Little Red Riding Hood Takes on the Music Industry, 2019
Most psychoanalysts who read the Red Riding hood tale assume that the Wolf represents a warning to young girls and their womanhood for he embodies the male sexual drive that can ensnare a young, gullible young woman. For this series I morphed the wolf into a predatory establishment: the male-dominated music industry.
On the Hunt for Talent illustrates a giant-sized wolf lurking behind a young woman. Behind the wolf, under the vinyl sheeting, you can see the images from vinyl records of bands such as ZZTop and the Rolling Stones. (Although I love the music, the lyrics can be unabashedly misogynist). She is standing on a flowered hill holding her instrument, looking into the future, unaware of the large presence looming behind her. Corporate Puppet is a moveable puppet encased in plastic, also made from vinyl records, neatly packaged to be presented and sold to the public. Her personality and individual talent is standardized and contained within the product packaging. Variety of Appearances is a cut-out template for a paper doll, one that can move between innocent/prepubescent attire and (the way many female acts reinvent themselves) promiscuous stage clothing. The Stage Cloak is a wolf-covered cloak with velvet lining. This is the female performer still in the male garb while retaining her own personality hidden close to her. Finally, in Red Riding Hood and her Ukulele, she is presented in a strong portrait of a woman coming into her own artistic integrity. The background is collaged articles and albums from independent woman artists, and the flowers bloom red behind her.
Shadow Self, 2019
This is first in a series devoted to the individuation concept brought forth by Carl Jung. Although many of Jung’s ideas can be debated and discarded due to their fantastical underpinnings, this particular idea, I believe, holds a lot of weight. In the process of individuation, a person, mostly likely in mid-life, after the challenges of establishing oneself in society are behind her, develops a crisis of identity and purpose. One of the processes is to become aware of a “shadow self,” a doppelganger who possesses negative character traits one has repressed due to societal pressure. The shadow self can appear in dreams, or even in the energy one projects onto other people who possess those same undesirable qualities. The poet Robert Bly has suggested, in order to make oneself more integrated, one must absorb or, to use a startling metaphor, even to “eat” your shadow self. In this piece, a woman is reading/intellectualizing ideas (pages of Jung collaged underneath the top layer) while a vulture, resting on her knee, is eyeing the floating negative aspects she is beginning to discern about herself.
Icons of the Everglades, 2019
One of the joys of walking through a church is the artwork. The iconic poses and symbols of each saint come from a long tradition stretching to the Middle Ages. I took many of the characteristics of these paintings to create a new series centered on the inhabitants of the Everglades and the impending climate catastrophe that threatens their habitat.
Green Heron holds the traditional pose to the side, holding in his arms, instead of the Gospel, a copy of River of Grass. He is dressed in military costume, an armed crusader against the industries that dam and pollute the natural water that flows down through the Everglades. In his hands he holds a sugar cube manufactured by Florida’s dominant sugar industry, the foremost enemy of the sacred River of Grass.
American Alligator, Patron Saint of the Everglades is fashioned after Saint Christopher, a martyr in Orthodox tradition. Christopher is sometimes depicted as a dog-headed warrior, representing the virtuous barbarian, one who lives on the edge of civilization. The alligator-headed icon in my piece, the frightening Other who lives on the margins of human development, is holding a Galileo thermometer marking the rise of climate change and the impending global rise of our ocean’s waters.