Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Edward Kienholz: Buried in Style

Artist Edward Kienholz and his wife/collaborator Nancy Reddin Kienholz
TOTAL POWER COUPLE!  I love their look.  And their work. 

Artist Edward Kienholz at work

Normally I don't give much thought to how I will be buried. If I can't have a pyramid erected in my honor (har), I think I would prefer to be disposed of on the cheap by being cremated or buried in a cardboard box.  Or maybe just be buried in a plain pine wood coffin -- like the ones they used after hanging criminals in the wild west. I was thinking about this the other day when I remembered how Edward Kienholz (one of my favorite artists EVER) was buried:

"His corpulent, embalmed body was wedged into the front seat of a brown 1940 Packard coupe," said Hughes. "There was a dollar and a deck of cards in his pocket, a bottle of 1931 Chianti beside him, and the ashes of his dog Smash in the trunk. He was set for the Afterlife. To the whine of bagpipes, the Packard, steered by his widow Nancy Reddin Kienholz, rolled like a funeral barge into the big hole: the most Egyptian funeral ever held in the American West, a fitting [exit] for this profuse, energetic, sometimes brilliant, and sometimes hopelessly vulgar artist."

description found here.


If you ever get a chance to see Edward Kienholz's sculptures/assemblages in person, DO IT.  Here is a sampling of his works:

And if you want to read up on him, this book is excellent. 



Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I can't believe that's what he wanted! I'm like you. Cremation is what I want.

sporkgasm said...

I am so fascinated by how different people want to be buried. I want to keep it simple, but I do love these folks who go to extraordinary lengths.

I'm going to go check out his sculpture now.


This is the artist's way...

Thank you for getting us thinking.

Lara said...

I had seen the one with the lady and the arrows coming out of her stomach but knew nothing about the artist.

I'm with you on wanting something simple... just cremate me. My parents want the same and don't even want funerals since they think everyone who came would be assholes who felt guilty and obligated.

David wants a viking funeral or his ashes sent to space.

Caroline said...

I want to be burned and sprinkled! But this is a pretty cool way to go. And the photo of the 2 of them is fierce!

Dancing Branflake said...

I have sincerely never thought of this before. I don't know how I'd be buried. Probably in a random coffin made in China.

Claire Kiefer said...

Wow, that is fascinating! I don't really think about how I want to be buried either, but I think it's cause everyone in my family gets cremated and that's how I'd want it. But this dude went out proper, man.

Lorena said...

I already purchased "apartment" in a crypt, about 6 years ago, death is our only certain destination and as I am a total control freak I already chose my resting place. It's in a nice neighborhood :)

Trissta said...

Wow. That's crazy amazing. I've always been a simple girl myself... don't know about cremation and all that, but I've always fantasized about being like an indian and building myself a tower to God. Who knows, I haven't thought that far down the line yet.

Much love,

bananas. said...

that picture of edward kienholz and his wife make them appear to be the coolest, most bad ass couple.

and clearly they were.

what a way to go out and enter the afterlife. now you have me thinking just how i'd like to be buried. hmmm...

Miss Caitlin S. said...

they look very badass, and intelligent too. I love the way they are each looking at something and seemingly discussing it- like, let's have a drag of cigarette and then change the entire thing! ha.

And that picture of him working is completely depictive.

It is very interesting to think about how you want your outro to be at the end of the line. I know I do not want to be buried in the ground, I think I will likely go the cremation route... and ask that my ashes be spread somewhere that has yet to be determined.

NellieVaughn said...

I heard about this.
I always imagined I would marry someone who would make me look cool. We'd take pictures like the one on your post. I'll tell you if it happens. As a matter of fact, I'll send pics.

Robert Pincus said...

You may want to know, if you don't already, about my groundbreaking book on the Kienholzes, which preceded the book you recommend by a few years: On A Scale That Competes With the World: The Art of Edward and Nancy Reddin Kienholz (University of California Press). It began as a Master's Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation, but always with the focus on readability and my passion for his and their art.

itsCatherine said...

I wonder if I'll ever know myself that well.