|Section 2 Exercise 3 Bruno Perillo
This painting by artist Bruno Perillo, is called “Secretly hoping for Plan C.”
The figure depicted in the painting is holding a packet of contraceptives, called “Plan B.” “Plan B” is the name given to an emergency contraceptive kit, otherwise known as the ‘morning-after' pill. The clinical correlate provides detailed information about the science and medicine of emergency contraception. Clinical correlate 4: Emergency Contraception
Permission given Irvine Gallery, Washington DC
What do you think is going on in this painting? Make up a story about the painting, using your observations to support what you say.
When you are done, read the following commentary. This commentary is what a Washington Post art critic has to say about Bruno Perillo's painting. After reading it, answer the questions below.
"In “Secretly hoping for Plan C,” Perillo again paints himself, this time sitting in an armchair in a position not unlike that of “The Thinker.” Yet unlike Rodin's famous figure, who meditates on issues of salvation and damnation, here Perillo's somewhat androgynous subject holds a package of contraceptive pills, and a worried expression. Further destabilizing our expectations is the feminine blouse worn by the apparently male figure, who stymies our attempts to read an easy narrative into the image."
Michael O'Sullivan Washington Post Friday, Sept. 17, 2004
1. What might be the point of a painting that 'destabilizes our expectations' and ‘stymies our attempts to read an easy narrative'?
2. If helpful, reflect on your reactions as you wrote your own story about the painting—was it fun? Frustrating? Did it force you to pay attention?
3. Now think about the science you are studying. If art ‘destabilizes' and ‘stymies,' what does science do? Refer back to Gewanter's poem that contrasts the poet and the scientific investigator.
4. What about the relationship with the patient? Which is more relevant to understanding a patient: the kind of thinking involved in looking at a painting like Bruno Perillo's, or the scientific thought process such as that represented by the language of the medical history? Remember that there is no right answer.