From Jasper Johns:
Perhaps the most striking feature of Johns' paintings from 1961-64 is his use of attached or handing household objects - kitchen utensils, cups, brooms - or artist's devices - rulers, paintbrushes, rags, small hinged canvases. These hanging objects are usually names, yet their presence remains disturbing and troublesome.
Certainly, the connections within these paintings are doubtful. The pictures suggest less and less some relationship to the outside world of the spectator, and more and more some set of relationships within their own boundaries. Barbara Rose: "Their meanings, if decipherable, lie entirely within the world creator on canvas or paper. Within this world, not the identity of the objects, but the nature of their relationship counts."
Johns himself has confirmed this view. For example, of ZONE he said. "The idea was the interaction of two areas, one encaustic, one oil." And at least obliquely, he has confirmed the critics' feelings of his desperation. LAND'S END, he said, was given that title "because I had the sense of arriving at a point where there was no place to stand." It is a point where nothing is certain anymore, where everything is "confused by thought," and where, whatever you decide about a painting, you can find the reverse within the same canvas borders.