“I’m jus’ pain covered with skin.”
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
My Beautiful America …
What has come of our utopian experiment?
Our chorus of voices?
New paintings sing old songs.
Each a wish.
A soft light
In a dark corner.
Easy on the eyes
Robust, complex, yet
Grieving, burnt and forlorn.
Dystopian American novels.
Shorn of novelty.
Shredded to bits.
Unleashing the hideous truth.
So that we
can make it right.
In The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, a bucolic American town gathers excitedly once a year to celebrate a longstanding tradition. On a blue-sky day in beautiful park, every man, woman and child waits as one name from the community is selected. The moment the “winner” is announced, everyone, including the family of the winner, picks up a rock and stones the winner to death. Why? Because that’s how it’s always been done.
Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road, is one of the truest love stories ever told between a father and son, not what one would expect from a chilling tale of a society unraveled by apocalyptic anarchy. We never really learn how things got this way, but it appears some “leaders” got a bit trigger happy with the nukes. A man walks down the road with his young boy, reduced to animals trying to find food and water while avoiding murderous, cannibalistic hoards.
Philip K Dick’s 1962 novel, The Man in the High Castle, presents America if the Axis won WWII and Nazis were in power in Washington. Hmmm.
In Chandler’s 1953 masterpiece, Fahrenheit 451, books are illegal and firemen’s jobs are to burn them all. Information is controlled by the government, delivered via large screens in people’s homes. A Pew Research Center survey published in July 2017 revealed that 58% of Republicans believe America’s universities negatively impact the state of the union. In other words, higher education is bad. I do not even understand the question; let alone the answer.
Bleak as the subject matter may be, I cannot overstate my excitement for this show. And am flattered by the galleries description of my practice:
Exhibiting in London is a bucket list item for me. YOU are invited to the Fitzrovia Gallery. Here is your formal invitation. The opening party is Sep 28th and my artist talk is Oct 3. Extra bonus that the show runs during the illustrious Frieze Art Fair. Please share with your friends in London; I will welcome them with open arms, as I shall be in town for a week, keen for adventure.
“Until you have done something for humanity, you should be ashamed to die.”
Horace Mann, American Educator