Throughout my childhood a college education, full-time employment, and homeownership were heralded as passageways into the middle class and the perceived economic stability this title suggests. Yet, the protections that once safeguarded the American middle class have been eroded by decades of neoliberal economic policy. Even though these historical modes of acquiring and sustaining class status no longer exist, the idea of the American Dream persists in the national imagination and I am fascinated by this shift.
My practice attempts to understand this incongruence by exploring how education, class, economics and labor inform one’s world view. I am deeply interested in how structural systems of power influence individuals and how people self-impose these ideas and behaviors in daily life.
My materials wander and I find pleasure in experimenting with media. My recent work uses pattern and color to share narratives of the Dream. To create the patterns, I often begin by scanning drawings, cut paper and other forms of mark making. These images, in combination with digital renderings, compose the patterns. I use the same graphics applications commonly associated with marketing and design but rather than selling a consumer upon a particular campaign, I explore money, “getting ahead” and prosperity in the post-recession landscape. This work explores an uneasiness with the traditional economic benchmarks of adulthood and uncertainty about how to move forward in a world that refuses to play by once expected rules. The patterns become visual manifestations of systemic problems, weaving environments of desperation and visual nonsense striving for order.