THE COST OF DRIVING: A SERIES OF COLLAGES
The arts provide a potent force to engage the public’s imagination to envisage a new urban order by bringing awareness to the rise of the automobile and its strong historical link to nature experience, the female form, racial segregation, and modernist esthetics. I created a series of collages based on research I conducted over a decade ago two of which are going to be featured at Clay Clubhouse for their Pride Art Show. These works hope to spark a dialogue that will encourage a creative approach to re-engineering our cities.
Progress and Positive Feedback
Two black panels feature disjointed cars pouncing. These express the aggressive almost visceral assault of the automobile in the American cultural scene. In the center panel, a wind-blown wave of automobiles is dispersed across a highway interchange. This splurge of autos on the limited paved space reflects the cultural addiction to the personal automobile and its adverse effects including air pollution, death, and injury. This piece aims to explore the less evident ways in which the automobile found its way into the American ethos. The personification of automobiles and their link to sexuality and gender roles have existed since the first car was manufactured.
In the early 20th century, the royal American, Sir Hubert von Herkomer a painter, motorist, and sponsor of the Herkomer Rally, was among the first artist to be attracted to the automobile as a means of experiencing the landscape in a new and stimulating way. The piece takes the infrastructure that reshaped how Americans experience the natural landscape to create a still life. The bushel of beautiful greens presented on the page is made of highway interchanges and overpasses. These curving thoroughfares are naturally beautiful. A woman reaching towards the sky, taken from the 1939 World’s Fair poster, recalls a time when the car was seen as the key to progress and freedom. The urban models of the American landscape presented a clear image of…