Walmart and American retail have been a perfect petri dish for me to explore my ideas about everyday life; where we are as a species, how we live, and how consuming is an intrinsic part of our culture. The variety and sheer volume within a big box store meant that I could explore different kinds of painting techniques in my attempt to capture the image of everyday America. The idea of making beauty out of the common, overlooked things of everyday life. There are many people who think that dipping a brush into wet paint is an antiquated concept, but my impulse is to do it without being a classicist.
Ever since the New Yorker article in 2013, people have asked, “What are you going to do next?” I’ve done “Branded Life”, “Wives Shopping”, and the interior architecture of the “big box store”. While I continue to execute a few ideas about one of the most visited public spaces, I have begun exploring the last private space: peoples’ homes. I will essentially be couch surfing America, painting the people I meet through AirBnb.
I chose Airbnb because it allows me access into people’s homes and therefore into their lives. The truth is we don’t want our brother in law to stay with us, but we are willing let a stranger come if he pays us 100 bucks. The idea is to make paintings from photographs and eventually paint people directly. Some will be very loose and expressionistic whereas others will be a tighter representation of the photograph.
There are over half a million Airbnb listings in the United States and they are spread throughout all 50 states. This continues my democratic exploration of #paintingAmerica.