Thursday, May 24, 2018

Calumet Baking Powder and Symbolism of Native American Genocide In The Shining

One of the drawbacks of having the greatest artist in America, Jenny Mathews, as my partner, aside from taking a drink out of a glass containing paintwater occassionaly, is that she makes dozens of paintings that I want. This one that she did for the Come and Go Motel Show blows me away. I love the colors and pop art sensibility, but there's something else going on here. The theme of the Come and Go Motel Show is several area artists are given a motel room to set up their wares. I'm sharing a room with Spooky Houston, Food Stamp Davis, and Folk Goblin. I will be showing in the bathroom as Zombie Logic. Jenny's paintings are from famous spooky motels and hotels in horror movies, including the Overlook from The Shining.  

Calumet by Spooky Houston

There are a couple of reasons this is my favorite, and why I think it's sheer brilliance. Most fans of The Shining are familiar with the documentary Room 237 and the numerous fan and conspiracy theories surrounding the movie. Kubrick supposedly hid clues about everything from the the moon landing to the Holocaust in the scenery, but my favorite, and what I consider the most cohesive theory is that the genocide against Native Americans is the true curse of the Overlook. 

In this still we see both Tang and Calumet baking powder on the shelf behind Jack Nicholson, and it is postulated that since Kubrick was so obsessive about the details of his movies that this is no accident. 

I'm not sure how much baking powder would be used in a season at a hotel like the Overlook, so I can't say that's a lot of baking powder, but that seems like a lot of baking powder. 

And now that baking powder has been immortalized in a painting by Spooky Houston, a painting that can be seen at the Come and Go Motel Art Show June 29th, but don't be surprised to see a sold sign on it. 

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