Scott Losi (b. 1970), Child Study #4 (Decoy), 2013; earthenware, underglazes, oxides, paint, 35 x 28 x 12 inches; Burchfield Penney Art Center, Art in Craft Media 2013 purchase award
Child Study #4 (Decoy) belongs to a developing body of work that are responses from observing my two boys role playing, completely engrossed in unpolluted and innocent imagination. My home environment has become a stockpile of miscellaneous parts and random forms, a burial ground of cheaply fabricated, faux objects. But as they become absorbed into a child’s imagination, these forms come to life and at any moment take on new, greater meaning or purpose. It’s an environment where nothing is disregarded and nothing is only as it appears. (Decoy) presents role play and imagination at its height, symbolized through the use of white, where an early American vernacular wooden decoy comes to life, a boy becomes the rider through the powers of a tribal mask, and random objects turn to clouds.
Decoy: A person or object that entices or lures another… - Dictionary definition
One should judge a man mainly from his depravities. Virtues can be faked. Depravities are real. - Klaus Kinski, super nihilist
Child Study #4 (Decoy) also considers aspects of identity formation. As children, we tend to seek out and relate to cultural figures that portray or represent goodness. As adults, we continue to role play and construct the formation of our identity, proving to ourselves and others that we are innately good. However, being “good” is only a constructed classification agreed upon by society. If people believe they are living a life according to what is good, are they role-playing and constructing their identity by a policy they didn’t create for themselves?
Ironically, our culture clearly shows a strong and vast attraction to those that “cross the line” of our moral social obligations and to those we can safely agree should be classified as bad. We may not necessarily agree with what they are doing, but become intrigued because they chose to be “bad” and do it much more genuinely and with conviction. As we age, I feel we unconsciously align ourselves with, or at least are entertained by, those who have gone bad, compared to those who work—some quite hard—at establishing and portraying an identity to entice and convince others they are good, worthy, and have affiliation.