Much like our ears, our eyes love to rhyme. Every day, we pick up new outlines of objects & build mental models for what to expect of their kin. Take a sushi roll. Round, colorful, and bite-sized, it sure looks tasty in a black plastic takeout dish. But place two of them symmetrically near the top of a round plate, and all the sudden, your pieces are transformed into eyes, rhyming with expectations for an emergent face.
We look for rhymes to make sense of the world & survive in it. Whenever we time our first step onto an escalator or hold out a baseball glove to catch a ball, we’re looking for a visual rhyme. In practical terms, it’s hard to turn our perceptive instincts off.
But visual rhyming is more fun than that. It’s fantastical. It’s about transforming something you know to be true and turning it into something you know to be false, for amusement. Take a pair of leaf stickers, positioned above a potato. First, the leaves are not leaves at all, but representations of them. Second, when positioned about the potato, all the sudden, those leaves look like ears. We know they are not ears, but it would be fun if they were. Our imagination gives us permission to suspend disbelief, filling out familiar visual scaffolding with foreign components for our own entertainment.
Exquisite Face is two sticker sheets, FrankenFace and Fruit Friends, together offering more than 50 atomized eyes, noses, mouths & ears to be reassembled as you see fit, all over your world. The title references the Surrealist game, "Exquisite Corpse," in which friends would collaboratively build characters, feature by feature, with each individual only knowing the piece they’d contributed. Stripped of context, this freed participants to submit wild components, pushing the potential for what the composite being would look like. Only at the end, would the group reveal their collective masterpiece.
Both FrankenFace and Fruit Friends are invitations to create unfathomable creatures, individually or with a group. Inspired by Mary Shelly’s 1818 classic, FrankenFace asks you to do the unthinkable, intervening with nature and bring “the dead” to life. Organized in a Warhol-like quadrant, Fruit Friends is an homage & an update. With bold colors and facial features suggestively placed on one of stickers’ most common surfaces, Fruit Friends is packed with the weird & wacky.
Use the stickers together or as subtle singular suggestions that the lifeless things we live with are looking back. Lean into these imaginative instincts. What you’ll find - and eventually make - will surprise you. However you use them, we’d love to see @applystickers!
- Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky), André Breton, Yves Tanguy, and Max Morise, Exquisite Corpse, 1928.
- Unknown student drawing of Exquisite Corpse.
- Boris Karloff as Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, 1935, Film.
- Andy Warhol, Marilyn, 1960s, Screenprint.
- Perry Melat (@perrymelat)
- Sophie Isabella Hur (@sophiehur)