< >
x
Fantasy art / comic illustration 'Clothespin': A nude woman painted on panties

Clothespin

© Brian Vigue

Whisperings abound at the Maine Open Juried Art Show: "Is that painted on— women's underwear?" Why, yes it is! The irony is that the woman is nude because her panties are being used for the canvas. Clothespin demonstrates my enamel painting style done on a much different substrate than my usual T-shirt canvases. Each pair of panties was fitted over a custom foam panel and painted, but try regulating color balance with brush strokes over seams and elastic waistbands— not an easy feat! At four feel tall and uniquely-shaped, this one grabs attention. The gray space depicted on this digital image is just that— space.

So how does a guy frame something that is so outside the square? By the time of the first show, with only one day to spare, a lot of room was left for hindsight. Acetate seemed the best choice to protect the artwork. Flange nuts were punched into the backs, and slits were cut into the panties to reveal them. Tape secured some of the baggy fabric in back, but I literally had my panties in a bunch! A heavy plank with bolts inserted to painstakingly match the nuts provided the spine. There were several things wrong with this construction, though. I had foolishly drilled all the holes down the center of the plank, so stability sucked. The flange nuts, although clawed, didn't stay embedded in the foam backings. And with the plank significantly shorter than the artwork, it was difficult to pick up, carry, or hang. Setting it upright was impossible. Vinyl hooks were screwed in at the last minute just so I could handle it.

Since inheriting a frame shop, I gave Clothespin an overhaul. Each panel was properly encapsulated in acetate, with all the loose fabric sandwiched in a matboard backing. A light, pine support frame was built flush to the bottom of the artwork so it can be set upright; only the bottom-right corner of the frame is exposed. To secure each panel to the frame, I chopped another fifteen pine blocks, three for each panel, arranged in stable triangles and secured to the matboard with corner weld. Each block was then joined to the support frame with metal flanges and screws. This way the artwork can easily be "exhumed" by unscrewing the flanges and popping the panels out. I'm ready to use Clothespin as a weapon now if need be. How about "Symphony in C-cups" for next year?

More