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Carter

Salon 94 | Freemans

Carter’s lack of transparency about his name has garnered its fair share of critical attention, with biography (or, more precisely, its lack of specificity; it is no secret that his first name is John, but what does that tell us?) functioning in determined lockstep with the work itself. Indeed, the evasions of his self-proclaimed “anonymous portraits” and their combinatory, exquisite corpse–like logic serve as Carter’s imprimatur. All the more surprising, then, to discover Carter in conversation with curator Matthew Higgs in a recent catalogue disclosing early memories that bear fairly directly on the above. Carter’s revelation that his childhood neighbor Betty Kripinsky remained an active presence after her death through uncanny surrogate wig stands in the form of foam heads is almost too pitch-perfect. Here is Carter: “The foam heads had detailed faces drawn on them with ball-point pen

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