At A Function: The Whole Hill Flattened Out
acrylic on canvas
24 x 48 in.
I’m exploring the American Dream by painting every word of the novel “American Dream Machine,” by Matthew Specktor— a novel about an immigrant’s son that for me, connects the dots between growing up in Kansas as part of the fourth generation of a family, agricultural business— the American Dream— and now living in Los Angeles, working as an artist.
As I paint, I consult “Obliques Strategies” a deck of cards of lateral thinking prompts (created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt) to guide my process. By constraining my work in context and process, I simulate the experience of living in an American city” bucking both for and against nature” as my identity is challenged and shifted by diverse currents of culture, circumstance, and chance. The process of abstracting words based on random guidance, liberates the words from personal assignments of meaning and evokes fluid symbology in expressive representations of new found perspective. I document the process in a journal and in email exchanges between myself and the book’s author.
As the paintings are completed, I challenge the concepts of ownership and commodity by treating each painting like a dream or idea, rather than the object is has become. The paintings are gifts. We are gifting the paintings to a wide variety of organizations with public display space throughout the United States (with an emphasis on culturally underserved areas and nontraditional art spaces).
© Rachel Kice