Lydia, The Tattooed Lady
Doesn’t look like a Lydia. She looks like a
Lolita, Samantha, Tiara.
But not a Lydia.
She almost-but-not-really peers out at me from under her big black hair.
Dark lips, high arching brow, eyes lined
Her lips, puckered slightly, show distaste.
Not an inch of her skin has gone to waste.
Two writhing green serpents face off
From each arm
As if preparing for combat
But Lydia (Lolita, Samantha, Tiara?)
Cares not at all.
A happy blossoming flower rests
Under her breasts,
While a bird of freedom soars across
Her chest as if to separate
The two snakes of green.
Another, smaller snake slithers out from around her neck
While a topless mermaid on her stomach rests.
A sparkling diadem perches on her head.
Ever more tattoos are present on
Lydia (Lolita, Samantha, Tiara)
A truly striking eye, surrounded by wheat,
A diamond scintillates on her inner arm,
A four-leaf clover on its brother does her no harm.
From her hip, Mickey Mouse gestures.
On her ribs,
Opposite the sparrow,
A full pink heart has been speared by an anchor
These two form a union with the aforementioned flower.
Oh Lydia, (Lolita, Samantha, Tiara)
Tell me, where have you been?
Mariam Keita, age 14, from IYWP’s Crafting the Essay camp
"Lydia, the Tattooed Lady" is a 1939 song that first appeared in the Marx Brothers movie At the Circus (1939) and became one of Groucho Marx's signature tunes. There is a brief moment in the movie where Groucho Marx flashes a card with an image of Lydia. Boling's intent was to faithfully reproduce that grainy image of Lydia while incorporating a number of tattoos that represent Iowa and some iconography personal to him.
Jamie Boling lives and works in Iowa City. He has devoted the better part of his life traveling, teaching, and honing his craft as a painter, sculptor, carpenter, and professor of art. After earning a BFA from the University of Nebraska and MFA from the University of Iowa, Jamie spent a year as a research Fellow at the Louvre in Paris, France. He has taught at some of top art programs in the country and continues to show his work nationally and internationally. His many years living and working in places like Paris, Berlin, and New York have allowed him to work in collaboration with world-class galleries, museums, fashion designers, and filmmakers.
ART SPARKS IS A COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE IOWA YOUTH WRITING PROJECT AND PROMPTPRESS, CULMINATING IN AN ART SHOW & AUCTION BENEFIT FOR THE IYWP http://iywp.org
THE SHOW WILL FEATURE VISUAL ART BY 26 IOWA ARTISTS AND CORRESPONDING CREATIVE RESPONSES GENERATED BY CHILDREN AND TEENS FROM THE IOWA YOUTH WRITING PROJECT'S SUMMER CAMPS.
RECEPTION & SILENT AUCTION WILL BE HELD
AUGUST 26 2016 | 6-8 PM
SHOW WILL HANG AUGUST 23 - 26