Treating the iconography of Jesus Christ as an image of transformation I attempt to resituate and reestablish my relationship of Christianity and Consumerism. Through the act of chewing and regurgitating I create alternative "Christian iconography" in an aniconistic/communion-like ritual with a statue of Jesus Christ made entirely from Hubba Bubba bubble gum. The bubble gum functions as a common medium of popular culture that is never fully consumed; rather it finds itself as the unwanted byproduct of temporary enjoyment and satisfaction. Choosing to use the imagery of Jesus Christ along with this medium I wonder what parallels could be drawn between religious behavior and consumer behavior. This questioning allows for a closer examination of a modern Christianity that is easily consumed, commoditized, and redistributed through popular culture.
Masticate #4 "Bloom"
Masticate #5 "Shield"
Masticate #6 "Monument"
Artisanal whips made from recycled plastic shopping bags, 2015-16
plastic whip description on Etsy site:
"Amazing things happen when you submit!
Designed to battle against our habits of doubt, disbelief and discouragement of our consumer based guilt, whips made by Plastic Temptations help to transform those bad consumer habits into a positive guilt-free life. With your personal care in mind, these experimental toys have a traditional function with a modern appeal that allows you to take ownership of your consumptive habits through intimate self-play.
Each whip is handmade in Buffalo NY from 100% recycled plastic shopping bags ranging from boutique to dollar store in quality. This means that no two whips are exactly alike, each is beautiful and unique in its own right. By making our products with the finest shopping bags, we construct our whips to the highest possible quality standards while staying true to a want-not, waste-not philosophy. As a result, our HDPE (high density polyethylene) and LDPE (low density polyethylene) upcycled whips, are strong and GMO free! Due to their material make up you can be sure that they will last a life time, giving you a true peace of mind.
What once may have been a water bottle in a past life is now a true power accessory that uplifts with guilt-free affirmations! So don’t let negative guilt hold you back from finding and fulfilling your purpose in life!
-Hand created with love
-Fascinating details and hidden beauty
-whip packs in considerable pain and value
-great for use indoors
Plus! Each whip comes with 2, black, rubber coated hooks so that you can show off your guilt free life-style to friends! "
Etsy Page Screen Shot
aMen : Fragrances for Men
aMen: for men, is a collaborative project with artist Mizin Shin. http://www.mzzzn.com The work exists somewhere between art-object, Holy reliquary and cologne for men as it gleans Axe body product aesthetics. Considering the commoditization of religion and the masculine, this project reflects on the product of manufactured value. Notions of “essence” and “aura” come under scrutiny as the work utilizes the kitsch and the overtly sexual to problematize commodity fetishism in an age where smell, touch and male transformation are "x-treme".
A Painting for Monsanto
Seeking work during the summer of 2016, I found my way back to the family farm of West Texas. Equipped with a pressurized backpack sprayer and a concoction of herbicides and pesticides I was sent into the cotton fields to cultivate the land. Row after row I was confronted with a current mode of crop production that implements an anthropocentric agency over the land. Questioning economic interests, consumer demand, and quantity of product over quality and sustainability, I decided to create an homage to Monsanto, the omnipresent hand guiding this agribusiness. Using my sprayer and chemicals as painting tool and medium, I test the ecological effects of chemical use, the manufacturing of GMO cottonseed, and the demand for monoculture crop production on the product itself, cotton.
A Painting for Monsanto #2, 2016
Speed Zone, Tomahawk, Prowl, ChemSurf 90, Affect GC and water on 100% cotton sheet.
Performance duration: 10 minutes
Location: Simpson farms, Lubbock TX
A Painting for Monsanto #1, 2016
Glystar Gold, ChemSurf 90 and Affect GC on 100% cotton sheet
Performance duration: 12 minutes
Location: Middlebrook farms, Lubbock, TX
Shopping Cart Alterations
Home Sweet Home (temporary installation), 2017
found (and returned) shopping cart, abandoned Walmart superstore Amherst NY.
Domestopia, the Explorations of a Domestic Nomad in the South West
Domestication (from the Latin domesticus: "of the home") is the cultivating or taming of a population of organisms in order to accentuate traits that are desirable to the cultivator or tamer.
In the fall of 2014 I created a device that would allow me to experience the American southwest through a portable, domestic-like environment. Complete with white picket fence and artificial grass, this device was worn around my neck and became a filter through which I would perceive and interact with the world around me. With this work I was challenged with the meaning of limits- finding contradiction between natural boundaries and human constructed boundaries. As I explored the “Llano Estacado” I began to wonder what it means for us to stake a claim to the land and what sort of agendas lay behind these attempts to segregate and cultivate the world around us. Furthermore, what are we as humans saying about ourselves when we build fences, walls, and boarders and what effects do these constructions have on the landscape and the people therein?
the Domestic Nomad, screen shot
the Domestic Nomad (3 Channel view)
the Domestic Nomad screen I
the Domestic Nomad screen II
THE DOMESTIC NOMAD SCREEN III
2015, astro turf, wood, and TV monitors, dimensions vary
2015, astro turf, video monitor and plastic fence, 1.5' h x 1.5' w x .5' d
Tirelandia takes place at the Bonneville Salt Flats, in Wendover Utah where thousands of visitors, filmmakers and high-speed auto racers gather to utilize this isotropic landscape. The auto racers divide the space around them and, quite literally, burn rubber, going through a set of tires every race as they travel up to 750 miles per hour in no particular direction. All thrust and no vector, the goal is not destination but speed. Speed, in this context, is progress and the goal is always to go faster than the fastest before you.
I imagine that the speed racing taking place on the Bonneville Salt Flats represents a form of “manifest destiny” as racers seek to conquer the limits of technology and themselves against the laws of nature. Similarly, in the work Fordlandia, the artist Melanie Smith addresses this resistance by exploring the repercussions of Henry Ford’s desire to colonize areas of the Amazon jungle for its rubber trees. Ford’s colonial notions of progress in opposition to the natural forces produced a ghost town overtaken by the Amazon foliage. Through my efforts to freely and speedily roll my “wheel” of rubber tires on the Flats, I reference Smith’s work by providing a visual allusion to the Greek tale of the futility Sisyphus encountered in his struggle to roll his rock up a hill – in his struggle to exceed the limits of his resistance to nature. As a result, I wonder what impact current notions of progress may have on the landscape when we focus on the thrust rather than the vector.
Tirelandia, screen shot
Tirelandia (Version I "Junk")
2015, rubber tires, TV monitor, 8' h x 9' w x 9' d
Tirelandia (Version II "Touch")
2015, rubber tires, TV monitor, 4' h x 2.5' w x 2.5' d
“It makes you speechless. He’s like a cartoon character because he does things human beings aren’t suppose to be able to do.” – Cardinals teammate Ron Grant speaking of Mark McGwire
Big Mac takes a look at the rise and fall of a childhood hero, MLB’s 1998 home run king, Mark McGwire. It aims to show the influence that marketing gimmicks, advertising and consumerism had in shaping this modern, American icon, and it takes a look at the social pressures faced by McGwire that led him to using steroids.
With this work, I combine appropriated video footage of the Home Run King with audio from home movies of a young Eric Simpson playing baseball in 1998. During this time of early adolescence, Mark McGwire served as the heroic standard for Simpson’s understanding of baseball and the role of a modern day “Hero.” As a result, Big Mac is my attempt to reconsider how we define the Hero in our culture and how we compensate a reality where our heroes fall short from the expectations we have created for them.
Big Mac, screen shot
scanned drawings and appropriated video footage with audio taken from a 1998 home video of me playing little league baseball, duration: 7:07