Friday, October 20, 2006

The Forum: Dave Bascom

David Bascom: icon

The individuals I have chosen to represent are who I perceive to be some of the most important political and celebrity figures in contemporary American society. These paintings are an attempt to examine how constant exposure to these images affects us and our perception of who these figures are. Additionally, the very nature of their manipulation informs our understanding of their cultural relevance and influence.

These paintings are not portraiture in the sense that they do not attempt to capture each individual's authentic self. Rather, they are portraits of their public persona; their character as defined by the massive amount of widely disbursed media imagery. While these personae are only loosely based on the true identities of the icons, they are incredibly influential aspects of our society as the public tends to define themselves in relation to these images.

My decision to paint these icons instead of representing them in other mediums is to draw attention to the ways in which these images are easily manipulated and massively distributed. I use different styles of paint-handling to parallel the media’s hand, affecting how each image is interpreted in relation to the subject matter. The intricacies of their painted surfaces can not however be truly reproduced, affording them the more careful contemplation of a unique object.

Additionally, the image saturation of our visual culture becomes pertinent as each character is molded further through its relation the others. For this reason, the juxtaposition between the hanging images works to recreate the media atmosphere.

Dave Bascom was nominated to 1708 Gallery's Graduate Art Student Forum and presented his new paintings on October 14th along with other nominees from UVA, VCU and JMU. He is an MFA candidate at JMU and is participating in the 1708 Forum group show at Capital One.

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