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Jackie Felix (1929-2009 ), Reel Love Series/So Much Tenderness, c. 1987-88; oil on triptych, 54 x 118 inches; Collection of A. Felix

Jackie Felix (1929-2009 ), Reel Love Series/So Much Tenderness, c. 1987-88; oil on triptych, 54 x 118 inches; Collection of A. Felix

In So Much Tenderness, panels of a pistol-holding man flank the central canvas of a woman lying on a bed. Although the man is dressed in a shirt, tie and slacks, his pose is not unlike Elvis Presley's in the 1960 western, Flaming Star, made four years after recording the ballad Love Me Tender, which is echoed in Felix's ironic title. Doppelganger men in black and white contrast with the blood red outline of a reclining woman. This ambiguous painting raises many narrative questions for viewers to answer, except for the certainty that tenderness does not reflect either the film world or reality.- Nancy Weekly