Jon Swihart, Untitled, 1990

The artist himself writes “the Fuguman character was created by an old art school friend and colleague named Steve Fletcher. He was older than I and was a Vietnam Vet and hippie ceramic artist. In 1984, I threw a huge ‘Religious Costume Party’ – perfect party idea for artists with amazing results – and Steve showed up for the first time as Fuguman. Everyone was floored! Steve was living in a rented shed at that time out in a huge vegetable garden… so he used his Vietnam military fatigues, steel helmet, his camouflage netting combined with vegetables from his garden, and a staff with a paper-mache bunny mask from Tijuana, to create an imaginary fertility priest named Fuguman. The name was a play on ‘fuck you man’ which reflected his counter-culture humor.” In this painting Fuguman is a virtuous beacon for the gods of fertility. Goats are symbols of virility and reproduction, and point to how nimble Fuguman must be!

Leave a Reply