Who paints empty cans of SPAM?

Maybe in 500 years, an art historian will be discussing the importance of Turkey SPAM and its history in American culture to his class of 100 undergrad students.

WORD PIX BY MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD INTERVIEW WITH SHAWN A HUCKINS 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 04

Shawn A Huckins likes painting words. Most of his pictures contain them. “Words fascinate me,” he says. “They are a code that makes communication possible.”

Shawn painted this issue’s cover image, which he titled Tuesday.

“The word SPAM caught my interest,” he says. “It’s clear, with the yellow lettering and the dark blue background, that this product is SPAM, well, Turkey SPAM in this case.”

But is this art? Shawn can see the comical side of it. “Who paints empty cans of SPAM? People look for a pretty sunset or mountain peaks with the fog rolling around them.

“But who can appreciate an empty can of Turkey SPAM laying back down, lid open, on my kitchen table?”

The way Shawn sees it, art history is all about record-keeping. “We look back to …

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