Excerpted from the Work Ethic catalog essay by Helen Molesworth

In her exploration of the performative quality of art and the slippage between the spaces of art and everyday life, Ginsburg is currently at work producing small novelties of the sort found in Cracker Jack boxes. Entitled The Novelty Project (2002-2003), the first works are temporary tattoos designed to be purchased at a nominal cost and worn by the viewer. The Little Black Moustache is a pencil-thin vaudevillesque moustache tattoo. Clearly a play on Coco Chanel’s enduring gift to women’s fashion, this moustache functions as a playful reconfiguration of face and gender. When it is worn, the viewer/wearer is thrown into a space of heightened self-awareness, open to innumerable questions from friends, family, and mere passerby. The Little Black Moustache is accompanied by the Rosy Red Cheek tattoos, bright red circles in the vein of Raggedy Ann. Ginsburg advises, “They’re for flirty days, when the elegance of the Little Black Moustache is too severe.”


Project photography and graphic design: Jorge Colombo

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