Chris Buzelli
January 2012
The Sardonic Smile
It was a perfect way to start the New Year—with a package from Norway with issues of a recent cover that I worked on for The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association. The cover project was about "the sardonic smile" as a medical term. Art Director, Emma Dalby is always wonderful to work with and I look forward to her simple and elegant cover designs.
I knew about the cynical/vengeful expression of a sardonic smile but I had no idea about it as a medical term. In medicine, it is defined as a smile-like facial expression induced by involuntary muscle spasms most often caused by toxins released by tetanus bacteria. However in folklore, the sardonic smile has a much more interesting past. It might have to do with the ingestion of the sardonion plant from Sardinia which cause muscle spasms, laughter and death.

The Sardonic Smile/14"x16"/oil on board

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