By taking things out of context, you actually can create a truer meaning for something than it had in the beginning.
interview by Todd
Instead of sticking a pair of scissors into a co-worker’s neck or dragging the uncrossed blades from pelvis to collarbone as a piece of performance art, he works with a steady hand, liberating images from old magazines and sticking, for instance, a housewife who looked like she just huffed oven cleaner right into The Apocalypse, or riding a dinosaur, or reviling from a steam shovel, or becoming the queen of Egypt – in effect, pulling up the blinds of traditional consumer context, deflating the tires on the shiny rims of the American Dream, and stripping back a couple layers of skin from political beasts; he quietly lacerates and, in the process, gets to a new, darker heart. At first look, nothing’s wrong – with the capture and re-arrangement of images from their intended picture language, cropped so close you can’t see the line, his art looks like a photo. For instance, an idyllic, innocuous scene with a ’50s Betty Crocker replicant whipping a meal into place. Look closer. Maybe a dog’s peering forlorn from a window in the oven. Or the baby’s bottle is a nuclear warhead. Or Reagan’s not mowing a lawn or a carpet, but a tall shag of people. Men fish for money. It’s not to say that Winston’s heavy handed or has a ham for a brain. Far from it. With no shortage of humor or lightness in a fundamentally grim situation, much of his work simultaneously operates on an extremely polite, soft talking, artistic level. And this is how I found Winston, the person: cutting into loaded topics with dexterity, wit, and a firm grip on the lamp that shines across the face of America’s popular culture. On a final note, since the advertising budgets of mega corporations have come to far exceed most countries’ gross national products, civilization, for the first time in history, has taken on a commercial assault akin to the 24-hour B-52 carpet bombing of North Vietnam: non-stop hot turbulences, disorienting buzzbomb noise, supra-fast flashes, creating many vacuous craters in not only the landscape but in the public’s mind. Think of Winston as a bomb shelter against the assault, or better yet, the media who picks select pieces off the pocked battle field and glues them together how he thinks they should have been in the first place…
So, what do you do?