Altered Series I

This body of work critiques the influence of television on our culture.  Television pretends to reflect our realities as if it were a mirror; however, it does not give us a pure reflection. Instead, it alters what it presents, because it is mediated by producers motivated by their own agendas.  We are shown things from elsewhere only in an already established, prepared, pre-decided ready-made version: there is no place for our own judgment—we are unable to resist simply accepting, as reality, the images placed before us.  The images television presents become self-fulfilling prophecies.  From television we learn who we are, how we should dress, how we should act, what we should look like, what is sexy and what is not, who has power and who does not, what is of value and what is not, what is right and what is not.  Television has thus become a kind of religion, shaping the faith and values of many people in America.

In my work, I transpose these images of pop culture over re-created Italian altar paintings from the 15-16th century, using the symbolic power of these religious images to allude to how pop images have now taken on religious status. I paint these images delivered from television transparently, allowing the original altar painting to show through, making it impossible to see one without the other.  The resulting dialogue between the meaning of the original with the contemporary pop image on top of it deconstructs the quasi religious use of pop images in a consumer society.