Duck and Cover

The “Duck and Cover” series started as a reaction to politics and cultural events of the last few years.

My reference images are culled from nuclear safety films of the 1950s and 60s. These films are often degraded and only available in poor resolution. Many of the details of the shots are lost, some areas dissolve into incoherent masses of shapes and noise. These areas of incoherence are important as I am not looking to recreate reality, I am attempting to create a work that feels like a true reflection of the absurd. These paintings are an attempt to accept the futility of understanding.

The passage of time in a culture is often just as isolating and alienating as the physical distance between cultures. The images I am referencing in this work, however, hit too close to home for my comfort. The dread of “what could possibly come next,” the devastating lack of empathy, the feeling of complete powerlessness, the attacks on social cohesion, the attempted normalization of profoundly disturbing events.

My color palette is inspired by, and sometimes pulled directly from, vintage Jell-o cookbooks from the same time era. The color photography in these cookbooks is always terrible. I find some humor in that by employing color in these cookbooks, the marketers somehow managed to make their product look far less appealing.