A suite of ten enamel, varnish and gold leaf on carved wood construction paintings, each 13.5 x 11.5 x 1 in., that comprised the second phase or extension of the concept begun with the Purple Gang Suite. All works: private collection.
The Purple Gang Suite was conceived as a series of identifying crests, which recall coats of arms or clan insignia. While the first phase of the series dealt with language and identity from the perspective of the individual, "Purple Gang II / The Herald's Blend" obliquely references on the concept of identity, stereotype and assimilation from the family and societal frame of reference. Additionally, the works speak to the rise of humanistic perspectives in a growing post-structuralist culture.
That is not to say that I believe that the human condition has dramatically changed. Times or eras do not stop and start, being marked by events... the so called “Middle Ages” continues today in many ways due to human inability to evolve. Technology may change, but corporate knights still flail swords, battle behind logo emblazoned shields, and blood feuds between clans are replaced by competing brands.
The polarized thinking that our language is based in extends into our desire to create “insiders’ and “outsiders.” Most human beings have the need to belong to some form of extended family or group in order to experience pride as individuals. We create ourselves by constantly adding preexistent layers of new identities we encounter and are attracted to. Via society and the mass media we are reinforced through common experience to be part of exclusive groups that know. For many, the instinctual aspects of the human animal, our language, and our cultural interactions keep us from reaching our full potential as open-minded, giving individuals.