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For some time I have been interested in Americana, consumerism, and the plastic veneer that we use to gloss over the surface of things to protect as well as enhance appearance.
My most recent subject matter, toy guns, is more apparently subversive than my past work. As an artist and a consumer, I am drawn to the bright colors and thrilling packaging. I try to make these objects appealing and strong, so that the viewer is as absorbed by the formal beauty of the objects as I am. I have as much connection to the shiny translucent plastic as I do to the childhood nostalgia that they evoke. But I have to ask myself if this is glorifying violence and what lessons are learned from gun play (not gunplay). Does this childhood toy gun fun introduce us to a tolerance of violent language and behavior as adults? Or is it just harmless fun? Names like “Trigger Happy”, “Friendly Fire”, and “Gunplay” diminish the violence of the act that they are meant to describe, making these ideas more palatable.
It is impossible to ignore the current media battle between unbridled gun culture and control. Marketing lulls us into states of unquestioning acceptance of gun culture and marketing as truth. I hope to engage viewers to question with me, and explore their own relationships with guns and gun culture and how they relate to play.
I grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA. I received my BFA from
Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA and my MFA from Syracuse
University in Syracuse, NY, both degrees in Painting. I have been an instructor and now Assistant Professor of Practice at Texas Tech University for 22 years. I am currently represented by Anya Tish Gallery in Houston, Cris Worley Fine Arts in Dallas, and at Charles Adams Gallery in Lubbock. I have been a Hunting Prize finalist 4 times, have had my work included in New American Painting, the Texas Biennial, several art fairs and museum exhibitions, and many solo and group shows in 12 states.
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