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Item Name: Painting
Title: Little’s Mermaid
Maker: Jefferson Little
Year: 2004
Country: Canadian
Materials: acrylic paint and oil paint on canvas
Measurements: overall: 54 in x 72 in
ID Number: PC2013.1.1

Extended Label Info: Do you recognize the distinctive blue sailor suit from Donald Duck on the body of this mermaid? Part of a series entitled “Action Figures”, this painting by Jefferson Little features a character built out of parts of heroes and villains from graphic novels, animated film, and toys popular during the artist’s childhood. Little paints in a hyper-real style, creating the illusion that his figures are three-dimensional objects floating over a bright, comic-book yellow background. Posed dramatically, the re-assembled action figures are asymmetrical, and a bit uncanny. The mix of “good guy” and “bad guy” sources in the new “action figure” makes it difficult for us to easily categorize Little’s construction as a hero or a villain. Instead, we are reminded of the characters and toys that we have loved and find personally meaningful. Depending on your knowledge of pop culture, you may recognize other parts in this new character: Head: Kid Flash (eyes) and Joker (mouth and jaw) Body: Donald Duck figurine Arms: Top Cat, and part of a toy from a Happy Meal Legs: shark Jefferson Little (1972- ) Born in Regina, Little studied printmaking at the University of Regina, earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts (1996). In addition to his studio practice, Little has worked as a scenic artist in film, a graphic designer, and an educator. In his artwork, Little employs a range of media and formats with an emphasis on painting and sculpture. His highly realistic style incorporates narrative and humour, and is based in the Vanitas traditions of the Dutch Still Life painters (15th-16th century) who created contemplative images that use symbolism to discuss morality and the brevity of life. Little has exhibited locally and internationally, and his work is held in several public and private collections, including SK Arts.