Western Influence is a social commentary on the influence of Western society on the rest of the world.  Each of the objects falling from the box of the Western culture (upper right) represents a duel meaning.  The syringe, for example could be interpreted positively (as needed medical advancements), or negatively (as for drug abuse).  The money and jewelry could be seen as prosperity or as greed.  Similarly, the plastic spoon could symbolize convenience or the materialism of a disposable society.  The condom may be interpreted as a planned precaution to disease and pregnancy or the encouragement of free, spontaneous, and immoral sex.  The chalk and paperclip, focuses on the importance of business and education to the Western world.  But are these aspects of our society necessary or perfect?   Each of the other boxes depicts  the effects that have occurred due to the bombardment of Western influence.  The African-American culture (represented by the box in the upper left) was stripped and a new tree of life grows from within, as these people create a culture within the existing Western culture.  The Native American culture (lower left) has also been pillaged, and stereotypical symbols are all that remain visible to the Western culture at large.  Other cultures, such as the Chinese (lower right) have managed to close themselves off to Western influences until only recently.  Still, influences from the Western world are gradually finding their way inside.  The central caveman painting of a bison represents man's common ancestry, emphasizes the basic needs of all humans, and serves as a link between all cultures.  I created this piece to record what I observed taking place.  Rather than taking a position on the subject or attempting to influence the viewer, I simply wanted to make my audience aware.  I think that it is important to understand how our actions affect others, and once we acknowledge the facts, we can make judgments about how to alter our behaviors to create positive results.

Western Influence

        Oil Paint & Mixed Media

         24" X 18"

        April 2000