Gilbert Lewis, Untitled (1989)
Lewis was attracted to theatrical clothing and costume, whether that of a drag queen, a dancer, or a man in black tie. There is no more theatrical element in Philadelphia than the annual Mummers Parade. Here, a figure in full Mummer regalia poses in Lewis’s apartment. Fingers are the only visible part of the human body. The artist’s kitchen is visible at left. The juxtaposition of the fantastic and the mundane makes the image wonderfully bizarre.
This work was part of a larger project organized by the Mummers Museum in the mid-1970s. Lewis was among a number of artists commissioned to depict Mummers in costumes lent by the museum for a window display at the Lit Brothers department store at 7th and Market Streets. The store, founded in 1891, was a lower-priced alternative to Gimbels and Wanamaker's. It closed in 1977.