Alonso G. Smith

Ham Actor

Ham Actor
1947, oil/masonite, 24" x 20"

Despite limitless horizons, the ham actor neutralizes his performance by allowing his three masks to upstage one another. The serious mask of Drama, with its "light that failed" and its huddled minor-personae masks, slips down into the mask of Melodrama whose tearful pathos demands pity for hand and foot held loosely in the stocks. The mask of Comedy rises out of Melodrama, guffawing and tweaking the chin of Drama in a copy gesture of admiration. However, Comedy -- with graveyard crosses on its head -- masks sorrow too, for here is the demise of the act.

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