I am looking at the underlying violent and self-loathing nature of the American social psychology by asking the viewer to see what they already see everyday recontextualized through the materials I use and the juxtapositions I present. I am questioning our own complicity in this respect, but not as an act of shame but as an act of self-empowerment. I believe that the sole project of art today is to live squarely within the realm of human emotions; art must allow us the opportunity to heal. This process is not easy and it is often painful, and it must include our own demons, our own complicity, our own failings; we cannot merely sit in judgement of others. I am asking us all to be more vulnerable, and in so doing experience our full range of emotions, because when we do, we would naturally, innately and unanimously reject and seek to improve the near total psychological failure of American society in which we find ourselves.
In my current hand-embroidered work I juxtapose similar bodily gestures as seen in groups of people during and after mass shootings with people crossing the US-Mexico border. I am presenting the similarity of the physical gestures of their pain and suffering. I am pointing to an underlying cultural truth of violence. I am seeking to bring this underlying cultural ethos to the front painstakingly for us to see and taste and feel, and not simply click away from as we do day after day, month after month, year after year. I get all of my images exclusively online from the endless news media bombarding us 24/7. My singular purpose is to honestly express this period in American history in its most exposed, violent and failed psychological state without irony, cynicism or any particular added level of intellectual depth or conceptual apparatus. I want us to stop and truly see it for what it is in a uniquely painful and honest manner, as only art can allow us to do.
I choose to work very specifically from Texas because Texas is the culmination point of all the extremes of American society. Nothing about Texas is glossed over or dressed up. We don't have the glitz of Hollywood or the gravitas of NY. Texas is where the brutal truth of Americanism is fully exposed, the last stop on the proverbial American road trip. Texas is always the final and darkest frontier of a deeply conflicted, often hypocritical, often racist and xenophobic, often self-loathing and fundamentally violent American social psychology and yet presents a strange sense of brutal optimism and potential, a sense that you will be left alone here, but the eerie sense that this may also not be what you want. I am looking at this complex and often difficult mythology head on.