"If Friends Were Flowers...", 2010
pencil, ink, marker, scratch lottery tickets, glitter, candy wrappers on graph paper, 20" x 17"
Works reinterpret idyllic scenes from popular stories, television, and advertising. In mainstream America, concepts such as joy, discovery and exhilaration are coopted by marketing strategies. Experience becomes imprisoned by products, stereotypes and labels. Some children are marked so indelibly, they cannot venture forth without donning their favorite logo and prefabricated identity. Brands become both filter and lens for one’s point of view. This propagates a mesmerizing cycle of fashion and consumption and an artificial sense of progress. My drawings infiltrate this cycle and attempt to excise experience from commercial shackles. Unlike protagonists in many ads, my figures confront geopolitical realities where pastoral landscapes are tainted by the presence of hovering drones, landmines, poison ivy, and litter. By combining serene imagery with 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 exploration of authentic joy through experience, where figures shed their brands and viewers can shed their filters.