Dream" is a beautiful miniature, one of a handful that are
exhibited. It resonates with Talbof s quiet flair for the romantic.
A 19th-century girl stares from behind a flowered curtain, the
rigging and tackles of the sails of a schooner below her. The
message "PASSAGE FOR LIVERPOOL" is printed on the yard
arm, and written to the side, is the word "'family."
In "Florentine Encounter/' a bare-breasted
woman oversees a Fidelity Union Trust check made out to LeRoy
Thrall for $5. In the back, from a page of a book, are Latin references
to Tarquinia, one of the famed twelve Tuscan cities. like all
collage, the most surreal of art forms, these pieces have the
customary bit of mystery and obtuseness.
Three other miniatures form a kind of international
triptych. "The View from Lima" concerns the peso, Ile
de Triumphe" is a piece of eros and Paris, and "Of Flesh
and Blood" is an homage to John F. Kennedy. All three have
a disquieting effect as they seem to bleed into the other, picking
up bits of reference from each neighbor.
'The Brig" is another miniature that
has as its construct a small wooden jail cell containing a wooden
bench and four square bundles — a $100 bill, a page of the
bible, a page of Hebrew and a small painting of a farewell. Ship
coordinates, fractured by the image of Karl Marx and other glimpses
of violence, point to Mouse Island. A window with a sailing ship
in it is on the back wall.
In many of Talbot's works, trains add
to the romantic luster. "Portrait of Departure/' "Bound
for Glory" and "IRT" all use the image of locomotion,
and/or travel, to evoke mystery. This romantic inclination toward
maps and passages is more of the 1800s, but Talbot fuels his images
with a distinct 20th-century sensibility. He takes the viewer
on an adventure of the spirit