Nicolas Bourriaud discusses a contemporary art practice, coined “postproduction” as artists who reproduce, re-purpose, or re-mix available cultural products in a process referred to as “cultural recycling.” Similar to hip-hop artists sampling previously created music or splicing together clips of video, postproduction is the act of synthesizing disparate artifacts from our lives to create a fresh, open-ended narrative. Hoping to reveal the absurdity of American consumerism, global economy and the chaos of mass media, my work juxtaposes mid-American aesthetics of taxidermy and floral arrangement with the gossip, glamour, and glitz of Hollywood royalty.
As a social critic, I like to play with combining imagery that doesn’t naturally fit to create a humorous dialogue with the viewer, implicating them and myself in the process. Much like William Hogarth, the 19th century satirist who took jabs at the upper class in his series “Marriage a-la-Mode,” my work critiques not only the detritus produced by the media industry, but the consumers of these products as well. By using the social cues of celebrity culture and mass media, I hope to create a connection with the viewer by building upon our shared knowledge base.
We are flooded with this detritus providing us with a convenient distraction from important issues of life. Growing up in rural, mid-America where television is a dominant force, has led pop culture to be a central characteristic of my work. Pop culture transcends race, class, politics and geography. Everyone knows of Britney Spears. Equally decadent and artificial are taxidermy and faux flowers. I see these artifacts as preserving heroism, freezing a moment of manhood. It’s a kind of bragging right of one’s command over nature. Although the work is not intended to be hypercritical of celebrity lives, I do hope to create a space for humorous dialogue about the subject. In bringing these sculptures to life, I hope to take a snapshot of a moment in time addressing the complexity of the American experience in an entertaining fashion. So often contemporary art is inaccessible to a general audience and the art world upholds an esoteric dialogue over one understood by the masses. I hope to make artwork whose subject is common enough to invite everyone. Celebrities are just the protagonists for such a goal.
Photos for this artist.
Residency: June 2009 - September 2009
Art Exhibition: Friday, September 25 & Saturday, September 26
David Hevel's website