Garbage Pile Babiez -or- Two-Faced Trash Talkerz -or-
U Break U Buy
FULL SITE COMING SOON........
I'm an American artist. This is a truth. But, what it means... well, I don't quite know yet. I'm trying to figure that out through making stuff. I am proud to be an American, and I say that without irony. Or perhaps a little irony. Or with my tongue in my cheek. Or maybe it falls out of the corner of my mouth and slides onto my chin. I'm not sure. It's complicated. All I know is that I am, sincerely, an American artist. But, who I am and where I came from, and what and who I love now- and why... well, all of that doesn't necessarily line up with the cultural ideals and morality of my particular American familial and cultural upbringing.
I am a queer visual and performance artist who is deeply influenced by a uniquely nomadic upbringing rooted in white American working class culture. I've moved more than forty times in my life, I went to eleven different public schools as a child, and was home-schooled for three years. My family tried most of the different branches of Christianity, never landing on the right one. I've watched people speaking in tongues, who felt that they were so overcome by the holy spirit that they fell rapturously to the floor. I've been guilted out of prying my only nickel out of my sweaty seven-year-old palm and placing it into the the tithing basket as it passed. Surely Jesus would notice? Once, my parents splurged and bought us name brand Honey-Nut Cheerios. In the morning, when we poured the cereal into our bowls, powdered milk at the ready, our hearts broke as a swarm of fire ants furiously scrambled through our precious breakfast. It was an ever-revolving life. New houses. New neighborhoods. New regional cultures and slang. Yard sale-move-new-start-yard sale-move-new-start-yard sale-move-new-start. I had to make new friends and then say goodbye to them more times than I can count.
This stuff sticks.
I grew up crafting with limited resources and I still love working with trashy materials. It’s freeing. I certainly have affection and sentimental feelings for many aspects of my childhood, after all, it made me who I am and it will always be a part of who I am. My family worked really hard to try to make things easier for us, and rebelled against their own familial cultures, much like I do in my adulthood. I love that part of my upbringing. My parents were searching. And working with what they had. And tried to make it fun whenever possible. But there is still an underlying foundation in me from the low financial bracket and the generalized mind-set of the cultural sect of American life that I belong to. It is becoming increasingly important to me that I consciously and intentionally challenge the cultural ideals of my personal lineage. I deliberately use non-art, dollar store, yard sale materials and perform stereotypical working-class personas to confront the particular reactive and bombastic patriotism and hungry consumerism embedded within the part of American culture most closely linked to me.
Poor White Trash.
My work deliberately embraces the "pwt" things that little me couldn't: my crooked teeth, my cartoon mouse voice, hand-me-downs, makin' due, and my obsession with toilet paper tubes and macaroni art. But it also pushes against that which I believe is wrong. And I want to know why and where the wrong comes from. I'll keep learning.
My work must be ugly and beautiful and buoyant and sad. And, most importantly, funny. Always funny.