Ceramic and Wire
68" x 26" x 24"
This is one of the pieces in my Art Hero series. It is a portrait of Basil Wolverton (1909 - 1978). He is best known for his work in both MAD Magazine and for his religious illustrations for the Radio Church of God. In this sculpture, I have made him being swallowed by a character named Lena the Hyena. In 1946, Wolverton won a contest to depict "Lena the Hyena", the world's ugliest woman, a running gag in Al Capp's Li'l Abner newspaper strip where Lena remained unseen beneath an editorial note stating her face had been covered to protect readers. He had a contest for artists to submit their interpretations. Among 500,000 entries, Wolverton was the winner; it appeared in a Li'l Abner daily and Life magazine. A jury of Frank Sinatra, Boris Karloff, and Salvador Dali was formed to judge the submissions of the best (or worst) rendition of Lena the Hyena.