Friday, January 09, 2009

Larger Than Life

"Brobdingnagian" is one of my favorite words -- even though, or perhaps because, I totally misunderstood its meaning the first time that I saw it used.

I had never read Gullivers Travels -- still haven't. Instead the term was introduced to me several years ago in a newspaper article decrying the deleterious effect of highway billboards on the appearance of our local landscape -- in particular an advertisement for an "adult toy store" featuring a "Brobdingnagian" female head.

I drove past the sign every day. And looked at it each and every time. So I knew intuitively that the previously unfamiliar name obviously meant a super-sized, spokes-slut exhibiting definite man-eater tendencies.

Well I got the super-sized part right anyway.

Based upon this I may still have a slightly skewed sense of the word - one more akin to "The Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman" than the less innuendo-laden meaning intended by Johnathon Swift.

Needless to say it was that expression which immediately entered my mind when I saw the banner publicizing the "Native Couture -- A History of Santa Fe Style" exhibit at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe.

And if my initial view of the banner didn't exactly agree with either Swift's or my definition of "Brobdingnagian" it was close enough so that a different camera angle and some after-the-fact "Photoshopping" made it so.

It made sense to me. Isn't the whole point of style to put you out ahead of the field?

(click on photo for a more Brobdingnagian effect)

Santa Fe Style

Dry harsh emptiness

Tamed by turquoise and conchas.

Art overcomes life.

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