This work was inspired by the events of the Covid 19 pandemic and the Presidential political race of 2020. The conversations I had with family, friends, students, colleagues, and strangers during this time led me to take a look at what the modern-day issues in America and how it was affecting Americans and the rest of the world. While in lockdown I was motivated by the work of Norman Rockwell painting and illustrating the idealism of American middleclass in the 1930’s -1970’s. Rockwell painted an image that he saw as American middleclass with few exceptions. His utopian vision was featured on magazines as what we are and should strive to be.
In my case I want to look at what is. Not with rose colored glasses, but with a sense of reality. My goal is not to politicize these issue, but to stand neutral and be observant to what I am seeing. Our country has turned so black and white that most people cannot see a contemporary issue without putting judgement on it. We stand in judgement of others instead of finding compassion and understanding of others. In many cases I use the people I have had these interesting conversations or debates as my models.
I use Rockwell’s work as a starting point for my own. In some cases, the new work is directly relatable to Rockwell’s. In other cases, it is just a point of composition that I begin with. I use straight photographic images as my medium because as painting and illustration were the prevalent mediums of the time when he was working, photography is it’s contemporary.