This series was inspired from the authoritarianism found in our every day life. From combative strong-armed tactics, either psychological or physical, we continue on a road of deception and destruction. Who hasn't had a run-in with a cop at some point of their lives? Was it a pleasant experience, probably not. This male dominated field of aggressive behavior has got to come to a close. Racism runs prevalent in our society, as well as in our world. Everyone is at risk, no one is safe, whatever happened to civil justice? I created this series due to the fact that we need to change this prehistoric plague in our society. We need to think more about how we coexist within a world of understanding and how we need one another more than ever.
The practice of religion and environmentalism seemed to be confused in our culture. The animal kingdom has more to offer humans than visa versa. Why do we live in a separate world from the other beings? Again, the threat of harmful treatment to both animals and other groups of people continues to fester. Religion, oh my, what can I possibly say about the restrictions that these institutions place on the individual. Male dominated, scorning the female presence within the church--these despicable practices have perpetrated more harm to women than can be fully realized. I burn the wood to symbolize the indelible impact this behavior is having on our world and how these timeless artworks speak to the past as much as they speak to the future.
This series pertains to the world of security as related to young adults who are entering the job market. Employment in the US within the security sector is 33% of the economy. This includes careers in the military, law enforcement, security fields, IT professionals, etc. This is an area of growth in our country with no end in sight. My sense is that we are moving in a direction of overprotection and that the employment market will continue to push people into these job areas. The rush for employment in security related jobs is weakening the perspective of creativity and change. Conformity due to constraints in these particular fields is harming the next generation. I use symbolism from the Nazi era to subliminally suggest the revival of nationalistic values that persist in our current political climate. I’ve used the most disliked color “puke green” as a background to dispel the notion that color should be sacred.
SERIES HELLO KITTY
This series is committed to the notion that men are responsible for some of the most heinous crimes in our society. Violence is pervasive and now considered a normal activity that blends in to our every day life. Life as we know it has overflowed with this compunction to treat women as victims and hostile targets. The over production and endless supply of pharmaceuticals is creating a numb and soulless culture. The careless prescribing of mind-altering drugs is eroding the fabric of our current society. Our resistance to humanely treat psychologically unstable people fuels the endless drama of unending rage towards one another. I’ve used the second most disliked color “hot pink” as a background to create an absurd sense of friendliness as related to children’s marketing techniques.
This series strikes at the very heart of our human fragility and our brief time on this earth. The collage of both the weather and the obituary notice exemplifies the temporal quality of our daily lives. These images were serendipitously “discovered” by reading the newspaper and having the sun shine through the paper to reveal the weather on one side and the obituary on the other side, to activate the collage present in these artworks. Ben-Day dots personify the newspaper death of the individual as well as the death of the very newspaper industry itself. The sense of loss when mourning a loved one needs to be realized through a final choice of a representative picture for the obituary listing. To quote Roland Barthes, “Photography is a kind of primitive theater, a kind of Tableau Vivant, a figuration of the motionless and made-up face beneath which we see the dead.”
During the Gulf War with Iraq in 1991, I decided to “reuse” certain images from the front page of the New York Times that described the world view of that five week conflict in my IRAQ series. I used three colors to portray the broadcast of “yellow” journalism or “yellow” as in urine, and the “red” bloodied landscape and the “black” future of Iraq. I was upset by the mechanized approach the US government took with aerial and naval bombardment in Kuwait as well as the use of depleted uranium in tank missiles in Iraq. This war represented a break from conventional ground wars with the dropping of 88,500 tons of bombs on enemy territory. This was a war based on control of oil. Ironically, over 11,000,000 barrels of oil were spilled into the Persian Gulf due to aerial bombardment of the Kuwaiti oil refineries and oil tankers.
This series addresses the flawed notion of obtaining wealth through despicable means as well as producing a society based on senseless political agendas. I wrote the following poem to describe the sense of propaganda inherent in our society, SUCH SCENIC WHITE LIES INVENT MELEE UNSEEN VICTIMS WHINE WITHIN. This poem is physically cut into the books through the use of a scroll saw and displayed in a shadow box. The books range from subjects of how to become a millionaire to conservative, anti-liberal critiques of our society. This series also speaks to the ownership of consumable goods and the consequences of its desecration. Books are considered a revered good and the destruction of such a product is frowned upon by most people. I choose this technique to highlight the singular word and to literally remove it or negate it from its normal context.
This series focuses on human inadequacies in respect to world dominance. The images pertain to the destruction and misuse of animals, the conflict and formalized relocation of Native Americans and it’s devastating effect on their culture, the perversion of African intervention as it’s disregard of indigenous lifestyles, the barbaric punishment of execution by electrocution still used in four US states, and the outrageous continuance of air pollution and the current warming of the Earth’s climate system. These issues have been ongoing for quite a long time and I chose to use older archived images from the Oakland, California library to emphasize these atrocities. This series depicts a world out of control and uses images repeatedly to emphasize the disrespect of humans to the animal kingdom, foreign cultures, and the world environment.
This installation piece is dedicated to Howard Zinn, the author of A People's History of the United States. This book describes a completely different history of the US than what I learned in school. He was an American who told the truth; albeit, a personal curriculum that he created while being a professor. It spells out a new interpretation of the history of the United States instead of a fabricated sense of political correctness. In the art piece, the old history book is completely redacted with black permanent ink to symbolize the fallacy of teaching young people about what it means to think historically. Two fans blow a single page to portray a seemingly stagnation of time and space.