As a child I recall sitting down for breakfast and staring at the idealized image printed on the cereal box, in relation to the soggy bowl of reality in front of me. At an early age I was fascinated with the disconnect between desire and fulfillment in advertising. The divide between a presented image and reality never seemed to align.
Through print media, creative writing, video, and installation, I explore the tension between the outer surface of an idealistic image and the inner reality of one’s identity. My work celebrates and critiques the fabricated happiness and comfort pervasive in our society while questioning the constructed ideals prevalent within American contemporary culture. In an attempt to search for substance amidst the artificial my work draws parallels between consumerism, everyday rituals, sexuality and religion.
For the past few years, I have resided in Nebraska whose state slogan recently changed from The Good life to Visit Nebraska, Visit Nice. My environment consists of beer, sports, lazy boy chairs, faith, family and friends. Although this is all “nice” it makes me question if there is genuine substance beneath the surface. What makes a good life?
Do we desire more?
I intentionally maintain minimum wage jobs as a means to fuel my art, both financially and conceptually. In doing so, I utilize various means to investigate the tension between consumer and viewer, performer and employee, artist and gallery. I continuously walk the fine line between detached observer and active participant.
I view these ordinary jobs as an extension of my studio, as well as a tool to bridge the gap between artists and non-artists alike through experimental means. By engaging the viewer’s senses, I investigate the physical surface and psychological depth of consumer products in relation to the mind and body. By reverting back to a childlike innocence of carefree happiness, I immerse myself in our culture. While searching for contentment and fulfillment in this broken world, I am left empty and stained as I reflect upon the unsubstantial value of an “idealistic” image.
As I carefully reveal and conceal the transitional space between surface and texture, image and reality, I aim to reflect upon my own identity from childhood to adulthood while searching for substance amidst the temporary. This quest for sustenance reflects my daily routine of a continuous attempt to browse for, construct meaning
and consume real satisfaction. By removing these generic products
off the shelves and displaying them in absurd and humorous ways,
I investigate beneath the surface of idealism by questioning what it means to be real, to be human.