a land derived from carnivals and candy wrappers
I am creating a land derived from carnivals and candy wrappers: a world of low-budget mysticism. It is consumable, disposable, and filled with the empty calories we crave.
Engaging in playful fashion with both American popular culture and a typically American concern with spirituality and everyday life, I create playfully irreverent hybrid works that integrate western and eastern culture.
My large scale and intricately rendered Thanka style watercolors feature scenes of dense Technicolor shrines. The images draw on western traditions of still life painting to explore misunderstandings between eastern and western cultures, with Americans seeking spiritual satisfaction from eastern religion and related practices, and eastern countries seeking to attain the material trappings associated with the United States. Populated by cheap, plastic detritus; Fanta cans, molding apple cores, incense burners and Starbucks cups all take their place under a quiet and unyielding army of ants and flies.
The result is an all American temple, a ‘do-it-yourself’ shrine, paying homage to the deeply human contradictions that pervade American culture. At once, the work explores the Western adherence to Eastern spirituality while gently debunking the distinctly American idea that one can “find oneself” in exotic lands.