America Selfie is a portrait of America now, a contemporary psychosexual take on history painting that uses current events, American history, national symbols, and contemporary and art historical imagery to explore and develop a portrait of America.
America Selfie makes reference to various artists’ interpretations of the Rape of the Sabine Women as a unifying element. Freedom, the bronze sculpture that crowns the US Capitol, is animated as the female protagonist, who battles multiple fronts of sexual and racial domination. Freedom raises her sword against KKK-white Commander Vaginasteria, who threatens her with his speculum-shaped hand and lassos her with his American-flag-penis, as his army advances with transvaginal probes — taking surveillance to a whole new level! A Greek chorus of women, eyes-wide-open with pink pussy hats, refer to various figures in Picasso’s Rape and Guernica and dramatize the plight of Freedom, as the golden Trump-inspired banana-republic-dictator figure attempts to ravish her à la Giambologna’s sculpture Rape of the Sabine. Enhancing the portent of these images is a background pattern of vivid pink, red, and orange camouflage, representing the pervasive American military-industrial complex.
As in most of my work, America Selfie addresses the nature of figurative painting, by using personal, social, and political topics as subject matter. My intent is to immerse the figure into what are often considered politically charged topics — the events, issues, and common stories of our time — to create a truly current and vital figural painting.
I use current events to create figurative work much as Renaissance, Baroque, or Rococo painters used well-known mythology and Bible stories, often in contemporary settings and costumes, to engage their audiences. My aim is to create figural painting that resonates with people who may not ordinarily follow art, while offering serious consideration of the nature of drawing and painting to those who follow art assiduously.