Mo presents a number of Colleran's most characteristic modalities, each serving in its way to balance out and complete the work of the next. Evident enough are elements of absurdity, plangency, recrimination and shame, all of which have been brought to bear in a technical tour de force upon the solitary figure of singular discomfiture peering without eyes from the morass of a brown backdrop, and from beneath a title that relates with its limping scrawl a sort of complimentary commentary on the dyslexic turpitude and medicated pique native to the grunge landscape.
One of the more poignant pieces of his defacement series, "The Gentleman" is a fine example of the fundamentally comic proclivities informing much of Colleran's work as a cultural commentator. Employing the muddy citrus colors that he reserves in the main for moments of anguish and for the tortured dereglèment that follows loss, the background here - a thick lattice of troubled yellow, punctuated by a flurry of black dashes - envelops the turgid victorian figure that is its victim in a sweeping arabesque of compositional misrule, verging, in its effect, upon a pungent bathos: upon that special kind of cosmic raillery that one can generally find only in Molière and Satie and a place or two else.
With a gesture, Colleran reduces the high drama of the man caught up amid the raptures of intellectual assertion and philosophic insight, to a shambles of dream-speech. It's a page from Davinci's notebook, but one that seeks to murder the truth it purports. It approaches his comic mode, and also his recrimination mode, but stops just short of both, preferring to let the message burn all the more poignantly through tacit understatement. By such methods he reveals much of his special vantage as an artist - the vantage of a man so entirely underwhelmed by the cheap offerings of canon and credo that his only meaningful response to that way of thinking can be the nonsense of which all such flat Reason truly consists. Alfred Jarry would've looked upon such an image as a companion piece to his work.