Homes in Suburbia - 2021 - Screen print - Not for Sale
My work revolves around the construction of homes in the suburban Midwest. I am attracted to the repetitive and pre-determined nature of the suburban world. Homes are practically made-to-order and come in your choice of 3 different styles and 10 different colors. But not to worry, 8 of the 10 colors are shades of beige, so nobody stands out
from the crowd on your street. These residential areas and homes have been mass produced and are utopic in nature. My work aims to deconstruct, highlight, and catalog their uniformity.
Thanks to a post-World War II economic and baby boom, owning a home was essential for the American Dream. With millions needing places to work and live, mass production techniques were implemented in creating housing outside of the city. People wanted their own home, and their own land, in a clean and safe environment. An easy and cheap way to do this was to build almost identical homes from a few select templates. Buyers picked one of the templates and were afforded their slice of the American Dream, and though the house designs now look a little different from the Baby Boom-era, we still see those sprawling residential areas today.
These prints begin with photos of suburban homes that I have taken or appropriated
from other sources. These photos are deconstructed and turned into flat yet recognizable shapes of the home. Taking inspiration from the layout of the suburbs themselves, each home is repetitively laid out in a neat and organized fashion on the page. This organization harkens back to the visuals of home buyer’s catalogs, where buyers could view specs of the home in multiple different colors or styles, as well as architectural plans, delineating various layouts for home building.
These ideas are not dissimilar to the concepts of printmaking, a medium that requires detailed and precise back-end planning before the physical work of printing is done,
to ensure a sound piece is created. My prints come together from the designs and a silkscreen coated in emulsion. The imagery is printed to copy paper and oiled to make
it transparent so when its laid on the screen and exposed to intense light the image will appear ready to print. The paper a print is made on needs to be carefully measured and
cut as well as set up with registration to ensure the images are laid out the same on each print. This all comes before any ink hits the paper and a print is created, much like home building where architects meticulously design and plan for a house that is structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing. The way the prints come together is akin to the way a home would come together. The imagery designing is like the architect drawing flat stencils on a blueprint. Developing a screen and prepping the paper is laying the foundation for a home to sit upon. Printing each shape is putting up the walls and roof, layer by layer, until the home is built and functional.
With the number of homes rigidly splayed out in each piece, my work invites the viewer to examine the landscape and production of the suburbs.
If you wish to purchase any of these pieces, please contact the gallery director, Jacqueline Nathan (firstname.lastname@example.org.)