For quite some time I believed that the surgical scar running vertically down my chest was just an unsightly blemish on an otherwise pristine torso; a post-operative skid mark between two nipples, rather like a smudge of screeching tires bisecting a pair of traffic cones in a failed driving test. As spring approaches, however, I realize that scar tissue can be quite the social boon; a conversation piece for the gruesomely inclined; a fibrous bond between disfigured individuals who share a common medical experience. Almost everybody loves exhibiting their scars for the morbid scrutiny of others, and any gathering can become an arena for such normally private exposures.
In fact, encouraged by the success of this blog with the teenage ghoul demographic, I was actively seeking an interactive, web-based forum for iPhone pictures of my more graphic welts and bruises. I researched all of the popular image hosting sites, eventually settling on Pinterest: a sort of online cork board where members pin items that they consider to be inspiring.
My first Pinterest board is called "The Emperor Adds A Red Sash To His New Clothes," and contains various photographs of my chest incision scar taken over a six month period. I can already boast of accumulating seven followers since my board went live. For some reason they are mostly goth rockers from Berlin who call me the George Grosz of post-expressionist cardio-representational art.
Of course, the key to producing quality visual art, besides the infamous rule of thirds, is proportion. For example, the artist only needs to sit at an alfresco cafe in the Piazza San Marco to observe how the ridiculous verticality of the Campanile ruins the harmony of the otherwise short and squat buildings in the square, making it impossible for tourists to capture good, all-encompassing shot of everything suitable for their "Travel" board on Pinterest.
Consequently, when framing photographs, I ensure that the angry red streak of my scar is proportionally balanced by any other vertical elements in the composition. These are usually limited to extremely coarse chest hairs and whatever type of drink I may have accidentally dribbled over myself while fiddling with the camera. The results don't really bear comparison with the mastery of Grosz's colorful paintings, obviously, but I certainly wouldn't feel ashamed to stand shoulder to shoulder with, say, the works of Alberto Giacometti or blue period Picasso.
I guess I consider myself to be an "outsider artist," a figurehead of the pinning zeitgeist, whose confrontational images permeate their way into public consciousness via Pinterest, rather than by means of a conventional gallery showroom. If you are interested, my scar photography can also be liked on Facebook, followed on your Twitter feed, located on Foursquare (I'm already mayor of my incision), and are available for purchase on Cafe Press as anatomically correct t-shirts (as long as you are roughly the same size and build as I am). Enjoy!