I simultaneously celebrate and critique the fabricated happiness pervasive in our society, while drawing relationships between the everyday mundane, consumerism, sexuality and religion.
Growing up in Midwest suburbia, I have become both obsessed and repulsed by the superficial realism of our consumer driven and self seeking culture that encompasses my daily routine. I reside in Nebraska whose state slogan is: 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.
I currently work at a grocery store deli and have been collecting products and materials, scanning large resolution images of meat, sneaking photographs during my shifts and recording videos with my iPhone. The motto of the particular grocery store I work at is, "A helpful smile in every aisle", which fuels my ongoing interest in fabricated or artificial happiness. Recently I received a record low secret shopper score, a 31 out of 100, because I did not smile during a particular encounter with a customer.
Since then I have taken note (while maintaining a smile) how almost every small talk conversation with the customer begins with the words:
“Hi, how are you?” and the response is always, “I’m good, how are you?”
“I’m doing good.” (and repeat)
This repetitive back and forth conversation is the starting point for my newest body of work. I’m interested in digging beneath the surface of idealism and questioning the facades of consumeristic superficiality within religion, sexuality and the every day.
I utilize print and digital media as a means to investigate the tension between consumer and viewer, performer and employee, artist and gallery.