Art Criticism: What Does A Sinus Headache Look Like?

Today, we are confronted with a painting submitted by long time Blurt reader, Hippie Cahier. Ever vigilant, The Hipster shot a picture of this abstract painting that is in her office and sent it over to me for analysis. We don’t know who painted it.

It has taken me some time to digest this work. I believe it is time well spent, but then again, I’m not going to go out of my way to admit that I waste time. I do, but you’ll never hear me admit it.

Now, let’s examine this work of art.


Welcome, Pollen

This painting depicts what a sinus headache feels like.

Affected by his allergy to pollen, the gentleman in the painting has succumbed to the “my head feels like it could explode” sensation that so many of us know well. What remains visible of his disproportionately large head are the very parts that did him in, the sinus region.

It is interesting to note that while most of the non-sinus parts of the head are gone, the mouth remains intact, yet skewed.

The skewed mouth is significant. While artists give their subjects a voice through their portrayals, this artist wants to allow his subject to speak for himself. Because the man in the painting exists for most of us only in the painting, it is up to you and I to suppose what words would escape his off-center mouth.


Our pollen headed friend stands on a porch overlooking the green swamp that likely produced the allergens that affect him.

The message here is clear. Help yourself when you can. If you have a pollen allergy, do not stand on the porch. If you are thirsty, drink.

We all have roles in our own well-being. The artist urges us, figuratively, to get inside and get out of the pollen. His brush screams to us: “be part of your own solution, go inside, or whatever, ok?”

The Subconscious Moves Into The Conscious

This view of the head allows us to see what was on this man’s mind despite his splitting headache. We simply must look into the black bar where his forehead would usually be.

To the far left of the black bar we see a peering eye. Perhaps he felt like he was being watched and was uncomfortable with that.

Toward the center, we see what I would describe as a spectrum of gray to black. This tells me our sinus headache sufferer was a free-thinker. He did not see things as black and white issues. They are, rather, shades of gray.

On the far right, we see a female robot. What sort of mind thinks the gender of a robot matters? Is this robot more or less qualified than her male counterpart? Does she deserve equal compensation for doing the same tasks male robots do? Of course she does, and if the gentleman in this painting thinks otherwise I think he deserves a sinus headache.

Thank you to Hippie for bringing us all this work of art.

Here’s hoping that all who suffer and sneeze in this spring season get through with minimal discomfort.


35 Comments on “Art Criticism: What Does A Sinus Headache Look Like?”

  1. Laura says:

    His jacket seems to be made of the same mossy substance that’s causing his allergies. Probably a bad decision on his part.

  2. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    I get sinus headaches… they totally don’t look like this, but to each his own. I should try to paint one some time.

    I’d maybe have a finger poking an eyeball and a bucket full of nails… with maybe a nose in a vice…

  3. Is it wrong that I really dig this artwork? And does it make a difference that I haven’t slept in three days?

  4. There’s that, but I really love that painting!!

  5. robincoyle says:

    Great timing for me on this post because my head feels like it is in a vice today. I have a love/hate relationship with spring. Love the warm weather and beautiful flowers . . . hate the pollen.

  6. Funny, I popped my Advil Sinus not 30 minutes ago in preparation for a run that would surely end up with me looking JUST LIKE this guy only with long curly lashes, lip gloss and wearing a cute tank top.

  7. Todd Pack says:

    I had a teacher who kept saying, “You don’t judge art; art judges you,” but I’m telling you, that painting is trying way too hard to be deep.

  8. Debbie says:

    I suffer from sinus headaches. And allergies. They don’t look or feel a thing like this painting. Still, you’ve done an amazing job analyzing it, and who knows? You’re probably righter than rain (whatever that means!)

  9. AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! (I haven’t read the critique or any comments yet. It’s just that I have to see that painting every time I enter the women’s restroom at work and I am not at work today. I logged on and that picture was HUGE on my screen. I swear to you, Karma haunts me like a wild dogma.

  10. Ok, now I’ve read it. Part of Hipster Bueller’s day off was tooling around out there in Pollenville with the windows down, with Frank Sinatra taking his annual spin through my cd player. So, my response to your critique is, “I get a kick outta you.” Thanks for the laugh.

    Oh, and you can call me Hipster. I’m not really a hippie. I’m not really a Hipster, either, but I don’t really want you to call me Ray.

  11. List of X says:

    This piece of art is so powerful, that I am starting to feel allergic to the picture itself

  12. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Or, maybe it’s just a piece of crap painting. I searched long and hard for something nice to say about it. That jacket with those oddly placed wrinkles is just all wrong. I’m pretty sure that what’s coming out of the neck portion is nasal spray, so you are right on point with your critique, Oma.

  13. Stupid allergies. I think that’s what I looked like a few days ago.

  14. We Found Him Captain! says:

    Years ago I was at a party where a guy named “Horse” had some wine and some mixed drinks and later on he rolled and smoked a joint made with two parts frankincense and one part myrrh. After a while he looked like that painting, except “Horse” didn’t have that campaign ribbon hovering above his head. After a while, the room was filled with smoke and it made my eyes water. Eventually, we all saw something that looked like that guy’s head.

    It’s very nice to reminisce like this…….thanks for bringing that face back!!

  15. tsanda says:

    Those glasses are awesome. Blows my Ray Bans out of the water. Which is what I get for keeping my glasses in the water.

  16. […]  To be clear, I didn’t create it, I just took a picture of it. It was “Oma” who wrote the amusing and insightful critique of the piece, which you can (and must!) read here. […]

  17. Wendy says:

    There is something about this, be it the background or the drapery of the clothing, that reminds me of the Mona Lisa. If it had been put in a garbage disposal, then fished out by an inept plumber. And Dali and Magritte tried to fix it, but gave up and threw it in a pond and algae grew all over it. The southwestern gecko-like squiggle on the.. um, face (?) seems a bit contrived.

  18. PLEASE post more artwork .. er .. works of art .. art to be criticized .. er critiqued .. by you of course. Brilliant pieces.

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