For my first collection, I decided to focus on the timeless nature of war.
I wanted to make visible the parallels I see between the youth of today and
those raised in the 1960’s during the Vietnam war. The collection contrasts
military garments featuring fascist propaganda with civilian clothes adorned
with pop-stylized comic strips, casting a cynical light on the way that America
builds its army, from the poor up.
I chose to modify garments available to the working class. Everything in
this collection was purchased from either an army surplus or pawn shop, and
I found jackets in timeless styles that are as popular now as in the 1960’s.
I used white and red paint to evoke the protest signs during peace rallies
and their similarities to those carried in protest in the current decade,
both in message and pop-stylized in veracity.
All the comics used were found in The Gun Owner’s Bible and Savage Tales,
both purchased from pawn shops. I chose The Gun Owner’s Bible because I
believe it is a window into an enormous culture in America that transcends
social class. Savage Tales provided a quintessential glamorization of war
heros and the brutality of war. Its stylized combat and at times poetically
ironic dialogue lent itself well to this collection.
I was four years old on 9/11/2001 and thus grew up during a war with
no end in sight. This is a phenomenon unlike anything we have seen since
Vietnam, as the Vietnam war is the longest this country has been at war since
its inception. This, combined with the stark alienation we feel from other
generations brought on by the internet, our collective rejection of culturally
set goals, our refusal to compromise, our collective feeling of directionlessness,
and our particular affinity for drugs, all leads me to believe that history will
remember the children of the new millenium very similarly to those born
50 years prior.