My works reinterpret scenes from popular American stories, news media, and advertising. In Middle America, identity, discovery and compassion are coopted by marketing strategies. Through easily recognizable stereotypes and cultural signifiers, corporations seek to homogenize buying demographics. Many Americans adopt seductive, prefabricated identities that are created by ad agencies and imbedded in popular products. Identity becomes inexorably linked to merchandise. Some identify so strongly with ad campaigns, that they feel incomplete when unadorned by their favorite logo. Some fear to leave their homes, without the right sneakers. Brands function as both filter and lens for one’s point of view. With impeded vision, we become increasingly mesmerized by the latest fashions. Each season promises progress, but recapitulates the same cycle, with only arbitrary differences.
In this cultural landscape, sensational news cycles distract and inflame viewers. Their turnover rate prohibits ethical traction on any particular issue. Sponsors and advertisers prey on momentary passions. Compassion, fear and outrage transmute into currencies that are squandered on the latest product launch.
My drawings infiltrate this process and excise experience from commercial shackles. Advertising slogans take on new meanings in landscapes where figures confront geopolitical crises in real time. “Sooooo Juicy” takes on new meaning when worn by a corpse. My pastoral scenes feature, land mines, cluster munitions, and casualties of war. Hovering drones peer into single-family homes and subdivisions. Suburban children witness violence, which purchases their bubble of “freedom” and privilege. They encounter the horrors of mineral mines that supply their smart phones, and breathe toxic smoke from factories that produce their action figures. By combining serene imagery, advertising content and ubiquitous signs of global crises, I invite participants to contemplate relationships between the American Dream and violence, consumption and poverty. The conflagration of disparate elements generates simultaneity, where cultural contradictions coexist in one suburban backyard, at one time. This slippery place invites authentic experience, where slogans find novel meanings. Figures transform and discover new possibilities.