'Empire Peaks' debuts a brand new body of work at Jonathan LeVine Gallery November 23, 2013. Included are all-new pieces of carved wood statuary standing 1.5 to 3 feet tall.
I was born the year of 'a new hope'. My parents divorced when an empire struck back. Our Baby Boomer parents dismantled the 50's. We were pacified by commercial enterprises and bucolic, nuclear comforts of The Greatest Generation. GenXers entertained themselves because both parents worked. Families dispersed across ATandT networks and Boeing airline flights. TV dinners were a home-cooked meal. We learned to covet cheap plastic objects. We fed on our parents' guilt. We taught them consumerism. Buying toys became our medium of love.
For better or worse, each 'Empire Peaks' non-fictional character is complicit in the world order today. We're all shackled to our past because of endlessly echoing paradigms. David Sirota argues in 'Back to Our Future' for a cyclical 30-year regurgitation of politics and culture. I think it's an inescapable human nature causing regimes to repeat themselves. 'Empire Peaks' are meant to reduce modern dynasties to a sci-fi soap opera of objects.
It's all about gluttony. Serving desires lubricates civilization. Capitalism fills desire and demand. Development expands. Culture thrives. From religious redemption to material objects, mass coveting is the driving force.
Whether political, intellectual or cultural, figurehead stars guide the rise and fall of respective dynasties. Some empires are built on a protest, critique, and rebellion like that of Gandhi or Aung San Suu Kyi. Many are built by a greed and ambition of Donald Trump or King Jong Il. These same forces cause empires to topple. Power corrupts ambition. Rebellion becomes conformity. One empire falls. Another rises to repeat the mistakes of its predecessor. Greek, Roman, Egyptian and other ancient memes return to ominously warn our current times. Antiquity rises to replace modernity. 'Empire Peaks' are a monument to our shared history.
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