Friday, November 12, 2010

¿American Dream?

¿American Dream? (announcement) photo: George Stamatopoulos

In 1982, I created my first large-scale installation, ¿American Dream?, for the Cerulean Blue Gallery in Seattle. ¿American Dream? was made entirely from surgical cotton sheeting. The entrance piece, a classical pediment and columns with all details carefully sewn, bore the exhibit title printed in blood. Inside, fifty panels were dyed, screen printed, airbrushed and sewn to form a high-rise cityscape that swayed and danced in the breeze of oscillating fans to an amped up soundtrack of traffic, sirens and horns.

¿American Dream? (postcard image) photo: © Cam Gerrett

The centerpiece, an elaborately airbrushed and sewn Empire State Building, was hanging upside down. Behind this were two hanging ‘house sets’, one colorful Latin American and the other North American, it’s wall printed in money. Each had an airbrushed fabric panel TV and blared commercials. All in all, this was probably one of the noisiest textile exhibits ever.

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