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Classification: Painting

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Image of Man on a Scooter

Mose Tolliver (aka MoseT)
American, (active about 1920–2006)

Man on a Scooter

1981

Object Type: Painting
Creation Place: North America, American, Alabama
Dimensions:
30 in. x 22 1/16 in. x 1/8 in. (76.2 cm x 56.04 cm x 0.32 cm)
Medium and Support: Oil and acrylic on fiberboard
Accession Number: 1982.0009

Credit Line: Gift of Annie Laurie Gunter


"Man on a Scooter" is one of Mose Tolliver's more complicated images. The composition of the work is typical of Tolliver's paintings with its centrally placed figure and plain background. However, the motif of a man, rather than a woman, on a scooter is unusual for Tolliver because of the scooter's sexual connotations in his other works. The object balanced on the man's head has a phallic quality and mirrors the shape of the scooter below, but in combination with the other objects the figure is holding, suggests a departure from Tolliver's previous "jick-jack" imagery.The flower-like and circular objects in the figure's hands also give it an emblematic quality suggesting that it represents a figure from Tolliver's personal mythology rather than one of his humorous or everyday "types".

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