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Parking lots all across America are veritable mines of the cast off remnants of a consumerist culture. This anthropological dig, without having to dig at all, displays evidence of brand name popularity. Budweiser and Pepsi, Red Bull and Marlboro abound. In fact, parking lots are almost another form of advertisement for these companies, albeit a gritty one. It is one thing to find littered items and yet another to find these littered items also flattened by tires—a double whammy of disrespect to the object as well as the environment. This flattening is ecumenical in approach. Not only products we may find at our local convenience stores are pressed into thin layers, but also the once-living, ducks and squirrels, driven over and over and over again. The flattening shows a cultural disregard but also produces things of beauty when these objects are subject to the universal laws of pressure. The Squish Series examines the fine line between the grotesque and the beautiful, between tragedy and humor. The centrally fixated objects become elevated to icons of 21st century sprawl and rush. The prints, made in the gum bichromate process, will last as long as some of the cast off plastics they display. This process requires much time, attention and meditation, in direct contrast to the acts of speed, carelessness and thoughtlessness the images represent. There are three iterations of this series: the original gum prints are traditionally framed in archival mats and 16x20” black frames. Then there is an easily traveling exhibit in keeping with the theme of consumerist culture, which is printed on 30x40 Bantex, the kind of material one sees hanging in Walmart at point-of-purchase spots saying “Buy Now!” A third iteration is printed on 24x32” Sintra hardboard sign material.  

 

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