As an atheist I have always looked at religion from the position of an observer rather than a practitioner. When I was younger, I grew up in a predominantly religious area and had felt out of place. My friends would try to get me to join bible school, received sideways looks for purchasing the newest fantasy book series, and needless to say I didnt know the words to prayers when I joined summer camp. My family was mostly atheist and growing up, I didnt know much else. The push towards religion was something I didnt understand as a child. However despite my experiences with religion, my hope is to not denigrate religion but draw light upon the chaos of consumption.
Advertisements and the rush to Black Friday events at malls feel similar to me. I havent felt the need to run out and buy the latest I-phone or I-pod, or the latest in fashion trends. Nor have I wanted to find myself in large crowds of people waiting outside malls to get a plethora of stuff at fraction of the cost. Aside from the occasional indulgence into a few well loved book series, I didnt feel like I needed all the things that were being sold to me on television, the internet, and all over stores.
My work takes the barrage of advertisements that Ive seen in nearly every aspect of the media and day to day life and form a connection between ads and religious practices like proselytism in the past. Im drawing upon imagery from Black Friday mobs as subject matter around consumerism, and combining the figures in these images with religious motifs. I have developed an interest in the images of crowds that have come out of past Black Fridays as they can be referenced back to 16th century Renaissance prints. In a way these images in my opinion depict the masses using shopping for material goods as a spiritual gain.
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