We either love or hate clowns, what is it about clowns we fear? Can you remember the serial killer John Wayne Gacy, aka Pogo The Clown, who raped and murdered at least 33 people, the world of the clown is not been the same since. John Wayne Gacy was inspired by Stephen King Monster Clown Pennywise, from the film “IT”
The Devil’s Rejects directed by Rob Zombie stars Sid Haig as the mad clown Captain Spaulding.
The clown has been featured in many more movies and most recently in Eli Roth 2015 movie ‘The Clown’
The photographic series of clowns shot by Italian French photographer Aeolus Perfidious, uses the fear factor which clowns portray, his series of photographed entitled Clownville plays in the modern sense humor, which at times is ridiculous, sometimes only awkward, sometimes unintentionally erotic (so my wife tells me) but more often it is simply disturbing. From the series, still being completed, it could be born a book and an exhibition, but already today we can do is admire the construction of absurd characters, deprived of their identity with a mask, showing the essence and the problems of ‘ modern man.
“Give me a mask and tell the truth” Oscar Wilde
Photographing clowns is nothing new, even Hollywood actress Jessica Lange has photographed a great number of clowns over the years. While her art and photography education was cut short when she dropped out of the University of Minnesota in 1967, the famed actress returned to the craft in the early 1990s when her longtime partner Sam Shepard gifted her a Leica M6 and the mother of three began capturing life at home as a way to document their lives. Soon, she was packing the tool for trips around the world.
Now, over 150 images from her personal collection are going on display for her latest solo exhibition, “Unseen,” at the Arts Santa Mònica Center in Barcelona. “Jessica sees photography as a kind of introspection,” Anne Morin, the exhibition curator, told The Daily Beast. “It’s a moment she’s alone and she can walk in the street where it seems like nothing is happening or in banal situations that could be very boring. But she always finds something very strange—unseen things—which are to disappear.” Swipe through our gallery for a preview of the show.
Here are a few photographs from the exhibition (photographs copyrighted to Jessica Lange)
I found this video on Youtube showing how clowns looked in the Victorian times
Nowadays we see the happy smiling face of Ronald Mcdonald (Image copyrighted to Mcdonalds)
But…….Ronald McDonald was not always such a friendly character. The first Ronald McDonalds tv advert was far from friendly. Ronald McDonald was played by Willard Scott.
Even in the 1970’s the TV Adverts were just as bad
This is a parody to mock McDonalds when it was shot and who by, I don’t know, but it’s great none the less, which the kids did not look at the camera so often.
To view the History of McDonalds logo changes click here
Joe Giacomet’s, “Ronald’s Dirty Secret
Traditionally clowns are anarchic figures who defy the boundaries of normal social conduct, even before Heath Ledger’s Joker just wanted to watch the world burn. In Edgar Allan Poe’s 1849 story Hop-Frog, a physically deformed court jester who’s consistently the butt of practical jokes encourages the king and his court of noblemen to dress as orangutans covered in tar, at which point he sets them all on fire. The unpredictable nature of a clown’s behavior, and his or her tendency to transgress acceptable standards of behavior (by, for example, throwing pies in each others’ faces, or squirting water on an innocent bystander with a trick buttonhole flower), probably makes us wary of what other lines they might cross.
The makeup, too, is a factor. Traditional clown face paint—a white base, with exaggerated red lips and cheeks—was pioneered by Joseph Grimaldi, a popular entertainer in the early 19th century, and can be manipulated to create a face that is either grinning in an absurd rictus or tragicomically sad. “At its roots, clownaphobia springs from the duplicity implied by the frozen grins and false gaiety of clowns,” writes cultural critic Mark Dery in his 1999 book The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: America on the Brink. “The clown persona protests too much; its transparent artificiality constantly directs our attention to what’s behind the mask.” The frozen smile of a clown makes his or her true expression impossible to read—yet another factor that leads us to ponder whether or not they can be trusted.
Despite all this, clowns were typically viewed in a positive light for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, even though Leoncavallo’s aforementioned 1892 opera, Pagliacci, told the story of a clown who murders his unfaithful wife and her lover with a knife. (Se il viso è pallido, è di vergogna, the clown sings, or, If my face is white, it is for shame.) The turning point, culture-wise, appears to have been the arrest of Gacy, dubbed “the Killer Clown” by the media, whose grisly string of sexual assaults and murders contrasted so vividly with his alternate clown persona. As Pogo, Gacy performed at parades, parties, and charitable events, even meeting First Lady Rosalynn Carter in 1978 thanks to his role as director of Chicago’s Polish Constitution Day Parade. While on death row, he painted a number of portraits of clowns, many depicting himself as Pogo, claiming that he wanted to use the paintings “to bring joy into people’s lives.”
To read more about clowns view the website on the history of clowns