Hog Series CXXII: Pope Innocent X, No. 3
Artist DetailsName: Tarleton Blackwell
Artwork DetailsDate of Work: 1995
Subject: Abstract, Portrait
Period: 20th Century
Type: Work on Paper
Medium: watercolor and pencil on paper
Dimensions: 32 x 19 7/8 inches
Credit: Museum Purchase
A native of Manning, South Carolina, Tarleton Blackwell received his B.A. from Benedict College in 1978. He then attended graduate school at the University of South Carolina where he received his M.A. and M.F.A. While pursuing his own art career, Blackwell has been involved in teaching and promoting the arts in South Carolina schools. He is presently an art instructor for Clarendon County School District Two and former drawing and painting instructor for South Carolina’s Governor’s School for the Arts in Greenville.
A respected and sought-after portraitist, Blackwell is best known for his “Hog Series.” Influenced by Spanish artist Diego Velazquez’s (1599-1660) controversial series of paintings depicting Philip IV’s court in which the jesters and dwarfs hold the same prominence as the king, Blackwell seeks to do the same with hogs. Capitalizing on stereotypical images of the rural South, Blackwell embodies his hogs with an unrealistic air of importance and dignity. In Hog Series CXXII: Pope Innocent X, No. 3, derived from Velazquez’s famous portrait of Pope Innocent X, dated 1650, Blackwell interjects the well-known Piggly Wiggly logo to reinforce the visual significance of popular culture and social convention.