Ring Bitten By a Woman


Jasper Johns, Painting Bitten by a Man, 1961


This is a favourite artwork of mine. I’ve never seen it in person, but when I first lay eyes on an image of it I was in love. It’s visceral, it’s textural, it’s material and it’s quirky AF. I recently got told I’m quirky and it honestly really surprised me.. but since then, I’ve embraced that possible label and have realised how much I love outwardly quirky things.


quirky /ˈkwəːki/


having or characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits or aspects.


Another reason I was likely drawn to the work was for the familiar colour and finish of the wax. I use a soft brown wax for many of my pieces, I can achieve a fluidity with it as it warms up with my hands and becomes malleable.

I like to make sense of things. I like to dissect and understand the process and makings of things and though I haven’t quite made sense of how Jasper bit into this work, I feel like I can see him doing it.. if not, feel like I did it myself.

I have done it myself. I melted my brown wax onto a piece of card and then bit it. Disclosure: I folded the paper and bit down rather than actually took a bite. I was hesitant and I didn’t really want a mouthful of wax.. Anyway this piece of paper has been on my wall for a few years. My own painting bitten by a woman.



Now, back to the ring. I use my soft brown wax to make the egg rings- of which I’ve been making a few lately (they’re a favourite). I had a lovely finished wax version of an egg ring in my hand the other day and next minute, I had a lovely finished wax version of an egg ring in my hand with the top bitten off.

I guess I was suddenly ready to commit to the mouthful of wax and I did. Ring Bitten by a Woman.

I love this piece, it’s a reminder of the delicious Jasper Johns work and its quirky visceral beauty.



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