Pecos, Texas


In this painting, no effort is put into playing down the psycho-killer associations we have with butchers.  The searing but vacant stare of the butcher, the purposeful arrangement of ‘sharps’ and prominent over-head cleaver and hacksaw.  Do butchers really store they cleavers above their heads with binder clips?  They even went to the trouble of painting the two separate colored electrical wires that hold the bare bulb to the ceiling.  I imagine the bulb flickering as we realize that’s not a pencil in his pocket, but a finger.

This is less a portrait of food as it is a portrait of the tools of the butcher.  A trade painting.  Along the lines of this painting from the 13th century (oh, maybe they do store knives above their heads).


  1. Amazing similarity with the 13th century butcher! Got to admire professional stability. Not many careers can claim that kind of continuity. Still those guys are scary.

    • I thought that too, the continuity, and helpful to see the figures working among the tools of their professions, very little has changed, or so it seems.

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