a piece of school equipment. Can you have second thoughts with a ball pen? Can you regret? It's not about how, and yet it is all about how. Using this tool is a testimonial to the secondariness of the tool and yet look at what a difference it makes.
Leah Hayes is a dark child with unnatural talent. The sophistication of her faces, her shadings, side by side with (falsely, of course) naive, tacky, superherofairytalebirthdayparty banners and lettering, the awkward kind, the kind you scribbled when you customised your first t shirt. And the eavesdrop-like inner captions that throw it all askew, ill, they scream to me, they entertain the way I want to be. The twins with unhealthy looking eyelids and too many teeth. Celluloid families and chubby children, red-black cheeks hard as a ballpoint, precisely.
A permanent dance of dubious tenderness and grinning faces: are they so confident in the future fun and the big novel? Leah digs deep in the cheap paper of her notebooks and carves the faces and textures down down the skin of your eyeball and then a casual awkward line to finish off that sleeve, because who gives a fuck? And colour - ah yes Bacon is still too close, body still too warm but...

Leah Hayes's website.

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