Thomas Boeger MFA Visual Studies Thesis Spring 2018

Escapism through different forms of media, including film, video games, music, lucid dreaming, etc. has captured my imagination and has exercised a seductive quality that once dictated my own reality. My art explores escapism through fiction specifically through the ways in which it has been perceived in our culture within the last thirty years, focusing on the aesthetic qualities of this media that attracts and draws us in initially, but also on the emotionally seductive aspect that keeps us there, and keeps that media within our own minds over the years. I draw influence from these aspects of escapism in order to give the viewer a more literal, visual representation of the entertainment we’re consuming as a culture and how that entertainment influences our perspective on reality and the world around us.

My work also explores the illusionary aspects of escapist media, and how those aspects have been reflected not only in visual art history, but also specifically in photography. Though I am attracted to the aesthetics I am appropriating from media that falls within the genres of science fiction and fantasy, I try to simplify and abstract these aesthetics in order to get to the core qualities that bring out such a emotional response in the vieweror myself. I want to seduce the viewer with my photographs, but also repel them, giving them a kind of foresight into the addictive habits of escapism that I was never forewarned about. In this way, I seek to create a Venus-fly-trap effect in my work, one that leaves the viewer thinking about the power of a visual illusion over our contemporary culture.

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MFA in Visual Studies Thesis Works