Enlarged to Show Texture is taken from the fine print printed on many consumer food products in which the image on the box is enlarged and therefore deceiving, as it’s appearance tends to be more appealing than the reality found inside.
Growing up in Midwestern 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. This work simultaneously celebrates and critiques the fabricated happiness pervasive in our society, while drawing relationships between the everyday mundane, consumerism, sexuality and religion.
As an employee at a trendy frozen yogurt store, I encounter the ongoing ritualistic tasks of middle class America. During my shifts the carefree music of Jack Johnson directs the mood on loop. Customers are greeted with happy hellos, and fluorescent painted walls of positivity. Children and parents alike, smile in tune to the comfort and immediacy of sweet treats. Among the 40 plus froyo toppings, rainbow sprinkles remain the most popular. Tempting because of their color, sweetness and childhood nostalgia, sprinkles provide instant gratification. However they are artificial, lacking both substance and nutrition.
Through sound, video and print media I examine the physical surface and psychological depth of sprinkles and household products in relation to the mind and body in a formal, minimalistic context. Although various textures are displayed, the viewer is denied the sensation of touch, left only with a desire for the real. By elevating and enlarging the generic, I question what the image points to beyond the surface of humor and absurdity- and into the texture of the sublime.
By reverting back to a childlike innocence of carefree happiness, I immerse myself in our sentimental culture while bathing in rainbow sprinkles. Simultaneously, I desire to cleanse myself from such artificiality. I continue to search for my identity as I inevitably drown myself in my own image of femininity, guilt, and self-worship within the present. While searching for contentment and fulfillment, I am left empty and stained as I reflect upon the unsubstantial value of an idealistic image. Too much sugar makes one sick.
As I become consumed by consumption, my identity is continually conflicted between the superficial façade of our culture and the desire to grasp a deeper meaning. By removing these products off the shelves and placing them into a quiet minimal space, I aim to investigate beneath the surface of the everyday by questioning what it means to be real, to be human.
“The push for earthly bliss is at the core of the American soul.”-Eric G. Wilson
Exhibited Enlarged to Show Texture at Haw Contemporary, Kansas City, MO.