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John Salvest

Artist Statement Submitted 2018

Sometimes it seems as though I am witness to the fall of the American Empire, causing much of my creative output to follow a long tradition of artists acknowledging, through their work, the perceived shortcomings of the societies of their times. The national debt and trade deficit, prescription drug abuse by patient and physician alike, real and imagined discriminatory practices of law enforcement, the accelerated and inflammatory cycle of broadcast news as the more measured pace of the newspapers slowly disappears, a brewing civil war to be fought over the second amendment, and less environmental protection as regulated consumption of natural resources falls prey to greed, are just some of the issues pulling us apart. Rather than choosing sides in my work, I try instead to play the part of detached observer, maintaining my distance through dry humor and irony. Although my observation deck is in a southern state, these deep concerns transcend yet, surely, include the American South.

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