has evolved from an early interest in Pop Art and icons of American pop
culture expressed through popular imagery and cultural artifacts. I explore
visual symbol for what it represents both literally and metaphorically.
I am fascinated with the psychological disavowal that
is required to live with and accept the pervasive cultural narratives
of childhood, power, and gender. Simultaneous acceptance of contradicting
information is rooted in these narratives. Childhood, as a concept, is
a place charged with fantasies of freedom and innocents. It is addressed
in my work by appropriating familiar imagery and reconstructing it on
an image surface in a self-reflexive and highly material approach. Through
techniques of layering and erasing of visual elements and texts, I present
conflicting ideas and develop a trace of my psychological process. In
reworking the surface, each layer brings me further into the dialectics
of the issues being addressed.
Toys and children's books become objects of ritual when in a culture like
ours they are imbued with conscious and unconscious meaning. The various
meanings are based in cultural constructs of gender and power. To illustrate
the construction of childhood imagery, larger-than-life ceramic sculptures
of iconic toys and books demonstrate a banality that comes from being
oversized and heavy while also fragile; mimicking the duality in childhood
I use humor to juxtapose the underlying presence and psychological consequence
of the menacing cultural narratives intrinsic in children's toys and books.
Power is trivialized and becomes symbolically accessible in stylized toys
such as guns, jet planes, and rocket cars where the violence is hidden
under their glazed surfaces.
Fantasies of power are closely linked to gender identities. Gender identities
that are formed in childhood depend greatly on visual representation in
media images and toys. The toys that seem to reflect the innocence and
freedom of childhood are embedded with weighty social contracts dictating
gender identities. I incorporate images of toys and children performing
gender roles in combination with ghost images into my investigations of
American pop culture and its fantasies to show the disparity between our
idealized fantasies and our physical based realities.
here to return to exhibition photos.