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Wealth & Poverty – Reflection


 - Weath & PovertyI was 15 years old when I first traveled to Central and South America. The experience broadened my horizons more than any single event in my entire pre-college experience. There were 100 of us..Boy Scouts selected from every state to represent the US at the First Pan American Boy Scout Jamboree hosted in Rio de Janerio. Our travels took us to some beautiful places and that included impressive places in and around Caracas, Venezuela.

I remember being escorted to La Rinconada horse track. It was fairly new at the time and perfectly manicured…an absolute garden of color surrounded by pristine architecture. Just beyond the beauty of the track were brown, boulder-covered mountainsides that seemed to have an odd texture peeking through gray-blue clouds that hung close to the ground. The reality of what I was seeing, however, was not a natural rock formation covered in fog, but shacks of poverty-stricken people built one on top of another, visible through the smoke of cooking fires, as far as I could see across the valley and leading down to the edge of the city’s high-rise buildings. Obviously, it made an impression on me.

This project is a reflection of that experience. The 15 tall bottles assembled in some fashion will create the silhouette of a city skyline. The skyline provides a background canvas for a subtle, second, textured skyline that terminates in a clutter of smaller houses and shacks protruding slightly from the base of each bottle. The bottles can be rotated in any number of arrangements and the basic result is the same. The power and wealth of the skylines will always dominate the poverty of the slums in their shadows.

With the amount of masking an multiple layers of sprayed glazes I anticipate doing, it will be another month before this project is ready to show. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep some progress images coming.

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