Portfolio > Pleased to Meat You

The creation of these paintings is influenced by my personal experiences and relationship to a fifties ideal of dinner around the family table, where the children do not speak, but are spoken to.

My childhood was marked by two events: a divorce, and the arrival of a stranger in our midst, a butcher. My mother married him when I was just six years old, and he shaped the lives of my family into a contorted vision. Some of my earliest memories were of the blood, the emergency room visits from work accidents, and winters in Kansas butchering the cow our grandfather raised for the consumption of our family. In the grainery, the severed bloody muscle of a cow would hang from the rafters to be sawed, ground, carved and sliced into manageable chunks which could then be carefully packaged, labeled, and stacked into a chest freezer for the next years nutrition. Every meal I was fed centered around a giant hunk of beef, cooked well-done. The blood, also a touchstone for me and my sisters during puberty, became the embodiment of danger, and the desperate desire for change.

The background of the paintings is made of antique wallpaper that reminded me of the decoration of my grandmother’s farmhouse. The meat is represented devoid of blood, yet still grotesque in its shape and representation. Both parts of the image represents antiquated concepts that have a historical place, but which need to be left behind.

monochromatic meat painting, food painting
Brisket
oil on wallpaper covered panel
12" x 15"
2004