E. Sherman Hayman

Mixed Media

WHEEL, DEAL, STEAL, THEN SPIN is a series of ten small – and one very large – narrative mixed media pieces – all with a specific political bent.

Employing a combination of painting, drawing, and collaged elements – images from old engravings and early 20thc. photographs – each of the ten wooden panels satirizes rant-worthy political maneuvers.

The techniques used on the panels reference the art of Victorian photo-collage: a 19th c. pastime of upper and middle class women who used the ubiquitous photo “cartes de visite”, enhanced with watercolors, to create family albums that were funny, surreal, and sometimes disturbing.

The panels contain text as an additional visual element – drawn ‘speech bubbles’, printed copy in highly manipulated fonts, and incised lettering – to incorporate statistics, poetry, quotations, and research material, inviting the viewer to peruse the words as well as the images.

Taking an historical perspective, which also illuminates the contemporary landscape, the panels focus on:
    • Early efforts to pass child labor laws (Les Enfants Terribles)
    • Little-known facts about the founding of our nation (Did Ya’
and Did Ya’ Also Know?)
    • Intere$ting view$ on clas$$, money, and power (Nabobery)
    • Misinformation and manipulation (A Tea Party)
    • Avoidance and disregard of early warnings about pollution,
    smoking, terrorism, and other woes (Connecting the Dots)
    • Elections, taxation, and government-corporate bonding (Nothing
    But The Truth
    • The democratic process, Congress, and politicians (As The
    World Turns
    • The Supreme Court (JurisIMprudence)
    • Government-sponsored unethical medical experiments

The eleventh mixed media work – L’Amere-EEK! – is the centerpiece of the series, and transforms our Stars and Stripes into an iconic flag whose stripes unravel and twist, as well as incorporate more political content in the form of historical quotations and factoids.

The WHEEL, DEAL series developed as a result of observing the current situation of vicious-circle politics, whereby present polarization has paralyzed Washington, engendering hatred and mistrust. This tends to eliminate moderates, embolden extremists and encourage even more hatred and mistrust of government. Where do we go from here?


This series of mixed-media pieces on wood panels displays a selection of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and sea creatures, all presented in somewhat formal portraits that play off the silhouette genre of drawing.

These 20 representatives of the animal kingdom were chosen not only because their mating habits were so intrinsically fascinating, but also because, in so many cases, their behavior highlights our own.

Rather than try to illustrate the behavior itself, each critter is offered as
iconic portrait – elegantly ‘framed’ with a plaque showing latin name and a bit of explanatory text.

Each depiction is rendered by peeling up layers of 4-ply ragboard to reveal a nearly solid black shape, then a few subtle lines are used to help delineate the image. The ‘frame’ is drawn and manipulated ragboard, sometimes with faint imagery that references the animal depicted, such as Kuba cloth patterns from the Congo for the bonobo.

Courtship behavior may encompass symbolic gesture, dance or vocal performance, trickery, or assault. Most males will fight one another for dominance and the right to mate, but it’s usually a ‘gentleman’s duel’, not a fight to the death. Even rattlesnakes will do a ‘combat dance’ rather than use their venom.

Three competing instincts – to flee, to fight, to mate – may be in play. For males, promiscuity pays, especially in species where the female is capable of raising the young on her own. Males are liberal with their sperm, and females are captive to the offspring. For the female, it pays to pick the fittest partner, whether for food, defense, or help raising the young.

97% of all mammals are polygamous. In about 5%, males tend to stay closer to home to help raise the young. 90% of bird species are monogamous, at least seasonally.
About 78% of human societies are polygamous.

The most peaceful society, the most efficient, and the most cooperative – is the honeybee hive, which is populated almost exclusively by females (the queen and the workers). The male drones are allowed a ‘nuptial flight’ in the spring, then they’re cast out.

Archived Work

The LATE Series
…death – The undiscover’d country, from whose bourne No traveler returns…
–Shakespeare (Hamlet)

LATE is a group of small carved wood sculptures of caskets. Highly painted and decorated, some are closed, some open to reveal more symbolic imagery. Each of the 30 caskets commemorates a favorite illustrious person from the past – artists, inventors, renegades………

LATE is the first series in THE FINAL FRONTIER – the overall title of a collection of series investigating, in a visually acute and sometimes humorous manner, mortality.

