Jeffrey Vallance at San Diego State University – Thursday, April 23 at 4:00 p.m.
Visiting artist Jeffrey Vallance will present an illustrated lecture on Thursday, April 23 at 4:00 p.m. in Room 412 of SDSU’s School of Art, Design and Art History in conjunction with the exhibition animalkind. The lecture and exhibition are FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC. The exhibition continues at the Gallery through May 6.
About the Artist Jeffrey Vallance’s work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and in Sweden, Iceland, Austria, France, the Netherlands, England, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Australia, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Senegal. Vallance’s work is currently included in two group exhibitions in addition to animalkind. Nine Lives: Visionary Artists from L.A. can be seen at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles through May 31; High Strangeness is at the Eagle Rock Center for the Arts in Los Angeles through April 28. Vallance has written and published five books: The World of Jeffrey Vallance; Blinky, the Friendly Hen; Thomas Kinkade: Heaven on Earth; My Life with Dick and Relics and Reliquaries. He is currently a visiting professor of art in new genre at ULCA and his work is represented by Margo Leavin Gallery in Los Angeles.
About the Work Humor and anthropomorphization are key elements of Jeffrey Vallance’s zany narrative of the burial, exhumation and reburial of Blinky, the Friendly Hen. Blinky’s story began when Vallance purchased a frozen chicken at his neighborhood grocery store and delivered her to the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park for a proper burial. Vallance later conflated Blinky’s sacrificial death with the Passion of Christ, Blinky’s bloody imprint on a piece of paper with the Shroud of Turin, and Blinky’s exhumation with Christ’s Resurrection. Bones that supposedly belonged to Blinky are enshrined in elaborate reliquaries as though they had belonged to a saint; the original plastic bag in which she was packaged is conserved in a gilt frame; and a replica of Blinky herself lies in state in an open satin-lined coffin. Vallance’s fabricated legend of the Friendly Hen prompts the viewer to ponder death and the prospect of an afterlife populated by every type of creature, including fowl. Blinky’s saga also provokes consideration of the wide discrepancies between the treatment of food animals and family pets.
Image: Jeffrey Vallance, “Blinky’s Coffin,” 1989; coffin, plastic chicken replica and paper towel; 22.75 x 27 x 17 inches; collection of Barry Sloane, Los Angeles