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Friday, January 15, 2021

Local artist to stare at Ted Cruz's mouth for two hours

A man will stare into the depths of a politician’s mouth today. 

Writer, musician and artist Tom Miller will stare into a large print of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s mouth from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hardback Cafe today, according to a press release. 

“I’ve been obsessed with Ted Cruz’s mouth for some time now,” Miller said. “It’s perplexing to me.”

At 10 p.m., he will unveil “Ted Cruz’s Mouth,” a $200 acrylic painting that Miller said he created to figure out why Cruz’s mouth turns downward when he smiles. Miller said his show is meant to engage, entertain and challenge people. 

“The lines between reality and TV reality are blurred,” he said. “We need to take these two hours to really think.”

The performance is part of his ArtWalk Gainesville exhibition, “Tom Miller’s Political Animals,” which includes paintings from his “Eating Animals” series. The works depict an image of animals eating each other, but with the decency to at least use silverware, according to the release. In his mind, the animals represent the way people currently participate in politics. 

Hardback Cafe owner Alan Bushnell said he asked Miller to perform after years of friendship. Bushnell said he hopes today encourages other artists to attend the next ArtWalk.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the complete set of work,” he said. “I really don’t know what to expect.”

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