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HEAD and Edward Kienholz
I was watching the HEAD DVD with the Monkees commentary, and Mike, Micky, and Peter all mentioned that the dance party/Mike birthday scene featured the ‘Kienholz’ car art installation, and how controversial it was at that time. Not being at all knowledgeable about 1960s art installations, I decided to do some research about this art piece.
The Kienholz installation that’s featured in HEAD is called Back Seat Dodge ’38, and was made in 1964. It debuted in 1966 and was considered “revolting, pornographic and blasphemous” to some people. I guess it was controversial at the time because it featured two people in the midst of getting it on in the back seat.
After doing a little more reading, it seems that voyeurism was one of the main themes in his art, as was sarcasm and social commentary. Interesting and not at all coincidental that this installation ended up in HEAD, right? Jack Nicholson and Bob Rafelson definitely didn’t leave any detail to chance in that movie.
Mike also mentioned in the commentary that the silver Mylar balloons in HEAD were inspired by an exhibit they saw at the Art Institute of Chicago, and mentioned that it was important to Bob to put pop-art in the movie.
If you want to learn more about this piece, please visit this page:
Ed Kienholz: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Kienholz