To Be Young
Toys serve both as evocative reminders of childhood and a reflection of the culture that created them. It is my intent with these works, utilizing the medium of paint to construct narratives that reflects the culture in which I live. I situated these vignettes in a world of childish imagination steeped in Americana.
Additionally, toys function as projections of children, allowing them to explore their world and surroundings. In this way toys act as agents of the imagination. Similarly, in this body of work, I employed toys like actors in my narratives, selecting the particular toy best suited for the story. I selected toys from my own childhood as well as toys that evoked a simpler time in our national consciousness, the 1950s. By placing these characters into conflict with their surroundings I intended to create a mood of anxiety. I emphasized this through lurid red and green lights and chiaroscuro underlighting often employed in the horror movie genre.
I saw these works as a metaphor, both personal and national, for embracing change. Themes of adolescence, nostalgia, and ambiguity characterize the mood of the narratives. Much like toys, I look back at these works now my own way of visually exploring my world and surroundings.