Pencil Protruding Through Piece of Styrofoam

by Mac Tonnies

[Don't you hate snobbish, condescending reviews of imbecilic conceptual "art"? So do I. "Pencil Protruding Through Piece of Styrofoam" is a hypothetical piece of concept art, and the review below is an exercise in sarcasm. For Zakas' online multimedia treatment of "Pencil Protruding Through Piece of Styrofoam," click As a potential phallic device, the pencil (emerging from the Styrofoam's tabla rassa eraser-end first in an invitation to literally erase or deconstruct the work as a whole) inflicts vicarious physical discomfort. Why, specifically, a pencil (made out of the quasi-archaic medium of wood) when a ballpoint pen or computer stylus would have maintained or augmented the Styrofoam's sense of sterile modernity? Perhaps this is a deliberate anachronism designed to express gender conflict not merely in the "Age of Plastic," but throughout human history.

"Pencil Protruding Through Piece of Styrofoam" is a stark, provocative piece of modernist expression whose ambiguity takes on enhanced nuances upon repeated meditation.

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