Sea serpents, condom quilts, & chicken bones

Last weekend I visted the American Folk Art Museum in NYC for the first time.

A friend of mine wanted to see the Martin Ramirez exhibit of 97 drawings – drawings he created when he was in a mental hospital in northern California due to a diagnosis of schizophrenia.


Many of these drawings were of cars and trains closed in by tunnels leading to nowhere, or of a man on a horse with a gun, enclosed by four walls.  Eerie.

The museum’s permanent collection includes several old weathervanes.  I hardly ever see these anywhere these days [okay I have never seen these I am a city girl.]


And then, on the top floor, [after a scuffle with security who wanted us to put on our coats or check them, to which we said “no thank you”] – there were some really odd things.

A condom quilt, the condoms in wrappers of all colors.

A golden tower – made of chicken bones.  The artists [husband and wife] collected the bones from their dinners at KFC.   Sprayed them with gold paint, and glued them together.

Folk art.  Hmm.

Photos from the American Folk Art Musuem

  • “Three VW Vans” – Martin Ramirez, c 1948-1963

  • Sea Serpent Weathervane, circa 1850


26 responses to “Sea serpents, condom quilts, & chicken bones

  1. If I were incarcerated in a mental institute probably all my images would be objects of motion cut off too. That has to suck.

  2. I love your posts on art museums.

  3. Yeah – he was there for 15 years and now the doctors say he was not schizophrenic after all. He just decided that he did not want to talk to anyone.

    Thanks Kitty – that was an interesting place.

  4. “collect the chicken bones from their dinners at KFC”

    It shouldn’t disturb me, but it does.

  5. Well doy, eating at KFC that often is totally disturbing.

  6. As disturbing as it might be, it is the best hang-over food on earth.

  7. I sense the influence of Drunken Psychic Mildred in all of this.

  8. To be honest, it kind of grossed me out when I realized that what I was looking at was chicken bones.

    I have not eaten at KFC in years. Is it still any good?

  9. Don’t you listen to the Beastie Boys? We are supposed to be boycotting KFC for cruelty to chickens (they have a process to remove the feathers which includes putting them in boiling water while they are alive).

  10. Are you kidding me???? You are, right?

  11. Rumor is the reason KFC goes by KFC is, they have so genetically altered chickens, they cannot legally represent the food they sell as “chicken.” But can say it is KFC.

    I have no idea whether this is true.

    The people who have told me so were pretty excited about it though.

  12. Wow I did not know they farmed their own chickens.

    I drive by a Tyson’s chicken plant [um, slaugherhouse] on the way to work and sometimes see them arriving in trucks in cages, not knowing their fates. [I cannot eat Tysons now.]

    Sometimes a chicken escapes onto the road – one was on the highway median for days before it was rescued and brought to a zoo. It was all over the news.

  13. You guys are deliberately trying to fuck my fav hung-over food with rumours of crows posing as chickens and being boiled to death and I now officially have to ignore every single one of you.

  14. We are too cute to ignore.

  15. Silly stuff.

    But I have been hearing more realistic yet quite horrible things about the meat industry on the regular basis. Especially pork. And I won’t look for any articles to link to. (No need to thank me.)

  16. Wow BruddahBob – what is that site?

    At least aj can have her KFC back

  17. is my all-purpose urban legend debunker. If you hear about crap that sounds too screwed up to be true, it usually shows up there sooner or later.

  18. They will never stamp out the fried rat story. That is a right of passage story told to and by all third graders.

  19. Jeez did you click on that fried rat link?

    There is a photo of a batter-fried chicken head! It landed in someone’s order of wings. Ack.

    [note – this was reportedly from a McDonalds]

  20. [I fear this is de-generating into fodder for some strange google searches]

  21. No way. There are just some links I should not click.

  22. No, I’m not kidding you about listening to the Beastie Boys, LOL.
    Or the boiling of live chickens. They do that.

  23. I am going to have trouble eating chicken in general for a while… too bad it is a “diet” staple

  24. I hope they don’t play the Beastie Boys to the chickens while they are boiling them alive. That would be just too cruel.

  25. Depends on if they like the Beastie Boys.

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