American Artist

Altadena, California, 1989

American Artist’s work begins with nostalgia for the occupation of the artist, using highly aesthetic forms to transport this idea into a contemporary context. For Artist, previously made pictures and images, as well as past histories and narratives, are an intrinsic part of deriving new works. A few years ago Artist painted the painting Still Life w/ New Love Bearing the Obsessive Nature of My Affection. As a work it marked both the artist’s departure from painting as well as documentation of a particular emotional state. As the distance between artist and painting grows as time passes, the artwork becomes an artifact whose authorship is something slowly forgotten. At the time it was painted, American Artist went by a different name. The experiments performed on the painting deny the importance of who authored the image and explore what forms the digital image can take as it transcends its original state as a painting.

American Artist changed his name in 2013 as a performative gesture. The simple act has created an ongoing dialogue about what it means to be American and an artist. The ambivalence of the name as an anonymous sign and high profile statement continues to interest the artist.