Throughout history death has inspired different beliefs in different cultures: AN END. A RELEASE. A PROCESS. A JOURNEY. A TRANSFORMATION.

Nevertheless, people today, especially in Western nations, are out of touch with the process of death and dying. Indeed, death in the 20th and 21st centuries is treated much as sex was in the 19th century – avoided in speech or spoken of in euphemisms, hidden, codified, and protected with rituals and taboos.


The MARK series, mixed media works on rag paper, explores issues of identity – images treated theatrically yet with a strong base of hypothetical reality.

Using images of the same face, photographed with blank expression, I have cloaked the subject’s individuality and transformed him by ‘redecorating’ his attire, his hair, and the background.

As he metamorphoses from eleventh-century knight to American cowpoke to fifteenth-century lady-in-waiting, his very singularity disappears. And he becomes…. whatever he is wearing. IDENTITY :::::::: fluid, interactive, negotiable, ethereal.

How important is outward appearance? Virtually all of our perceptions regarding others are first formed via visual cues. And of course in recent years, the whole concept of “profiling” is of immense consequence.

These invented ‘portraits’ are created by overlaying various media (oil pastels, crayon, colored pencil) on top of a stark, stripped-down photograph ink-jet printed on heavy rag paper, then scratching through the surface to get unusual textures and color effects. The only part of the paper left untouched is the essence of facial structure.

Just as photographer Cindy Sherman (no relation) and painter Karen Kilimnik create a multitude of exotic universes by transforming themselves with costumes, props, and settings, so do the MARK pieces convey the countless possibilities found within all of us.

There are a total of 17 pieces in this series.

Contact Information

Philadelphia, PA
e-mail: mursherm@verizon.net
Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.


Hollins College (Hollins University), Hollins, VA

Private instruction, Paris, France

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelpha, PA


Lake Eustis Museum of Art, Eustis, FL

The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA

Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

Progress Bank Corporate Headquarters, Huntsville, AL

E. I. DuPont de Nemours Corp, Wilmington, DE

CIGNA, New York & Wilmington

The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA

Selected Exhibitions


Thanatos to Eros, Lake Eustis Museum of Art, Eustis, FL

2010 – 2011
Allegories and Allegiances, James Oliver Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Rosenfled Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Main Line Unitarian Gallery, Wayne, PA

Arlington Arts Center, Arlington, VA

Abington Art Center, Abington, PA

Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE

Esther M. Klein Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA

Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Franz Bader Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Rosenfeld Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Rosenfeld Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Rosenfeld Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Suzanne Gross Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Muse Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Muse Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

Muse Gallery, Philadelphia, PA


Who We Are, Past and Present, Peninsula Fine Arts Association, Newport News, Virginia

Little Treasures – Big Rewards, Projects Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

A Book About Death, Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery, New York, NY

Agnes Scott College, Decatur, GA

Across & Between, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Juried Exhibition

New Work by Past Artists, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Functional Forms, Projects Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Myth, Magic & Meaning, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA
Juried Exhibition

The Philadelphia Foundation Exhibition, presented by The Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Barbara Wallace

Drawing Conclusions, Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD
Juried Exhibition

Small Works, Attleboro Museum, Attleboro, MA
Juried Exhibition

15 Exposures, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Alumni, USArtists, Philadelphia, PA

Works on Paper, Arcadia University, Glenside, PA
Juried Exhibition

Art Works / Water Works, The Shops at Liberty Place, Philadelphia, PA
Fairmount Park Commission Invitational

Art of the State, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
Juried Exhibition

Multiples, The Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Juried Exhibition

Patricia C. Phillips studio visit, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE
Brochure with essay
Juried Exhibition

Window installation, The Artfront Partnership, Philadelphia, PA

Works on Paper Biennial, Abington Art Center, Abington, PA

Just Jazz, Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Art of the State, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA
Juried Exhibition
Third prize

Color Now, The Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Juried Exhibition

Works by Women Artists, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

Secret Views, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

Art Furniture – Furniture Art, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE

Small Works, Rosenfeld Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Fragments Assembled, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

Ten Philadelphia Artists, Villanova University, Villanova, PA



Images copyright © E. Sherman Hayman

Copyright © 2000–2016InLiquid.org