Collaborative Exhibition with artist Dustin Shores
West by Wester, Lionel Rombach Gallery, Tucson, AZ, 2016
For the past two centuries, Americans have had the impulse to explore the West. What draws us Westward? What does the West bestow on its inhabitants? What is the American West now? Dustin Shores and Eric Wilson explore these questions in the exhibition West by Wester. Through different aesthetics with similar concerns, the artists present how the American West has called upon so many to explore. The artists investigate what is the West, acknowledging the past while focusing on the present.
This installation was a way for me to utilize the southwest's icons and imagery as mythical symbols we all recognize. The wallpaper references kitschy wallpaper of the 1940's or 50's, but the images are subversive to the cliches of the west; burning wagons, dead sheriffs, nooses etc. The diorama depicts suffering and worn saguaro characters. By anthropomorphizing the iconic giant plants of Tucson I hope to develop a discourse about American's interactions with the region, and the myths about the cacti. The folded lithograph horns are referential to the mass production of kitsch objects and the want and need for natural but cheap objects.