I am looking at the underlying violent and self-loathing nature of the American social psychology and I'm doing this with a very specific approach. I am not looking for some kind of "truth" that can then be depicted, rearranged and discussed, though those things can and should be had from my work. I am very specifically asking the viewer how they live with the facts that are already present in the society we, specifically Americans, inhabit. Are we not then complicit? So, to be clear: my process for understanding the violent nature of the American psyche, a well explored concept in contemporary art, is to step away from the reconfiguring of facts into conceptual and perhaps provocative anecdotes and into a new realm, asking the viewer to simply see what they already see everyday in the news and to ask the viewer to process this anew, just as it is, re-contextualized through the materials I use and the juxtapositions I present and hopefully out of this questions and emotions arise like: How do we live with this? Why do we tolerate it? ... How do I (viewer) live with this?
You could argue that this is what photojournalists do, and you would be correct, however in photojournalism the goal is more towards capturing truthful moments while as my goal is to reconfigure them. Neither is better than the other. In fact, each have incredibly important roles to play in society. With my work, a single painting typically takes up to six months to complete, intricately embroidered, hand made, physically hanging off the wall, threads dangling, cuts present in the supporting materials etc. This kind of recontextualization along with juxtaposing totally different events creates an otherworldly experience that photojournalism does not. I do not rank fine art above photojournalism; they are just different. I believe both are incredibly important and powerful in distinct ways. I am pointing out that my work lives within a specific realm, much different, though dependent upon and deeply rooted in photojournalism. This is where I source my images!
At the end of the day my work is meant to reconfigure the truth materially, that is all, and in so doing question us more than the society we live in, to assign "blame" to us, the people who comprise society, who make the choices we make, who are therefore complicit in society's outcomes, like the horrors we view each day while scrolling through our devices. I am saying that the proverbial "invisible hand" of society is ours not a mythological or conspiratorial force out of our control. I am squarely assigning power back to the individual, and I'm doing so not as an act of shaming the viewer but as an act of self-empowerment and a sincere belief in the power of the collective.