'They're creepy and they're kooky,
mysterious and spooky.
They're altogether ooky'
Whenever I feature clown themed images I am always looking for just the right word to describe the conflicting themes that are associated with them. Clowns for some, are a symbol of childhood, circus's and children's parities. Flowers spraying ink, balloon animals and silly pranks. To many others, especially adults, bogged down with misery and pain, clowns have morphed from silly to terrifying, a symbol of evil and at the core of many phobias and nightmares.
When searching for words that combine both fun and fear, both joy and terror, the closest word I could find was ooky. Spooky, kooky, gooky and kooky are all words containing ooky and are all words used to describe the odd and the bizarre. Ooky words however, still have a lightness. They indicate odd, but as with the lyrics above fro the Addams Family, they can also be silly, goofy and most of all fun.
This collection of clowns came to me via one particular man under the white face make-up. That man, featured in this piece, was a model that I featured this past year on the blog, make up free. When going through his modeling portfolio I came across an image, full on clown, naked of course from artist Dusti Cunningham. That image had me buying a ticket and entering the Dusti's word of incredible, bizarre, erotic and ooky imagery.
Like the circus clowns who ascend from that little red car in the center ring, when you enter Dusti's tumblr, there is page after page, image after images of clown after clown. So many, choosing images was almost overwhelming. Dusti's clowns are alive and animated, colorful and fun. Well, maybe... more naughty than fun. They're also a little bit dangerous, a wee bit provocative and unabashedly sexual.
A naked body, along with a disguised face is both mysterious and scary and very very sexy. Whenever you see a group of streakers, there are usually more than a few wearing masks or make-up to cover their faces. It is an interesting dynamic to me, to be so exposed on one hand, yet partially hidden on the other. You have to wonder if without the makeup, the poses would be quite as exaggerated or as sexual.
As much as the makeup hides, it also provides almost a strength to the men under it. Strength to expose a piece of themselves they may not be quite as comfortable sharing if not for the protection the clown persona provides. The clown, and their make-up really embody what Halloween is all about. It is the night to shed our inhibitions, cover or mask the parts of ourselves we dislike or deny. By covering the things we don't like, we are actually freed to embrace parts of ourselves that normally terrify us.
Maybe this is why clowns are so terrifying to some of us. With the protection of their make-up, they have nothing else really to hide. They have no need for pretence or dishonesty. Clowns seem to have the ability to look us straight in the eyes and see right through those of us without the protection of make-up or a mask. They know exactly what we've buried deep down within and just their presence threatens to expose our deepest secrets to the world around us. That in it self, is a horrifying notion.
Clowning Around on FH: