Saturday, February 19, 2005

Kid Rock: Portraits of a Life in Mugshots

Stroll with me through the variety of mughots that Kid Rock has accumulated in his brief, yet lascivious life; they constitute a sort of Bildungsroman, with added emphasis on the "dung." The SmokingGun notes:


"Robert James Ritchie (aka Kid Rock) was arrested by Nashville cops in February 2005 and charged with misdemeanor assault after getting into a fight with a Tennessee strip club DJ. This wasn't Kid's first time posing for a police camera, as seen in the two older photos ... he was also busted by Michigan cops in March 1991 and September 1997. Both arrests were alcohol related, though dispositions are unclear."

And yet the compositions are exquisite. Our compliments to the master craftsmen who made this little online exhibition possible. Each portrait of incarceration marks the progression, in time, of a complete jackass. In the earliest "impromptu photo shoot," the pubescent Kid Rock's character appears slightly appalled and ashamed at the imposition of his detention. His freedom arrested, Rock's head is cocked at an arrogant Federlinesque 45 degree angle. But the key to the composition is in the shoulders, which appear slouched, slack, suggesting a certain resignation to the cruel whimsy of fate, clearly "The Rock" has been broken, but he is not yet conquered. A tougher man would have visibly shrugged, or crossed his arms in defiance of authority. But Rock is not yet there. The pose is natural and expressive of the sitter's obvious intellectual impoverishment. We'd call it, "White Trash, Removed to The Slammer."

In the next one, taken years later, at another dubious institution of correction, the lighting is harsh, the eyes suggest a touch of hangover regret (We surmise dreaded gin to be the culprit). Is this of the "Munich School" of mugshots? The matter is academic.

What life choices have brought him, once again, to this lamentable point, he appears to be asking himself in the mugshot. The nervous restlessness of the "wild and innocent youth" are in full flavor here, my friend. The color scheme is hazy, the general approach lapsadaisical, which, ironically, perfectly capture the Kafkesque mood of having your ass locked up. Simply exquisite.

Finally, in the last picture, taken last week, resignation, acceptance, peace. Notice the mannerisms, the intricate detailing of the laughing eyes, a dead giveaway of the rebel at ease in his role; the gaping, emotionless smile -- the crystallized character; the echo of institutional white in the background speaks haunting volumes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just plain virtuoso! "KFed 45" is especially nice.