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The American Experiment

Samuel Turner

Acrylic & Oil Pastel on Cardboard

Undergraduate
My painting was made in response to an undetermined cultural space inhabited by many middle-class white folk. My own formative years are defined by that which I consumed, the narratives, commercials, games -- a whole identity predicated upon product. With this piece, I hoped to analyze closer how cultural myths are being morphed from the things which we consume. Each folkloric character represents an aspect of this narrow American cultural tradition: The Eagle at the top is a radiant green ideal un-achievable by any aspiring American. The Pyramid defines distribution of power and rules those worthy to survive and those who must fall to the pit. The Maw consumes said sorry souls judged by the pyramid. The Prostrator falls to its knees hoping to cleanse its natural spirit to fit a puritanical ideal amongst flowers of sexual desire. The Wendigo is hunted by three archers for sport. The Leech buries its beak in the tree trunk to suck its resources dry. Finally, the whole forest is held up by the central tree marked with the face of settlers who scared the landscape with their influence.