My nose is my most defining feature. It bleeds and it drips and is a rounded flat bulb at the center of my face. I judge most things by scent, like a human hound who has no discomfort getting my nostrils all up in shit. I’m nasal centric.
I don’t think artist Dana Schutz is as nosey as I but I do think she has some obsession with the functions of the nose. She’s created a few early aughts paintings about sneezing, expressive semi-realistic portrayals of the act of expelling, evacuating the nose. Eyes are squinted and it feels like every part of your soul has been forced out. You’re in a cloud of snot. You feel puffy all of a sudden. That’s a sneeze.
They’re such great little works. They’re The Scream‘s more sensitive cousins. She’s created a lot of facially focused works but these are the best. I believe there are three—the two featured here and this little guy—and each of them seems to take a different position on the act, perhaps depicting allergies and sniffles separately.
It’s paintings like these that make me wish I painted them: they’re just so fantastic.