Ding-dong the witch is dead
Where to see art in Tulsa this month.
Many artists develop a deep relationship with their muse. Local photographer Evan Taylor’s muse has been quite good to him, inspiring a project he is exhibiting at Dwelling Spaces this month. And how has he treated her in return? Well, not so good, perhaps.
“She’s been mowed over, had a hay bale fall on her, been stuffed in a trunk, squashed by a steam roller and even fell into a Porta-Potty,” Taylor says.
You shouldn’t be worried about Taylor’s strange treatment of his leading lady — she’s only a dead model. Sure, he’s had to gruesomely reenact her murder here and there, but, rest assured, it was all for the sake of art.
A pair of mannequin legs wearing striped tights and some red shoes: Meet the macabre muse behind Taylor’s photo series, “Death of a Witch.”
Just in time for Halloween, Taylor’s creative documentation of the wicked witch’s demise opens from 6-9 p.m., Oct. 28, at Dwelling Spaces, 119 S. Detroit Ave., with live music, “death” cupcakes and affordable art for all. From framed prints to lapel buttons, Taylor wants everyone to be able to walk away with a piece of the witch. Morbid? Maybe. Funny? Definitely.
On their way to western Oklahoma to visit family, Taylor and his wife, Deanna, drove by a dilapidated house. After spotting the collapsed home, Deanna was reminded of the house that killed the wicked witch in “The Wizard of Oz.” Taylor calls what happened next the “cool if” moment that changed everything.
“Wouldn’t it be cool if you did some shot of some witch’s legs under that house?” Deanna asked.
Ding-dong! “Death of a Witch” was born. The concept lasted, but the house, unfortunately, did not. When Taylor returned with his model witch, the house was gone.
“I never got to photograph her death there,” he laments.
Thankfully, Tulsa makes for a great crime scene, and Taylor successfully carried out his first witch assassination under a pile of rocks at Chandler Park. Since then, the witch has turned up all over town and even managed to upset the Golden Driller, who mercilessly crushed her with his iconic foot. Although that photo is Taylor’s favorite, there’s another shoot that stands out in his memory.
“Having some old ladies really stare me down in Woodward Park as I was pushing on her legs under the water to ‘drown’ her was classic,” he says. “I’m surprised I didn’t get the cops called on me for attempted murder.”
Despite experiencing such tender moments as these, Taylor is not sure how much longer the killing spree can go on.
“There are really only so many ways to kill the witch,” he says.