This project arose from a series of investigations that stemmed from an interest in dissecting and disempowering the cliched image. Clichés are ideas, images, or phrases that through extensive proliferation are rendered empty sentiments with, more often than not, an air of taboo placed around them. Ideas on philosophy, spirituality, human relationships, lifestyle ideologies, and moments in history, become distilled into a singular placeholder which represents the breadth of its meaning. Overtime these symbols become self-referential, wherein the symbol itself completely eclipses its meaning. Through this investigation I hoped to reinstill intrigue back into the clichéd image and achieve a sense of autonomy and fluidity between contexts.
Through formal means I proposed to reinterpret and recontextualize the cliché. Some strategies included abstracting and using incongruous color to shift the identity of the image or object. My process morphed over time to include the act of placing objects out of context, often into a widening vast field devoid of connotation, in an effort to “remove” them fully from their associations. I came to understand this process as one of “exoticizing” the object.
The resulting paintings function as iconic and graphic images, utilizing a language of universality but with subject matter that is difficult to categorize. Though the origins of these images are rooted in familiar clichés, they have a polysemic quality, possessing many possible meanings and interpretations.