The Dirty South Dentist
Apex High School
Inspired by: Jan Miense Molenaer, The Dentist
Artist Statement: The Dentist by Jan Miense Molenaer, a Dutch work painted in 1629, motivated my own piece of artwork. My inspiration from this piece came as a surprise to me, because I usually take more interest in the modern pieces the museum has to offer. The humorous quality the artwork encased caught my eye though, and I decided to modernize the scene. I wanted to renovate the painting to incorporate the current hip-hop culture. In the original painting you see a nervous patient clutching a rosary for relief from the excruciating pain. During Molenaer’s time, dentists were known for taking both money and teeth from ignorant patients. The hip-hop trend of inserting a grill, a type of jewelry worn over the teeth, is a painful procedure used for vanity purposes. I wanted to replace the rosary with a chain holding an iconic dollar sign. Instead of the patient looking towards religion for relief, he is looking toward society for acceptance. I began with a black and white photo transfer of the original painting onto a blank canvas. I then painted over the general shapes and bodies of the characters with a simple color palette of red, yellow, cyan, and an original skin tone I mixed myself. I wanted the colors to be basic so they would contrast, almost in a pop art style. I then made copies of my painting so that I could experiment with different inking styles. I decided that the dramatic straight lines and simple outlining gave my work the type of urban bang I was looking for.