Based on a Childish View

Based on a Childish View
Oil on Canvas, 69.5 x 51 inches, Spring 2018
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In the painting, “Based on a Childish View” I wanted to talk about the fabricated fantasy that having a nice big suburban home with a nice big yard and a nice big car to drive around in will make us happy and keep us safe from the “dangerous” world outside when really that “dream” has averse affects and is causing all kinds of social and environmental problems. There’s a really nice quote that sums up my impetus for this piece by Lewis Mumford in his book, “The City in History”:

“In the suburb one might live and die without marring the image of an innocent world, except when some shadow of its evil fell over a column in the newspaper. Thus the suburb served as an asylum for the preservation of illusion. Here domesticity could flourish, forgetful of the exploitation on which so much of it was based. Here individuality could prosper, oblivious of the pervasive regimentation beyond. This was not merely a child-centered environment; it was based on a childish view of the world, in which reality was sacrificed to the pleasure principle.”

This book was written in 1961 but it still rings true today. We get so sucked up in our worlds and we purposely ignore the extreme inequalities and global catastrophes that are happening around us. Our consumeristic lives and privileges couldn’t exist without the exploitation of other human beings and the natural world. We live in our own little fairytale fantasies.

I purposely made the car disproportionally larger than the house, and at first this might appear to be a childish mistake, but I wanted to push the idea that the American suburbs are dependent on cars and long commutes.