These paintings employ the naïve language of toys, models, and plastic dolls to investigate the unsettling realm of international political conflict. Many Americans experience events in Iraq solely through imagery mediated by news outlets, or other filtration systems. These paintings replicate the process of filtration, and the inevitable simplification and distortion of facts, as real-world signifiers are transformed first into a model, then into a photograph, and finally, into a painting.
Seen from a safe distance, imagery of the war elicits a range of responses including, among others, voyeurism, apathy, denial, self-concern, and impotent compassion. The fighting there is clearly far from over. But as our soldiers and correspondents return, the war also comes home, along with a multiplicity of painful struggles that will remain with us for many years. These paintings examine some of the many ways Americans have experienced the Iraq war. Model figures and toy dolls represent the housewife, the student, the businessman, and the soldier, all occupying the uneasy utopia of a model world. External signifiers, which suggest a greater embattled reality, interrupt this world and impose themselves on the viewer.