"The working-class 'aesthetic' is a dominated aesthetic, which is constantly obliged to define itself in [the] terms of the dominant aesthetics" of the ruling class."
Reminiscent –and in opposition– to Dutch Golden Age dinner still lifes flaunting ostentatious wealth, these intimate vignettes explore class, the perceived unvirtuous of ‘the diseases of despair,’ and tenderness. The work seeks to humanize the working class and follows a narrative of class transcendence while still illuminating the fallacy and incongruity in the failure to fully assimilate and shed a working class or poverty class upbringing.
In previous bodies of work both thematically and materially, class was not addressed with laser-focused clarity but from within what Bourdieu would call a subordinated position as “the working-class ‘aesthetic’ is a dominated aesthetic.” Subtleties in the previous work around class were born of my innate attraction and regurgitation of materials and objects particular to my upbringing and worldview. Whereas this new body of work addresses the complexities of the poverty class and the doubly complex world of trying to leave that life behind.
Featuring snippets of the seemingly mundane, the meditative qualities inherent to the modality of artistic production (tediously constructing the objects with knife and paper) proffer the opportunity to remove subjectivity and ruminate on how poverty– even if removed– impacts choices, habits, and actions.
My goal with the work is to humanize the ripple effects of poverty and to create work that the American working class and working poor can see as a reflection of their own experiences in gallery and museum spaces where their existence is seldom represented holistically and without judgment or being aesthetically co-opted by outsiders.