The Final Burial (2011)

Portfolio photo of boxed assemblage art by Frank Turek


This shallow box’s frame is covered with fabric with an impressionistic, earth-toned, floral pattern. Inside the assemblage it is partitioned into two vertical sections with the righthand partition further divided by two shelves of violet tinted glass. The tall and narrow left section features a cropped color reproduction of a portrait of a woman and her parrot by Anton Rafael Mengs. This picture is mounted on a recessed curved panel. A string of round, green beads hangs down from the top center of this recess. A small white seashell lies at the bottom. The right top container features a color photo of a dramatically lit woman’s face. To the left and right of this section are collaged clippings from comic books. The sides of the bottom container are treated the same. A small key and toy candlestick rests on the shelf of this top section. On the top of the right side is a snippet of text from a pulp fiction story. The background of the middle section is an etched illustration of a large logjam on a river. The side panels in this section are lists of words from a grade school primer. A collection of small, delicate feathers rest upon the shelf in this middle section. In the bottom compartment is a color photo of a Denmark heath. The bottom of this section is a black-and-white cropped photo of a man’s face.


With most, if not all, of my art assemblages it is possible to find, or create, a narrative thread that brings together the images and elements into a coherent story. Indeed, to do so is literally an act of coherence. With The Final Burial, this novelization process is perhaps more explicit. The separate compartments, each with their nascent dramas, provide characters and settings similar to a gothic novel. Even the title of this piece invokes a story. What is implied by a final burial?