Issue 28 Bones Winter 2007/08

Artist Project / Character Study

Michael Paulus

Despite their wildly distorted human forms, the familiar cartoon characters pictured on the following pages are so commonplace in our contemporary culture that we have come to think of them in some sense as real, living beings. Given this, I thought it would be interesting to examine them as science does any living thing—stripping them down to their bare essentials; dissecting them, as it were, in an attempt to discover their true make-up. As a way to understand better these “individuals” on their most basic level, I rendered their skeletal systems as they would necessarily have to look if someone had, for instance, a skull comprising sixty percent of his or her body mass. Charles Shultz’s classic ensemble—and Charlie Brown, specifically, with his conspicuously disproportionate head—provided the original incentive to investigate the origins of these entities.

Michael Paulus is a multi-media artist living in Portland, Oregon. Working primarily with film, video, and sculpture, he focuses on the intersection of science and art, often by creating objects that are inherently misguided or dysfunctional. For more information, see www.michaelpaulus.com.

Cabinet is a non-profit organization supported by the Lambent Foundation, the Orphiflamme Foundation, the New York Council on the Arts, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Katchadourian Family Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, the Danielson Foundation, and many generous individuals. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation by visiting here.