Model Turned Comedian

Heather Guertin


Book, 19.2 x 12.8 cm, 71 p, language: English, publisher: Portland, Oregon: Publication Studio/Social Malpractice Publishing, ISBN: 978-1-62462-010-2.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2025/569).

Literary synopsis

This comical work of fiction traces a story from the first-person perspective of a young woman working as a "model" in Los Angeles. Over a period of several years, she transitions into a career stand-up comic who achieves a considerable amount of success while alienating many of those around her. Along this path she discovers three types of love and almost kicks David Letterman in the face. Guertin draws comparisons between the struggles of a present day Pierrot with that of a contemporary artist.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

Heather Guertin is a painter, writer and stand-up comedian. She works within these distinct genres but allows her ideas to move between them so one medium informs the other. Her novella was inspired by her writings for stand-up, expanding lines and passages into full-length fiction. Her comedy, in turn, makes use of her paintings when she uses them to address her own real life as a painter. The paintings have structural affinities with comedy, where the risk of quickly articulating a figure into wet paint is not unlike a comic finding the right timing on stage.

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