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The Pencil Story
 
 

The Pencil Story
2003

Photographs and pencil on board.
Dimensions 70cm x 60cm 
Unique

The Pencil Story - refers to John Baldessari's 'Pencil Story' (1972-3), in which he juxtaposes two shots of a pencil—the first dull, the second sharp. Beneath the pair, a caption reads: “I had this old pencil on the dashboard of my car for a long time. Every time I saw it, I felt uncomfortable, since its point was so dull and dirty. I always intended to sharpen it and finally couldn’t bear it any longer and did sharpen it. I’m not sure, but I think this has something to do with art.” Referring to his artwork ‘The Pencil Story’ (1972/73), Baldessari said, “People ask me what my favourite piece of art is and it’s this one. Because I thought I got it exactly right. If I could do all my work like that, I’d be very happy, that’s a benchmark for me.”
John Baldessari - This Not That" Documentary,  2010

In this work by Maurice Doherty the gesture is re-interpreted and a shot of a new sharpened pencil is juxtaposed with a second shot of the pencil being smashed to bits.



     
         
 
   
 
 
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All images and text © Maurice Doherty unless otherwise specified.