Size of the artwork: 16 x 16 x 2 inch (40.64 x 40.64 x 5.08 cm )
Oil on linen mounted on panel
In found midcentury photographs, clichés like suburban cowboys appear as American kitsch, almost comforting in their familiarity. Artist Meghan Murray examines these motifs, parsing out Kodachrome color cast, pouring over the 35 mm slide memories of a stranger with both nostalgia and a cold disaffection. She finds herself complicit in a history written by the figures in these photos. The children depicted herein innocently play as ersatz heroes, symbols of white masculinity. Who did this child grow up to be? In elevating a discarded snapshot to the historical context of painting and by engaging with the snapshot as both archival object and image, Murray encourages critical viewing of emblematic themes. When color is absent from source material, she imbues the image with bizarre monochrome to push a sensation of estrangement. These paintings ask us to contend with our own national socialization and the manner in which we perpetuate American myths. The titles she uses for her works are found in the New York Times archives, from the same year that the original photo was printed, in a way to challenge the temporality - or lack thereof - in the image.
With a certificate of authenticity signed by the Artist.