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.
Oil Paint & Mixed Media
24" X 18"