American Portraits is a response to our current cultural & political division.
As an American boy, I grew up playing with the same little plastic toys as all the other boys I knew: soldiers, cowboys, Indians, astronauts and hot rods. The girls had entirely different toys. I certainly don't blame may parents, for lord knows they tried to encourage a genderless home.
In retrospect, I see how our young imaginations were being groomed by the larger cultural norms to glorify these icons of our paternalistic history, our manufacturing prowess, and our promising future. Re-read that last sentence, because it sounds as though I am describing Communist propaganda. Our nation and its people have changed, and yet these same little plastic toys are still being sold in toy stores across the country today.
American Portraits is a series of images that make up a collective visual sense of self as derived from these very toys – the cultural icons from a national history that defines what it means to be an American man to an ever-smaller percentage of Americans.
American Portraits is cultural mythology, re-created.