Depression Painting (Blue), Enamel and Zoloft (Pharmaceutical Antidepressant) on Burlap Sack, 24" x 40", 2009
The "Depression Paintings" series is inspired by recent news reporting and analysis of the current economic crisis. There have been curious number of reports and articles referencing the Great Depression, in which the survivors of the Depression mention how burlap sacking was used for clothing as a frugal mechanism. Simultaneously, there has been an excess of reporting on how the slowed economy affects the art world, and particularly how economic recessions and depressions are often "good" for artists and creativity, as is creates situations of new innovation and development, and cleans house in oversaturated markets. Economic strain or even collapse, these multiple news reports (on NPR, the New York Times, Time, and the Atlantic), seem to suggest, is a catalyst for creativity and innovation. This use of the term depression also puns on the psychological state of depression which also is often associated with creativity.
The burlap sacks ("Sad Sacks", if you will) are painted with enamel paint which have been infused with ground up pharmaceuticals, typically antidepressants, but also painkillers and alcohol (systemic depressants). These objects, part painting, part sculpture, and operating on both molecular and macro levels, are in a sense self-medicating. Their self analysis and treatment both affirms and denies the posited necessity of depressions of the psychological and economic sort for acts of creativity, or at least as they are historically constructed in biographical narratives.
Depression Painting (Pink), Enamel and Seroquel (Pharmaceutical Antidepressant) on Burlap Sack, 24" x 40", 2009
Depression Painting (Green), Enamel and Lexapro (Pharmaceutical Antidepressant) on Burlap Sack, 24" x 40", 2009
Depression Painting (Gray), Enamel and Darvocet (Pharmaceutical Pain Reliever) on Burlap Sack, 24" x 40", 2009
Depression Painting (Autumn), Enamel and Alcohol on Burlap Sack, 24" x 40", 2009