Ad Maiorem Gloriam Sui

Much to my surprise, I find that seaside cutouts are still going strong. By this I mean those painted boards with holes in, through which, for a suitable fee, people stick their heads to be photographed. With the aid of a willing suspension of disbelief – for it is, after all, only a goof – the punters can be made to look like princesses, lion-tamers, astronauts or whatever else the entrepreneur has painted on the front. A simple technology, one that we might call “the poor man’s Photoshop”.

And yet, is it wholly a goof? Whenever I see family portraits, I am often reminded of these cutouts. In family portraits, the dominant player has assembled a tableaux around himself, or herself, as if to say, “Admire my stage props” or, “Behold, ye losers, my reproductive glory!” The children, and often the spouse as well, might as well be merely painted on the front of the board.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 08:01 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink

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