Caucasian Boy

caucasian boy
"Typical American 81264-E"
   64" x 41"    oil on panel
A camera attached to a driverless vehicle randomly taking photos on random streets would not be producing art. Not until the image is viewed by a human is it art and the image has no meaning with out a viewer. I have a mild obsession with looking at photographs. I often paint what I see in photos. A photo is the result of the context in which it was taken. To a viewer a photo is a mirror, reflecting back to the viewer their own interpretation. Art has a reflective quality. The library of congress picture collection is a favorite pastime of mine. This painting "Typical American" is from a photo taken by John Collier, 1941, "Fall Activities" . The photo was taken by the US government simply to document American life. The photo is part of a serious of images depicting young boys raking leaves. In the photo I saw my own past and realized 'that time is over'. I saw demographic change ,the changing face of what might be called the typical American. Do children still go out side on cold fall days, rake big piles of leaves simply to jump in. I am at the same time not overly impressed with the post modern world. I find myself drawn to the idea of a more glamorous time in history , the era of black and white. However,,,,I love the the ability to access the library of congress from my living room. Change is the nature of the universe but in passing from past to future only the present moment is real. Mark Preuss