Pizza as Art: 'Ain't' by Ted Mineo
I titled this piece "Ain't" with two goals in mind. First I wanted to emphasize the material absence in the center of the pizza.
I play with the physical construction of pizza in many of my works. Not unlike paintings, in pizzas ingredients are manipulated and combined so that they work in tandem, layer upon layer, creating effects... Secondly, I called the piece "Ain't" as a way of acknowledging my birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana. The sections missing from the sculpture form the shape of a fleur de lis. While the fleur de lis has a very rich iconographic history, I am interested in its use as an icon associated with New Orleans and particularly in its usage as a logo by the local NFL organization, the Saints. In New Orleans, when the Saints performing poorly, fans will often despairingly refer to them as "the Ain'ts".
The idea to use the fleur de lis in this way occurred to me soon after Katrina. New Orleans, which I always think of as "home", was constantly in my thoughts after this horrific loss of lives and homes. I hoped by emphasizing the idea of absence, I could create some resonance with these losses and the conspicuous absence of an effective government response in this time of crisis.
Rather than doing this in an overt way, however, I used both visual and verbal puns in homage to the legions of Saints fans who had used similar rhetorical devices to air their frustration with their team. I'm interested in the way we (whether we're sports fans, families, citizens of nations, religious congregations, etc.), react when our communities fail or act malevolently, both the outrage that occurs, but equally the gallows humor.
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